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Visit Al Ain

What plans do you have for the long weekend?  At this time of year outdoor activities in Dubai become harder with temperatures hitting the mid 40’s with high humidity.  However, a trip to Al Ain maybe just the answer as this ‘Oasis City’ offers a drier climate making it a welcome retreat from the coastal humidity of the larger cities.

Al Ain was once a vital oasis on the caravan route from the UAE to Oman, and is the birthplace of Abu Dhabi’s ruling Al Nahyan family. Meaning ‘The Spring’ in Arabic, Al Ain city is fed by natural springs originating in the rocky heights that surround it. Set among lush oases and towering palm plantations, Al Ain – the Oasis City – is the Emirate’s heritage heartland, one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Expat Echo Dubai have put together some ideas of sites to visit for a trip to Al Ain:

Al Ain Zoo

Al Ain Zoo is a true family destination, providing entertainment and learning experiences in a natural outdoor environment. Packed with fun and adventure, the zoo has a large animal collection of over 3,700 animals and has been a centre for endangered species conservation – most notably the successful breeding of desert antelopes and gazelles, such as the endangered Arabian Oryx.

Wadi Adventure

The Middle East’s first man-made whitewater rafting, kayaking and surfing facility. It offers a state-of-the-art facility where all you need to bring is a sense of adventure!

Wadi Adventure features:

  • Three world class whitewater rafting and kayaking runs with a combined length of 1,133m
  • A surf pool capable of making 3.3 meter high waves every 90 seconds
  • A rope course, climbing wall and zip line
  • An adult and toddlers swimming pool
  • Retail and merchandise outlets providing all you may need for the day
  • Plenty of food and beverage outlets to cater to everyone’s needs throughout the day

Opening Hours:
Check their website for opening hours

Jebel Hafeet

Al Ain is best seen from Jebel Hafeet, the UAE’s second highest peak. To take in this fantastic view drive yourself up a winding highway rising 1,240 metres. Many driving experts describe it as “among the world’s greatest driving roads.” Once you reach the top, you can take a break at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet hotel near the mountain’s peak.

Visit an Oasis

Breathe as much of the world’s purest air as you can! Walk, paddle and relax hearing the birdsong and the rustle of the palm fronds. This impressive oasis is filled with palm plantations, many of which are still working farms. You are welcome to get a picnic table at the main entrance of the oasis, or watch plenty of working examples of the falaj, the UAE’s traditional irrigation system, which has been used for centuries to tap into underground wells.
For more information call +971 3 763 0155.

Al Ain Raceway

The state-of-the-art Al Ain Raceway is ranked as one of the world’s top three go-kart tracks. The Raceway has played host to major international events, such as the Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals – the biggest annual event on the global karting calendar. It features three distinctive configurations that provide an exhilarating challenge for drivers of all abilities. The fully floodlit circuit is open to the public to hone their skills on top-of-the-line Intrepid brand rental karts.


The museum was once the home of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was also a hub for the city’s political life. Here you will enjoy a unique experience discovering a large collection of material concerning the ruling family, such as portraits of the royal family, a family tree depicting the Sheikh’s lineage and a schoolroom where the royal children received their education from private tutors.

Opening times:
Saturdays to Thursdays: 8.00 am – 7.30 pm
Fridays: 3.00 pm – 7.30 pm
Mondays: closed

Adults: AED 3
Children under 10: AED 1

For more information email or call +971 3 751 7755.


The birthplace of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE and ruler of Abu Dhabi. Al Jahili Fort was built in 1891 to defend the city and protect precious palm groves. The former headquarters of the Oman Trucial Scouts, a force that protected the area’s mountain passes and kept inter-tribal peace, the carefully-restored fort houses a permanent exhibition of the work of British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger – affectionately referred to locally as Mubarak Bin London. Detailing Thesiger’s historic 1940’s crossings of the Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) desert, the exhibition and entire fort are wonderful places to explore!

Enjoy and safe travel!

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