Located approximately 100-minutes drive away from Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is the cultural heartland of the UAE. Settled in the beautiful oases and dense palm plantations, and fed by natural springs, Al Ain is a must-visit historical and cultural getaway. Al Ain or ‘The Spring’ is known for abundant attractions among which we have compiled our favorite and must-visit attractions of the city.
Top Things to do in Al Ain
Forts and Museums
Al Jahili Fort – It is the birthplace of the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan which was erected in 1891 to protect the precious palm plantations. Now it is converted into a permanent exhibition dedicated to Sir Wilfred Thesiger.
Qasr Al Muwaiji – It is a century-old fortress and the birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa. Adding its former glory, the fortress has been restored and reopened as a museum to the public. The museum recounts history and archeology of Al Ain.
Al Qattara Fort – This is a beautifully renovated fort that houses Al Qattara Arts Centre. This art center and gallery has an extensive art and culture programme where local and Arab art is studied, practiced and developed.
National Museum – Explore the collection of artifacts, Bedouin jewelry and musical instruments. You can also see golden swords, golden palm tree, and silver daggers of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Hili Archeological Park
Located just 10 kilometers away from Al Ain, Hili Archaeological Park combines both garden and the archaeological site attracting tourists and residents alike. You can see a number of remnants that belongs to 2,5002,000 BC. Hili Grand Tomb is the centerpiece of the park which dated back to 2000 BCE. Also, you can find Bronze Age forts within the park. And a lot of remains and valuable archaeological remnants have found in 1995 which is having historical importance.
Timings: 10 AM to 1 PM daily
For families only – 4 PM to 11 PM and on Fridays from 1 PM to 11 PM
Al Ain Oasis
Located in the heart of the city, Al Ain Oasis is one of the fascinating places in Al Ain filled with palm groves. This is the best tranquil place to escape from the bustling city. You are welcome to explore the palm plantations and enjoy relaxing time in the cool and shady walkways. You can see picnic table at the entrance and restaurant in centre of the plantation.
Timings: 08:00 AM – 06:30 PM
Preferred time to visit: 09:00 AM- 12:00 PM
This is the first man-made facility in the Middle East where you can enjoy white-water rafting, surfing, wake boarding, and kayaking which is located in Jebel Hafeet. Wadi Adventure also features AirPark that includes an aerial obstacle course, zip line, huge swing, and climbing wall. This is the only spot in the world where you can take training from Olympic kayaking champions and professionals. Above all, Wadi Adventure hosts Ladies Nights which is the biggest ladies and kids oriented event in the Al Ain city.
Timings: 11 AM to 7 PM
Admission: Fee varies depending on the activities you choose.
Things to remember
- Get your admission at least 2 days in advance before your visit.
- You cannot leave the facility once you entered
- Re-entry will require a new admission.
- Taking photographs of others is strictly prohibited, while you can take photos of your family.
- Outside food and beverages are not allowed inside the park.
Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is region’s highly acclaimed attraction to explore. The spacious enclosures are home to indigenous and exotic species like the Arabian Oryx, rhinos, hippos, tigers, lions and much more. The conservation and breeding program preserves the fauna from extinction. Highlights of the zoo include feeding the giraffes, lemur experience, man-made safari, and much more. Sheikh Zayed Desert Learning Centre is the special highlight of the zoo that features interactive galleries.
Timings: Daily 8 AM – 9 PM
Admission: Adult – 8.17 USD & Child – 2.72 USD