The dramatic location of Al Ain, including an oasis in the desert with a backdrop of majestic mountains, and ancient historical sites, makes it a worth-visiting place in UAE. So let’s Explore Al Ain Attractions.
Adventurous drive along Jebel Hafeet
Al Ain” means “SPRING” in English. Once, it was an essential oasis for travelers on the caravan route between UAE and OMAN. Al Ain is located on the eastern side of the UAE and is an oasis city bordering with Oman. This is the second biggest city in the Abudhabi emirate, surrounded by greenery and therefore known as “GARDEN CITY.” Al Ain has many tourist attractions: natural palm/springs, historical bronze age remains, and a mountain top.
How to Reach – Explore Al Ain Attractions
- Abudhabi(Capital of UAE) to Al Ain – 172 km approx. 1 hour 50 min.
- Dubai – Al Ain – 148 km approx 1 hour 40 minutes
- Sharjah – Al Ain – 165 km approx. 2 hour
Explore Al Ain Attractions – Best Things To Do In Al Ain
AL AIN OASIS –
Located in the city’s heart, this is an excellent, shady place with more than 147,000 date plantations. Al-ain oasis is a UNESCO world heritage site spread over 1200 hectares (3000 acres) with 100 varieties of Palm. This tranquil and peaceful place away from the heat and noise of the city is perfect for any nature lover. The environment is full of bird songs and the rustling noise of palm trees.
It also has 3000-year-old technology Falaj irrigation system, a network of channels carrying water from underground to this Garden city that maintains the greenery of this garden city. It is one of the most unique things to do in Al Ain.
AL JAHILI FORT
Majestic sand castle made up of traditional mud bricks, treasures of Emirati culture, history, and the ancient era of the royal family from the Emirates. This was built in the year 1891 and served as the defense of the city. Free entrance to this fort, and also the staff is very helpful. It has precious natural palm groves.
SHEIKH ZAYED PALACE MUSEUM –
It is also known as the Al Ain museum, which served as a home to Sheikh Zayed, the first President of UAE. This Palace museum has old photos and galleries which treasure the city’s historical past. This palace museum depicts the great royal history of the UAE. This Palace has a special feature of a cooling system through ventilation structures.
JEBEL HAFEET –
Not to be missed attraction of Al Ain, located south of Al Ain city border shared with Oman. Jebel Hafeet is situated at an altitude of 1250m, a particular highway constructed in 1986. The drive up to the topmost rock mountains along the curved road is worthwhile and adventurous. Many viewpoints or stopovers are designed for viewing opportunities and photography points.
Jebel Hafeet is also a well-known source of fossils from the Bronze age, which proves the ancient life forms. Many calcified corals have been discovered from this place which demonstrates that this area was covered by the sea in ancient times.
Enjoy stunning views from the top, especially the sunset. Carry jackets and sweatshirts as it is windy most of the time. Driving on smooth and serpentine-styled roads boasting 60 curves and 3 lanes (Two for climbing and one is combing down) is an adrenaline-pumping activity. This drive is one of the world’s best drives. Many racing events are held here, and this place is famous among-st professional racers.
AL-AIN ZOO –
900-hectare zoo located at the foot of Jebel Hafeet mountain range. It hosts 4000 animals, with 30% being the rare species of white lion, Arabian antelopes, oryx, leopards, jaguars, giraffes, and other exotic animals. Even Giraffe feeding activities with many other bird shows are organized in this zoo.
An adult ticket costs 30 AED and a child(from 3 to 12 years) costs 10 AED. But there are many Groupon /Entertainer schemes where you can get many exciting deals on entrance tickets. For enjoying it fully it really needs 4 to 5 hours. Eatables are available inside, and paid golf carts are available for commuting to the zoo.
AL- HILI FUN CITY –
This is known as Disneyland of GCC. 30 thrilling rides with various attractions.
Let’s Explore Al Ain Attractions while visiting Dubai or Abudhabi and feel the greenery in the desert.
Click here to read about Dubai Itinerary………………………………………………………………………………….
So, till then KEEP TRAVELING……………… KEEP EXPLORING……………………………………………………
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Al Ain looks like a fantastic place to visit in the UAE, away from the crowd of Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Jabel Hafeet highway is something totally different anything I have seen before. I think I’ll really enjoy driving in that landscape and watching the sunset from a suitable spot. Forts are ofcourse my all-time favortie so the fort at Al Ain will be on my itinerary for sure.
Yes Sinjana the racing track of Jabel Hafeet is very unique and you must seen it in some movies. I love to take a drive on that road.
I remember wanting to visit Al Ain when I was in Sharjah and I couldnt due to the paucity of time. Your pictures are gorgeous! Those curvy roads through the desert and the rustic Al Jahili fort! The Jebel Hafeet highway is so picturesque! Loved the Rocky Mountains! Not a zoo person , so I guess I ‘ll have to be content with the drives, the gorgeous views , the museum and the fort!
Thanks for sharing about an alternative itinerary for the UAE besides Dubai. I am particularly interested in the fort, which must have played a crucial role in protecting the city with all the mud bricks! 🙂
Never been to the Middle east except for landing for a short while at Dubai. Any post on the middle east is education for me. Its nice to know that the earlier rulers built structures with ventilation and had an oasis/garden of sorts as a natural cooling mechanism against the heat that we hear about in the middle east. What really got my attention were the roads in a heritage place. picture perfect road conditions with laned highways in the middle of nowhere basically.
Al Ain seems to symbolize the imagery of an oasis in the desert that has always stuck in my mind. We were in Sharjah last month and would have loved to get across to Al Ain , but time constraints prevailed and we settled for Dubai instead.My primary attraction here seems to be Jebel Hafeet and the drive itself seems so adventurous with amazing landscapes.
I was totally stumped by your first picture of the route itself. The fort looks beautiful and rustic. But for me, the journey itself will be the biggest attraction if I happen to ever visit Al Ain. Beautiful captures!
It’s so convenient to visit Al-ain, it being so near to Abudhabi. Well I can tell why it is called a city of gardens just by seeing the photographs. Jebel Hafeet is very beautiful especially the views from the top. Thanks for such a informative blog. Would definitely visit Al-ain on my next trip to UAE.
The highway here looks absolutely awesome! wow, Maybe its the desert that makes it extra wicked. Id love to visit a place like this!
I’d love to make it to a desert Oasis at some point! Al-ain looks like a great addition to any trip to the UAE. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Wow! This place seems like it has lots to offer, Yukti! I fell in love with the Al-Ain museum. How many days would you recommend staying in Al-Ain to see all the highlights?
My fiance is from the Middle East, specifically Saudi Arabia, so I’m very interested in learning more about the region. As an avid traveler, I kick myself that I haven’t visited the Middle East sooner! Many people assume that the Middle East is all desert and sand, which you have proven it isn’t. I love that you included the oasis in your list because it is so immensely beautiful! I’m a road trip junkie for your suggestions of scenic routes made me so happy.
I have been to Dubai but I have never been to Al Ain. I think I would definitely go and explore it next time when I am in UAE. The road trip looks worth a do.
I love reading about technology from thousands of years ago- like the 3000 year old irrigation system watering the Al-Ain Oasis. It’s so amazing- like, how did they even do that?! I would definitely want to check out the Fun City though. I love a good rollercoaster!
All the attractions you’ve mentioned are quite fascinating. The sand castle and the fossils from bronze age certainly interests a history lover like me. I would also like to pump up my adrenaline by driving on that curved road. A UNESCO world heritage site with more than 147,000 date trees is definitely a must visit destination. 🙂
I am considering a visit to Oman from UAE. Al Ain would make the perfect stop on the way and help me arrive at the border early morning when it’s quiet. The fort and the palace museum look like very interesting destinations to photograph. As do the winding roads, what a road trip this would be!
Your posts are getting me soooo nostalgic. Al Ain was my favorite as a kid. Funcity and the zoo for sure though now that I think of it, those poor lions were dying of heat. I loved the oasis for the boating and I remember stopping along those roads to play in the sand dunes. I have to go back to refresh all these memories.
Ohh I am very interested of the Al-ain Oasis! It would be a great way to spend an afternoon strolling around the park with impressive 100 varieties of Palm! Or if I ever get the chance to visit Al-ain driving that curvy road to the Jebel Hafeet is a must for me too! The view is amazing…must be wonderful for the sunset! I hope though that people don’t actually drive like they were in a racing tournament!🙏 Thanks for the tips, Al-ain really has a lot of attractions around to visit!
I just returned from UAE and loved road tripping around the desert. But I had not even heard about Al-aim. The road, the museum…everything looks so inviting.
I have such a weakness for forts and palaces. Truly, this place has some amazing architecture. I have not heard about Al-ain prior to this post but it sure is my kind of destination!
Now I know that Al-ain means spring, my first bit of Arabic, cool! I know nothing about the UAE so it’s good to read about something different. The oasis is so pretty and very green too, I’d love to photograph here. The fort looks in good condition despite its many years!
I am always fascinated what makes a UNESCO world heritage site these days – an oasis, who would have known? It looks absolutely stunning, I find desert landscape really pleasing.
I don’t support zoos though I will say that a golf cart sounds handy 😉 However, AL- HILI FUN CITY – sign me up, I looooove rollercoasters!
I hardly knew Al-ain! And the first post I am reading on it has impressed me a lot. Definitely worth taking a detour for the 60 curves and 3 lanes. I can imagine flying through them. Their zoo has an impressive collection, such a thoughtful thing for the children there.
Al-ain is sure a beautiful city. The higkight for me would be Jebel Hafeet. Imagine me racing on this road, I’ll save my feeling till I experience it. A visit to the Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum too will be interesting. I’ll love to visit some day
The Al Jahili Fort looks really interesting to visit, from your pictures it really does look like a giant sandcastle haha. When visiting the fort are you allowed access to all areas or only certain ones designated for tourists?
Al Ain is beautiful city, the drive up Jebel Hafeet is spectacular, especially at night! I wasn’t a fan of the zoo though, some of those animals don’t belong in a desert climate.
The Museum, historic fort and the zoo looks amazing. Never knew that the emirate of Abu Dhabi in a dessert country like UAE has all these. The images of the hill roads are amazing. Thank you very for such an informative article.
I have just returned from Sharjah. Had I read this blog before, I would have included Al Ain in my itinerary. Never mind, there is always a next time. The palace museum sounds very interesting. I would skip the zoo however as I find zoos unethical and a form of modern slavery.
I totally agree on your zoo ideals but many things are unethical like keeping dogs or pets at homes and not letting them out with other animals. These are common practices going on, near our surroundings.