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Al Ain

Monday 18 February 2019 (UAE)   

Al Ain overview

The city of Al Ain is in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, one of 7 that make up the country called the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Al Ain is divided into 64 districts, including 29 urban districts and 35 rural and suburban districts. These districts are further divided into 322 communities across Al Ain which surround Wasat Madinat Al Ain (downtown Al Ain City).

  • Al Ain city is in the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
  • Birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan - ruler of Abu Dhabi from 1966-2004 and president of the UAE from 1971-2004.
  • Civilisation in the area dates back 5,000 years.
  • Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium is the largest in the UAE.
  • Distance from Dubai is about 150 km in a south-east direction.
  • The UAE border with Oman runs between the cities of Al Ain in the UAE and Al Buraimi in Oman very close to Downtown Al Ain.
  • Places to stay include the Hilton Hotel in town and Hotel Mercure at the top of Jebel Hafeet.
Places not in Al Ain (but sound like they are)
  • Al Ain Centre - small shopping center in Dubai (Bur Dubai), mostly computer shops.
Things to do and see in Al Ain
  • Al Jahili Fort and museum.
  • Al Qattara Fort - and Al Qattara Arts Center?
  • Historic center of Al Ain (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
  • Jebel Hafeet (Jabal Hafit) - mountain with first class highway going up. On top is lower temperatures, good views in winter (hazy in summer), a large car park, third rate restaurants and cafes, and a decent hotel.
  • Souq Al Qattara (souk) - reopened 01 Dec 2012 after restoration and renovation.
  • Water adventure park - artificial wave pool for surfing, kayaking.

See also Al Ain landmarks page

Public parks in Al Ain (not a complete list)
  • Al Ain Ladies Park (Basra Park) - small quiet park, ladies and children only (boys under 10).
  • Al Ain Paradise Garden (Al Ain Hanging Gardens). Location (was) Nahyan Al Awal Street, Zakher roundabout. Open Mar 2009 or 2010, closed Dec 2010, open again Mar 2011, closed again Apr 2012. Was planning to reopen Nov 2012 but didn't? Hasn't reopened (seems to be permanently closed) as of Mar 2014. Domain www.alainparadise.com no longer available (is spam). Same company that built and maintained the Al Ain Paradise Gardens reopened them in Dubai as the Dubai Miracle Garden, in February 2013. Al Ain closures were seasonal (too hot in summer) and/or due to vandalism of flowers according to news reports of comments by the developer. Notices from Al Ain Paradise:
  • 12 Feb 2013 (FB) - Al Ain Paradise will open in Dubai as Dubai Miracle Garden. The opening is this Thursday, 14 February 2013. Unfortunately, this means that the one in Al Ain will remain closed for the rest of the year.
  • 17 Jan 2013 (FB) - The park will remain closed until further notice.
  • 29 Sep 2012 (FB) - The gardens will open on the 1st of November according to Al Ain Paradise official website.
  • 30 Apr 2012 (FB) - Al Ain Paradise is closed during summer, from 29 April 2012 until the 1st of November 2012! Thank you.
  • Al Ain Public Garden - Zayed Bin Sultan Street.
  • Basra Park - see Al Ain Ladies Park.
Al Ain ratings and surveys

Al Ain ratings and surveys

Activities, entertainment and events in Al Ain
  • Al Ain Zoo and Wildlife Park - night zoo operates during summer from 01 Jun 2012 to 30 Sep 2012 with opening hours 1600-2200 (4pm-10pm) daily. Ramadan hours 1800-2400 (6pm-midnight). Bird show at 1930 on weekdays, 1815 and 1930 on Fridays during summer. Parrot show on Fri and Sat at 1715 (5:15pm) at Zoo Education Center. Family Nights (children's sports, games, bouncy castle, cartoon movies) on Wednesdays (discontinued during Ramadan though).
  • Cartoons daily at 2000 (8pm) on a large outdoor screen?
Areas, suburbs, communities in Al Ain (not a complete list)

Al Ain areas, suburbs, communities

Art and culture in Al Ain
  • Al Qattara Arts Centre (opened in 2012?)
Business in Al Ain

Business in Al Ain

Crime in Al Ain

Crime in Al Ain

Economy and Industry in Al Ain

Economy in Al Ain

Education and educational institutes in Al Ain

Education in Al Ain

Geography of Al Ain

Geography in Al Ain

History of Al Ain
  • History of Al Ain.
Important and famous people in Al Ain

People in Al Ain

Infrastructure in Al Ain

Infrastructure in Al Ain

Landmarks in Al Ain

Landmarks in Al Ain

Living in Al Ain

Living in Al Ain

Politics and government in Al Ain

Politics in Al Ain

Population and demographics in Al Ain

Population of Al Ain

Religion in Al Ain

Religion in Al Ain

Shopping in Al Ain

Shopping in Al Ain

Tourism in Al Ain

Tourism in Al Ain

Transport in Al Ain
  • Al Ain International Airport
  • No port facilities, Al Ain is not on the coast.
  • No boat transport - no lakes or rivers. Several wadis but as wadis are dry riverbeds, boat transport is difficult.
Public Transport in Al Ain city - buses
  • Department of Transport Abu Dhabi (AUH-DOT) website www.ojra.ae - forwards to dot.abudhabi.ae bus transport section with timetables, route maps, etc. Tel 800-55555 (toll free in UAE) for Al Ain bus information. Tel 800-88888 for intercity bus information in Abu Dhabi emirate.
  • First 4 bus routes launched in Aug 2009, another 4 by end of 2009?
  • Bus fares AED 2 dhs per trip within the city area, increases to about 5 dhs per trip for longer trips to suburban districts.
  • *Bus passes not yet operational, at least not as of Mar 2014, use cash only. Abu Dhabi DOT website says weekly Ojra card or pass AED 30 for unlimited trips. Monthly Ojra bus pass AED 80 (so far only applicable in Abu Dhabi city area). Senior citizens and special needs travellers can get a Reaya Ojra Card for free bus travel, information not provided about whether expats are eligible or is for Emirati nationals only.

Several bus routes cover most of Al Ain. Bus routes (as of 04 Dec 2012):

All routes go through the Al Ain Town Square bus station in the downtown area, except for Route 965 (Defence Area).

  1. 900 - Hili Park (Hili Fun City) to Al Khrair East.
  2. 930 - Al Foah Mall to Al Bateen West.
  3. 940 - Al Nabaggh to Zakher (Zakhir).
  4. 950 - Al Towayyah Mosque (Al Towayya) to Al Khrair Animal Souq (behind Bawadi Mall).
  5. 960 - Al Ain International Airport to Al Khrair East.
  6. 965 - operates within Defense area only, from Defence Area Main Gate (on routes 900, 950, 960, 980)?
  7. 970 - Al Bateen East to Mubazzarah (Mubazzareh), but to get to the top of Jebel Hafeet you have to walk.
  8. 980 - Al Maqam East to Al Khrair East.
  9. 990 - Al Maqam West to Ain Al Faydah.

Bus frequency is every 30 minutes except for first and last two buses of the day which have a 1 hour interval? First bus is between 0530 and 0630 approx. Last bus is between 2300 and 2400 approx. Friday, weekend, and public holiday timings the same as weekdays (or close enough, no obvious differences found)? Route 960 is every 20 mins?

Bus transfer stations where multiple routes intersect

  • Al Ain Town Square - all routes except 965.
  • Hili Park - routes 900, 930.
  • Al Jimi (Al Jimi Mall?) - routes 940, 950, 970.
  • Tawam Hospital - routes 930, 980, 990.
  • Na'amah South (Namah, Naamah) - routes 940, 970, 990.
  • Defence Area Main Gate - routes 900, 950, 960, 965, 980.
  • Bawadi Mall Al Khrair - routes 900, 950, 960, 980.
  • Al Khrair East - 900, 960, 980.
Other public transport in Al Ain
  • Bicycle paths - none but might be possible or developed in the central downtown area in the near future. Roads are not cycle friendly, climate too hot in summer. Not clear if women are permitted to cycle in Al Ain or not but you'll rarely or never see female commuters on bikes around town. Women who try will probably be stopped by police or CID and questioned why, or told they're not allowed to cycle. In groups on cycle club rides out in the suburbs is ok. This might all sound odd to read, but makes sense if you're in Al Ain.
  • Metro or underground - no metro system, unlikely to be any in the near or medium term future.
  • Taxis - flag down on the street or phone a taxi company. Avoid illegal or unofficial taxis, the official ones are relatively cheap and reliable.
  • Trains - no rail network to or in Al Ain, at least not before 2020, probably later.
  • Trams - no tram system operating or planned, unlikely to be any in the near or medium term future.


Travel - Getting to and from Al Ain

Travel in Al Ain

Weather and climate in Al Ain

Generally Al Ain is hotter in autumn, winter, spring, than coastal cities, and slightly less unpleasant in summer - less humidity. The too-hot-to-do-anything-outside-during-the-day period of time lasts from Mar or Apr to Oct or Nov. For coastal cities this period is May or Jun to Sep or Oct.

  • Spring - very hot
  • Summer - welcome to the sauna, very hot, not as humid as coastal locations. Top of Jebel Hafeet is tolerable in summer.
  • Autumn - very hot
  • Winter - pleasant during the day but can be surprisingly cool at night

See UAE weather and climate for more information.

Last update Saturday 10-May-2014. Page development 1H 2T 3D 4L 5C.
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