Al Ain ( العين) which means in English “The Eye” is a city within the Abu Dhabi Emirate. Al Ain, which is also known as the “Garden City” due to its green landscape is the second largest city in the Abu Dhabi Emirate and borders the neighboring country of Oman. Although its known for its greenery, the city is encapsulated with red sands and mountains.
I booked a tour to Al Ain just to pass the time not knowing that it would be one of my favorite destinations during my tour of the country. There is so much culture and history in Al Ain, touring it for just 6 hours did not do it justice. However during the tour we encountered some great sites. I recommend for anyone traveling to visit these six sites.
1. Al Jahili Fort
I’m into history and seeing the world from hundreds of years ago. I’m interested in the architecture of ancient buildings and lives of our people from the past. Al Jahili Fort gives you a little bit of both. This fort has an amazing history and architecture that is quite unique compared to other forts in UAE. There is also a lot of history here with a museum based on the origins of the fort, and the people of the UAE.
2. Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum
Another Museum of history I told myself. However this is one of the best museums I’ve visited in UAE. The Museum’s architecture takes after Al Jahili fort and has beautiful exhibits inside. From antique cars, classic furniture, and unique paintings, this is a great photo stop with amazing views from every corner. Similar to other museums, here you will be taken into the past with traditional exhibits depicting an old lifestyle but something is different in terms of its style. I would definately go back again when in Al Ain.
3. Camel Souk (market)
Our Tour guide warned us not to talk to the Camel herders because they’ll trick us into giving them money. I talked to them anyways and found out they were all fairly kind despite their image. The Afghani Camel herders and I had great conversation and they educated me on the origins of these camels. Some are native UAE camels while others are from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc. Great place for a photo stop. Also if you like to eat camel, this would be a great place to get camel meat!
4. Al Ain Oasis
This is an Arab country, one would expect to find an Oasis! I mean, that’s the perception of the middle east; deserts, camels and oasis right? Although the oasis is no longer in use, you will be able to see the structure of the oasis and the green palm trees surrounding it. Beautiful site to catch in on some history and beauty of this land.
5. Hili Archaeological Park
Archaeological site made into a public park. Sounds strange but here you will find ancient graves centered around a beautiful park full of green grass and flowers. Like most of UAE, old is re-created into the modern standard. At this park you’ll graves that are 3000 years old located next to a man made water fountain. If you’re into History and archaeology, this place is for you!
6. Mubazzara Park
This park has beautiful views of Hafeet Mountains, green landscape and a hot spring! I am not aware of the temperature but the hot spring’s name is not exaggerated, it’s really hot! Although the water is hot, it was relaxing to stand inside of it. It’s warm in the beginning but your feet start to relax after being inside. Like a hot bath almost. Also the park is surrounded by mountains! Everywhere you turn there is a mountain.
Great place to unwind and enjoy the scenery, especially after a long day.
Categories: United Arab Emirates (UAE)