Al Ain

Known as "The Spring" or "Garden City" because of its refreshing oases, Al Ain is the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates and the second largest in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Located about 90 miles southeast of Dubai, on the border with Oman, Al Ain retains the essence of the cultural heritage of the United Arab Emirates.

What to see in Al Ain

Al Ain has a more authentic Arab feel compared to other major cosmopolitan cities such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi. These are some of the must-see sights in the city:

  • Camel market: Al Ain's camel market is the most important in the country and attracts numerous buyers and sellers from all over the emirates every day of the week except Mondays. The market is well worth visiting to see the merchants trading an infinite variety of camels that are brought in and out in small trucks.
  • Sheikh Zayed Palace: Built in 1937 as a residence for President Sheikh Zayed, the palace is now home to a wonderful museum that lets you explore all the different rooms.
  • Al Ain National Museum: With a collection of archaeological and ethnographic items that showcase the local culture and traditions from 7,000 years of history, the Al Ain National Museum is the oldest in the United Arab Emirates.
  • Al Ain Oasis: There are a few unique spots in the desert with underground aquifers that provide the surroundings with life and greenery. The city has several of these oases including the central Oasis of Al Ain, a natural green space with countless palm trees.
  • Al Jahili Fort: A royal summer residence and important symbol of power and control, Al Jahili Fort is one of the largest in the country.
  • Jebel Hafeet Mountain: Located just a short distance from Oman, Jebel Hafeet Mountain is one of the highest mountains in the United Arab Emirates. The summit can be reached by a spectacular winding road which is a dream for those who love to drive.

How to get to Al Ain

  • Rent a car: If you are thinking of renting a car in Dubai you can comfortably get to Al Ain in just under two hours.
  • Bus: Buses depart every hour from Bur Dubai Bus Station (Ghubaiba Bus Station). The journey takes 2 hours and costs around 30 AED (€7 / $8). Keep in mind that once in Al Ain you will have to take a taxi to get around the city.