The Ultimate Guide Of 25 Things To Do In Al Ain

October 05,2020 Updated

The ultimate guide of 25 things to do in Al Ain

You are just a page away from being able to plan an exciting visit to Al Ain. This guide is a compilation created by Al Ain destination experts and features not only the most interesting sights to visit but also experiences that are known mostly by the Al Ain locals. Keep reading this guide for an up to date list of things to do in Al Ain starting from free activities you can enjoy in Al Ain, budget-friendly activities, travel tips, hotel advice and some frequently asked questions to clear all your doubts. Keep scrolling for a well-planned list of things to do in Al Ain for your 2019 holiday.

Get to know Al Ain for free

1. Admire a secret oasis

Where: Remah Desert, Al Ain

Admire a secret oasis

Source :Remah Desert

Situated in the vicinity of theTelal resort, this breathtakingly beautiful oasis is sandwiched among glistening desert dunes. Entry is only permitted for guests staying in the Telal resort or individuals who are enjoying a tour in the Saman Lawal Heritage Village. Some fat bike tours also end here. This spectacular oasis is a lovely location for personal BBQ events or family gatherings that have been catered by the Telal resort.

2. Visit 4000-year-old irrigation techniques

Where? The Al Ain Oasis

Source : Al Ain Oasis

It’s no surprise why this 3,000-acre oasis has been deemed a UNESCO world Heritage site since 2011. Sprawling lands covered with palm trees - the core of which is the traditional irrigation system known as Al- Falaj which provides water to nourish these trees- miles and miles of shaded walkways that winds through these 147,000 date palms is a mind-blowing experience that is both relaxing and informative. Guests can also have a look into the other 100 or so varieties of vegetation that grow around this breathtaking oasis. For a more detailed idea the series of interactive displays will explain the steps taken to reserve the ecosystem and a showcase of ancient farming techniques

3. Checkout Al Shari'a - Open Cistern

Where? The Al Ain Oasis

Source : Tel Moreeb

Al Shari'a - Open Cistern

Checkout the Al Ain oasis map and locate Shari'a (middle of the oasis next to mosque & restaurant)

Most of the time of the day you can see the water flowing in this specific location of Al Ain oasis. Al falaj is the world's the ancient underground irrigation system & now you can see the falaj system here and it is network of underground water channels. Al Shari'a is an important component of the Al falaj system, it's an open cistern where members of Bedouins took waters for them & for their animals. Back in days Al Shari'a was the spot where Bedouins used to have chat, bath and wash their cloths. You can step down to through the gate and enter the place see the water flowing.

4. Sunset Visit to emirate's highest peak

Where? Jebel Hafeet

Source : Tel Moreeb

highest peak - Jebel Hafeet

Jebel Hafeet peak

We mostly focus on our destination rather than the journey. But, when it comes to Al Ain’s famous Jebel Hafeet Mountain, the journey and the destination are equally splendid. Drive through curvy roads that are regarded to be one of the world’s best with sprawling views until you reach the peak. Standing 1,240 meters between the Al Ain-Oman border and holding the position of UAE’s second tallest peak, the peak of Jebel Hafeet offers beautiful views of the sunset and Al Ain city at both day and night. It also plays a huge part in the history of Al Ain as many important fossils have been discovered here

5. Nights Views of Al Ain & Roads to Jabel hafeet

Source : Department of culture and tourism

If you are visiting Al Ain during the afternoon, do not miss the nights views of Al Ain & roads to Jabel hafeet. Every day Al Ain Oasis opens daily 8 am to 5 pm & Al Ain camel market opens daily 6 am to 7 pm except Mondays & Friday 3 pm – 5 pm, an afternoon trip to Al Ain could be wonderful if you can start your stop at Al Ain camel market then visit sunset at Al Ain oasis then drive to Jabel hafeet to see the spectacular night views of Al Ain & Roads to Jabel hafeet. Also you can stop at Green Mubazzarah Hot Springs & if you are visiting Al Ain during the winter, it would be an amazing thing to do, after your drive to Jabel hafeet dip your tired feet in the flowing hot water.

6. Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs

Source : Department of culture and tourism

Jebel Hafeet Beehive Tombs

Camel Farm

No access to this attraction & it closed due to initial preparing work for Mazyed desert park project. The opening dates and updates yet to come

7. Visit the home of UAE’s founder

Where? Al Ain Palace Museum

Source : Visit Dubai

Explore the royal Bedouin architecture that goes back to 1937. Flanked with beautiful gardens, the sand-colored fort is a tribute to UAE’s lush history. The Palace was made using eco-friendly local materials like clay, plaster stone and palm tree elements to name a few. Have a glimpse of The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God have mercy upon him) everyday life when you visit the ruler’s fort where he resided in from 1966. A very famous tourist attraction due to its cultural gems, the fort was converted into a museum and opened to the public in 2001. Guests can view collections of photos that were taken when Sheikh Zayed resided there along with a recreation of his early life and residing chambers. Highlights of your visit will be the well-maintained courtyards, the Land Rover used by his highness and the lush oasis.

8. Learn the story of UAE’S president

Where? Qasr Al Muwaiji

Source : Qasr Al Muwaiji

An architectural gem and a UNESCO world heritage site that has seen generations of the Al Nahyan Family, this impressive structure has been around for roughly 100 years. It was also the birthplace of UAE’s president Khalifa Bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and was regarded as not just a diwan (governing seat) but also a site for communal gathering. From standing guard over the lush date palm oasis to being a site full of archaeologically rich excavations, AL Muwaiji is one of Al Ain’s must visit attractions. Visitors can soak up the traditional atmosphere, the beauty of the traditional structures and its courtyards before heading to the newly built exhibition space. The exhibition is a detailed timeline of the relationship between Abu Dhabi’s rulers and Qasr Al Muwaiji. The exhibition mostly highlights Sheikh Khalifa’s important milestones from his childhood, adulthood, during his leadership and his many national achievements.

9. Al Ain Museum

Source : Al Ain Museum

The Al Ain Museum is temporarily closed. More information will be available soon & we will update soon

10. Central public garden Al Ain

The information listed as Al Ain Paradise Garden on Google map is incorrect & the garden moved to Dubai with the name miracle garden

11. Visit Bronze age forts

Where? Hili Archaeological Park

Source : Visit Dubai

Al Ain Museum

Hili Archaolical Park

An initiative to put the traditional monuments in spotlight for visitors to easily enjoy, Hili Archaeological Park is a public garden cum archaeological site. The monuments showcased date back to 2000 BCE and are of the Umm-an-Nar period. The showstopper of this archaeological park is the circular grand tomb which is roughly 4 meters tall and 12 meters in diameter. The tomb’s two entrances are adorned with human and animal figurines. Guest can also admire the many bronze age forts and settlements. The place is rich of fossils dating back to when the area was covered by the sea and also has evidence of UAE agriculture dating back 5000 years

12. Glimpse of ancient Bedouin life

Where? Al Jahili Fort

Source : Al Jahili fort

Opened to the public since 2008, Al Jahili fort has risen in fame because of its significance in Al Ain’s heritage and history. Built in the 1890s as the Nahyan Family’s first home, the fort is regarded as one of the largest in the UAE. Guests can see how the forts structure has changed over time and a glimpse of the Bedouin life at the exhibition of photographs by British explorer Wilfred Thesiger showcased in the fort’s Barracks.

13. Purchase local handicrafts

Where : Al Qattara old souk

Source :Al Qattara Old Souq

An initiative taken to promote Abu Dhabi’s heritage by showcasing its many handicrafts, the souk was renovated and reopened. Built in the 20th century, the white walls of the souk portray a feeling of tranquility. Guests can observe many Emirati handicrafts like basket weaving, pottery-making and the braiding of thatched rooves. You can even purchase many local art and craft items. The village setting also has café that sell authentic Arabic dishes.

Wallet-Friendly things to do in Al Ain

14. Explore a man-made safari

Where? Al Ain Zoo

Source : Al Ain Zoo

The Al Ain zoo is proudly the region’s largest and most applauded zoo housing native and exotic wildlife species in expansive enclosures. From the white tiger and lions to big-horned Barbary sheep and Arabian Oryx, the place is a perfect blend of architecture with natural habitat for the animals to thrive in. Have a memorable time feeding the Giraffe, having dinner with lions, learning more about local bird species. You will also have close encounters with African Big 5 in the world’s largest man-made safari. 217 hectares of desert watched over by the Jebel Hafeet Mountain and Hajjar mountain range is teeming with other animals from the lesser-known Springbok Gazelle and sable antelope to the locally extinct Scimitar Oryx and Addax. Additionally, you will also learn about these animals and the importance of preserving wildlife. If you have decided and visited al Ain Zoo don’t leave there without watching the sunset which is a breathtaking experience.

15. Al Ain Adventure Gateway

Where? The Al Ain Wadi Adventure Park

Source : Al Ain Zoo

Have a blast in the park that is home to middle-east’s first man-made white-water rafting environment. Situated at the foot of Al Ain’s Jebel Hafeet mountain, the park also offers surfing (boasts the largest surf pool on earth), Kayaking (longest combined channels on earth), rafting, wake boarding and swimming. If you are a beginner in any of these the facility also offers lessons. Another highlight of this park are the many aerial activities like the zipline that takes you above the park, giant swing going at speeds of 50 km/h and the airpark for adrenaline junkies. The 15m tall climbing wall is also an interesting activity.

16. Visit variety of camel species & see the trading

Where? Al Ain Camel Market

Source : Al Ain Camel Market

Can you believe that there are around 22 different breeds of camels? You definitely will after stopping by at Al Ain Camel Market. A typically old-world market, the stalls are with sellers and their camels. From tiny ones suitable for breeding to adults that make a good racing camel, this is a true showcase of Emirati heritage you should not miss.

17. Taste authentic Emirati specialties

Where? Al Fanar restaurant, Souq Al Zafarana, Al Ain

Source : Al Ain Al Fanar

Go back in time to 1960 by visiting this authentic restaurant that has recreated a historic UAE village setting and serves up delicious food. Apart from feasting your taste buds in delicious Emirati food your eyes can admire the antique heirlooms on display. The Arabesque interior is complemented well by the employees dressed in traditional attire. From their authentic chebab (Emirati pancake), lamb hares and Machboos to luqaimat, Bathith and basboosa, you are definitely in for a gastronomic tour of the Emirates like no other.

Things to do in Telal resort & Zamanl Lawal Village

Zaman Lawal, an Emirati expression that means old times, the village is a journey to an authentic ancient Emirati setting. Highlights of the village are its own souk, A house of good fortune, house of pearls and many activities that showcase the culture and heritage of UAE. If you plan on staying a day or two in Telal Resort you can enjoy activities like Zip lining, sand boarding, archery, desert safari and ATV rides.

List of things to do at Telal resort & Zaman Lawal Village (Even if you are not staying in Telal, if you are staying in Abu Dhabi or Al Ain, you can still book your experiences with Telal resort

18. Wildlife Safari and Zaman Lawal Experience

Source :Visit Dubai

Ride the dunes of the desert with a wildlife safari package and enjoy spectacular views of the desert landscape while gazing at its inhabitants like the gazelle and desert fox. After the safari is over head back to the heritage village and choose between horse riding, camel riding, sand biking or a walk through the desert. Additionally, take a tour around the heritage village and the old-style souk. Taste Arabic coffee with dates and luqaimat followed by an authentic Arabic dinner to compete your activity timeline

19. Falconry show

Falconry show

Source : Past Travelers

Regarded as the Bedouin’s ‘eye in the sky’, the Falcon has inspired many Arabic poems. The falcons have made their way into the hearts of the Bedouins and become their trustworthy companions with their remarkable sight, agile speed and impeccable hunting skills. Apart from being their companions during travels they are also the Bedouin’s main hunting weapon, a skill known to the world as falconry. Observe the techniques used to train falcons and witness the variety of local falcon species. The segment ends with a hunting show called Telwah that displays how the falcon is trained to hunt their pray.

20. Camel Riding

Camel Riding

Source : Visit Abu Dhabi

There is a reason why the camel is regarded as the ship of the desert and this camel riding tour will introduce you to the grace and calmness of the camel’s gait. Camels were used by Bedouins to transport not only humans but also loads and their entire tents across the steep dunes. This camel riding tour will introduce you to the different types of local camel species, a demo of camel milking and two camel riding sessions (one after dawn across Al Sarh and the other in the evening across Al Dhuwa)

21. Horse riding

Horse riding

Source : Visit Dubai

The graceful movements of the Arabian horse have been the motivation of many a poet. The desert environment has shaped the Arabian horse’s features. In this activity learn about the different types of local horses, how to saddle and ride a horse. You will also be trained to ride horses that are regarded as one of the world’s finest breeds with an Arabian horse ride to the oasis

22. Saluki (greyhound) show

Source : Visit Dhabi

The saluki’s loyalty and playful nature have made them companions of the Bedouins. Salukis are hunting dogs (greyhound) that hunt with grace and return to be clean and noble family dogs. This activity will teach you about the various greyhound species, observe a greyhound race and hunt various poultry alongside greyhounds.

23. Traditional cooking activity

Traditional cooking activity

Source :Past Travelers

Details Coming soon

24. Arabic coffee preparation ceremony

Arabic coffee preparation ceremony

Source : Past Travelers

Details coming soon

25. Al Ain Al Khatim Desert Safari

Source : Past Travelers

The desert that spans between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, the Al Khatim desert is where you will be experiencing off-road tours in the region. There no tour operators regularly doing safari tours from Al Ain like Dubai and Abu Dhabi. So relatively you will have higher rate than those who are going from Abu Dhabi.

Standard 4x4 Safari tours to Al Khatim Desert (Evening one with Dinner) usually cost 170-200 AED (46 – 55 USD) per person but if you look for a 4x4 Safari tour from Al Ain it would be costing 250-350 AED (68- 95 USD) per person.

Checkout the Abu Dhabi Safari Guide & plan your off road tours during your holiday in Al Ain & Abu Dhabi

New things to do in Al Ain in 2024

26. Jebel Hafit Desert Park - Adventure your way to the neolithic period

Source : Past Travelers

Go knee deep into history as you visit the Jebel Hafit Desert park and explore the biodiversity and diverse history with adventurous activities like biking, hiking, horse-back riding and camel riding. If you want to go one step further on the adventure quota then you can also book a guided buggy tour. All these activities will let you observe the spectacular vistas and learn about the remains dating back roughly 8000 years while having fun. This 9-kilometre stretch of land, the archaeological rich area was excavated under the orders of the late Sheikh Zayed bin SUltan Al Nahyan in 1959 and since then has been a means for tourists to get a glimpse of UAE’s bygone eras.

27. Al Ain Zoo with rhinos and giraffes

Source : Past Travelers

If observing animals in their caged habitats is too mediocre for you, Al ain zoo has now started offering an experience that will pitch to all the wildlife enthusiasts. The chance to go behind the scenes with the giraffes and rhinos lets you spend roughly 70 minutes observing these animals in their comfort zone in the safari area and their journey back to their restrooms. This is one of the initiatives taken by the zoo to build more awareness about these animals that are nearing extinction. This will not only be loved by kids but by visitors of all ages who have a soft spot for animals.

28. Al Ain Zoo elephants and gorillas

Source : Past Travelers

Visitors can now get up close and personal with two African elephants or view their behaviours from a watchtower with the Al Ain zoo' s new elephant safari and exhibit. Additionally, the 8725 square metre wide gorilla sanctuary will be home to 4 gorilla brothers. Visitors can view these animals in their natural habitat and understand better about the gorilla's behaviour. The zoo plans on gradually introducing female gorilla's to encourage mating. Next time you visit Al Ain zoo' you will definitely hear the trumpet of an elephant and the growl of a gorilla.

29. Admire scenery while enjoying a bike ride

Source : Past Travelers

Where? Al AIn Mountain Bike tracks

Why not give your calves some exercise as you adore the beautiful Al AIn countryside. Tackle cycling tracks based on skill; beginner, intermediate and expert. Spanning across rugged mountains and breezy hills, this bike ride can be enjoyed alone or with family. You can even customize it to suit the group you plan on cycling with. Available on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, this cycling experience will help you kill two birds with one stone; explore the Al Ain sceneries and give your body some much-needed exercise. This is definitely something that should be included in your Al Ain to-do list!