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Head to Al Ain for a day filled with handicrafts, beautiful scenery and traditional cuisine.

Explore Souqs and destinations where traditional Emirati crafts are practiced. These ancient techniques have been passed down from generation to generation. From basket making to traditional wear, artisans produce the finest items that make for perfect souvenirs and gifts.

Highlights

Car

Walking

4 hours

Highlights

Car

Walking

4 hours

What to expect

Day 1 highlights

Firstly, begin with a visit to Souq Al Qattara. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October to May, the traditional handicrafts market takes place. Here you'll see traditional handicrafts being created by male artisans in front of your eyes. You can then purchase these authentic items for mementos or gifts for back home.

The nearby Al Fanar restaurant is a must if you want to experience traditional Emirati cuisine. You can then visit the nearby Al Ain Oasis where you can connect with nature and see the live demonstration of female artisans who sew various types of traditional wear.

Souq Al Qattara

Stop 1

Souq Al Qattara is situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s green garden city and heritage heartland about 90 minutes from the city. Dating back to the mid-20th century and founded by the late Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the palm-lined road linking Al Ain’s Al Qattara and Al Jimi oases, the historic hidden gem has been renovated and welcomes residents and visiting travellers to discover and explore.

A traditional handicrafts market takes place here every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October to May, encouraging local families to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s heritage through the active production of traditional handicrafts. Spend some time here and pick up authentic mementoes and great gifts for family and friends back home.

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Stop 2

If authentic Emirate culture and cuisine is what you’re after, then head to Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe in Abu Dhabi, adjacent to Ferrari World at Yas Mall. This Emirati-themed restaurant and café serves up distinctive, traditional flavours in a nostalgic space. With branches across the emirate, each restaurant boasts unique flavours, including fresh salads, seafood and meats.

This is a great place to step back into the UAE’s past. Kick off your day with a traditional Arabic breakfast or enjoy a mix grill platter for lunch. For dinner, indulge in appetisers to begin, such as grilled jumbo shrimp, grilled squid, deep fried fish roe or ali wallam (thin potato slices oven baked with onion, garlic and Arabic spices).

Main dishes include classic laham nashef (mutton cooked in rich gravy and special spices), machboos samak (fish cooked with yellow rice and simmered in fish stock and Arabic spices) or biryani deyay (chicken served with a mix of rice, onions, lentils, beans and raisins).

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Stop 3

Recommended Time: 3 hours

Take a walk through the shaded pathways and reconnect with nature in the lush greenery of Al Ain Oasis - a peaceful retreat spread across 1,200 hectares in the ‘Green City’ of Al Ain.

Located just a 90-minute drive from the capital city of Abu Dhabi, it is easy to forget that you are in a desert. This magnificent oasis is a dreamy sight for sore eyes and one of the most beautiful oases Abu Dhabi has. Here you can enjoy a bit of respite from city life and appreciate 147,000 date palm trees, over 100 different varieties of vegetation and relics of the past, like the ancient irrigation system known as falaj. The falaj is an essential piece of the region’s heritage and one of the many reasons why Al Ain is a UNESCO Cultural Site.

Al Ain Oasis is free to enter, and there are many ways to explore and learn about this natural marvel!

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Stop 1

Souq Al Qattara is situated in a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi’s green garden city and heritage heartland about 90 minutes from the city. Dating back to the mid-20th century and founded by the late Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan on the palm-lined road linking Al Ain’s Al Qattara and Al Jimi oases, the historic hidden gem has been renovated and welcomes residents and visiting travellers to discover and explore.

A traditional handicrafts market takes place here every Thursday, Friday and Saturday from October to May, encouraging local families to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s heritage through the active production of traditional handicrafts. Spend some time here and pick up authentic mementoes and great gifts for family and friends back home.

Read More