Garden city of the Gulf. By Pushpa Bhatia Birth place of Sheikh Jayad bin Sultan Al Nahyan – first president of the UAE – Al-Ain is one of the oldest permanently inhabited settlements in the Middle East. It is also known as the garden city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, given the many oases, parks, tree-lined avenues and decorative roundabouts within the city. Strict height controls on new buildings to no more than four floors, emphasize the greenery of the city.
Al-Ain is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. It has a higher proportion of Emiriti nationals than elsewhere in the country, but the majority of its residents are expatriates, particularly from the Indian subcontinent. Many people are from Bangladesh, Pakistan and some from Afghanistan.
Al-Ain is 120 km south of Dubai and approximately 160 km east of the capital, inland on the border with Oman. The freeways connecting Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai, form a geographic triangle in the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometres from the other two.
How to reach Al-Ain: Al-Ain is well connected by road as well as by air. You are likely to find dozens of online resources on how to reach Al-Ain. Make sure that you use only a very trusted source for your query on how to get to Al-Ain, best routes, fares schedule and timings of all flights, car, bus, trains to the city.
From Abu Dhabi: The easiest way to reach Al-Ain is by bus from Abu Dhabi. On Abu Dhabi island and suburbs, the bus services run daily from 5 am to midnight during the week and until 2 am on the weekend. Various fares make the public transport affordable and comfortable.
From Dubai: From Dubai you can hire a taxi or you can book a full-day Al-Ain city tour that includes the archaeological site, which contains some of the fascinating ancient tombs and other historic remains of the city. Al-Ain Museum has an extensive archaeological collection including some spectacular second millennium gold pendants.
Al-Ain Museum houses a reconstruction of a grand tomb, with its rock engraving. The tour will drive you to Zebel Hafeet, UAE’s highest peak, giving you stunning views of the desert.
At the foot of the Zebel Hafeet are hot water springs ideal for bathing tired feet in steaming therapeutic waters. You can also stop at the camel market, the largest camel market in the UAE, recently renovated to entertain guests all the more, then move by auto to Al-Ain zoo, home to some of the world’s last remaining white lions and tigers. The beautifully designed Al-Ain zoo offers you the chance to get up close to the animals.
From India to Al-Ain: Flights from all metro cities of India to Al-Ain are available. Travellers within the subcontinent of Asia can enjoy online booking, special deals, the cheapest fares on reservations and air tickets by contacting Expedia for their expert travel guidance and assistance. They ensure that you get the cheapest airfare for an Al-Ain flight. Try to book your flight ticket well in advance.
When to visit Al-Ain: In Al-Ain, the mean annual rainfall is 96 mm and the average relative humidity is 60%. Low humidity in Al-Ain, particularly during the summers, makes it a popular destination for many people at that time of the year.
Malls of Al-Ain: Al-Ain has three major malls – Al-Ain Mall, Bawadi Mall and Hilli Mall.
Al-Ain Mall is the cornerstone of the hotels in Al-Ain. Denat Al-Ain Resort, Hilton Al-Ain, Hilli Rayhaan by Rotana, City Seasons Hotel, Al-Ain, and Ayla Bawadi are some of the best hotels and resorts, where you can find places to stay.