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5 essential things to do in Al Ain

Al Ain, Abu Dhabi's oasis city, isn't just a treat for the eyes and the soul. It is also home to some of the most unique experiences in the UAE. Abundant in natural beauty and rich history, you'll always have things to do in Al Ain!

Roam around stunning green landscapes, explore history at UNESCO heritage sites, experience an adrenaline rush at the first artificial white water rafting facility in the region or disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city and stargaze from the second-highest peak in the UAE. The question will never be what to do in Al Ain, but where do you begin exploring?

With a laid-back vibe, Al Ain is full of activities and adventures waiting to be explored. Just a 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi city, it's ideal for a short day trip or a relaxing weekend getaway. Read on to learn about the best places to visit in Al Ain and discover an array of experiences exclusive to the oasis city.

1. Wander through nature and history at Al Ain Oasis

Flock to the iconic oasis and absorb the beauty of the UAE's first curated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roam around shaded pathways spread across 1,200 hectares and discover over 147,000 date palms of almost 100 varieties. Learn about the Emirati agricultural landscape and how the historical ecosystem's farming methods can continue to be practised in the future through a unique interactive exhibition at the Eco-Centre. Mingle with the locals and explore a range of products and homegrown produce while enjoying the surrounding lush greenery at The Saturday Market.

2. Immerse yourself in Emirati culture at local souks

Experience authenticity and glimpse the Bedouin way of life across Al Ain. Savour your senses at Souk Al Zafarana and discover a diverse range of local goods that continue to play an essential role in Emirati culture, such as incense, spices, and henna. Learn about the traditional arts and handicrafts that shaped the artistic and cultural scene in the UAE, witness local artists at work or create your own pieces at Al Qattara Arts Centre. Immerse yourself in culture and explore Al Ain through a local lens.

3. Experience thrilling adventures

Home to the region's first man-made white water rafting facility, the longest kayaking channel in the world and the second tallest peak in the UAE, there's plenty in Al Ain to add to your bucket list of adventures. Cool off and experience the rush at Al Ain Adventure. Choose from various water-based activities there, including surfing, rafting and wakeboarding. Be bold and explore the majestic views surrounding Jebel Hafit on a hike, mountain bike, horse or camel. Jump on an Al Ain Safari Tour led by an Emirati guide and discover the world's largest man-made African Safari. Take advantage of these exciting adventures and head to Al Ain today!

4. Travel back in time at these heritage sites

Home to many important cultural landmarks and sites, Al Ain is the place to be for all history enthusiasts keen on learning about the distinct Emirati journey and the rise of the nation. Visit the historic fort of Qasr Al Muwaiji, which transitioned from a watchtower to a home for the ruling family and a place for the community to connect. Explore Al Jahili Fort, the largest fort in the UAE and once a symbol of power. Connect with locals, discover stories and take part in unique experiences across Al Ain - where it all started.

5. Lay beneath the twinkling stars at Jebel Hafit Desert Park

Take a break from the hustle of the city and reconnect with nature through a one-of-a-kind camping experience. Go on a majestic stroll around the mountain and enjoy stunning sunset views from the highest point in the emirate. Sleep beneath the stars in a beautifully furnished and fully equipped dome tent. Bond with loved ones around a firepit on a private terrace and breathe the fresh air from your natural surroundings. Experience the ultimate serenity at Jebel Hafit Desert Park.

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