Places You Must Not Miss in Al Ain (Part – I)
Overlooked by Jebel Hafeet – a craggy mountain range, the oasis city of Al Ain enjoys a dramatic setting and is very popular among tourists for its many fascinating attractions. Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, the city offers its visitors beautiful parks, interesting museums, magnificent palaces and much more. Here’s a compilation of the most famous places in Al Ain that you must visit at all costs.
Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum
Also known as Al Ain Palace Museum, this once used to be the residence of Sheikh Zayed – the very first president of United Arab Emirates. The finely restored interior provides the perfect reflection of what the place would have looked like throughout the duration of the Sheikh’s stay. Unfortunately, the information available in all of its rooms would be sparse for you if you’re not familiar with Arabic.
Nevertheless, the nicely embellished interior will give you a good enough idea about the lifestyle that was being led here. Also the birthplace of Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan – the present Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Emirate, Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum is a must-visit when you’re touring Al Ain.
Al Ain Zoo
Inaugurated in 1969, the zoo is one of the largest animal enclosures in the United Arab Emirates. Here, you can get to see the Arabian antelope, Oryx, eland, African gazelles along with many other endemic mammals. The enclosures for the big cats feature tigers, lions, black spotted leopards, pumas and jaguars.
Other areas you would want to visit within Al Ain Zoo are the reptile house, the aviary section and the monkey compound. The zoo is renowned for its research facilities, especially the breeding program that it runs for the endangered native animals. A great place to bring your kids along, Al Ain Zoo guarantees enjoyment for a whole day.
Al Ain National Museum
Through its interesting ethnographic section, the museum nicely reflects the daily life of the people who lived in the region. Major highlights of the place include exhibits of traditional jewelry and garments and a rebuilt traditional majilis. Another of its attraction you shouldn’t miss seeing is the Grand Hili tomb at the Hili Archaeological Park.
The museum’s archaeological section showcases discoveries that date back to the Iron Age, including important coin collections and pendants. The gifts section is where you’ll find an unusual collection of silver daggers, golden swords and a golden palm tree. Situated on the extremity of Al Ain Oasis, the Al Ain National Museum is the place to go for understanding the city’s rich history and heritage.
Hili Fun City
This is one of the largest and the most famous theme parks in the UAE. It features more than 40 rides including an elevated sky-flyer and a roller coaster. It also hosts an annual festival that celebrates the history and culture of the Emirates, attracting thousands of tourists from across the region.
As with majority of the theme parks in the UAE, Hili Fun City offers excellent facilities and efficiently caters for the visiting families. You could also visit the Al Ain Ice Rink, a fantastic venue located just adjacent to the park. Boasting an Olympic sized facility, the rink offers an exciting skating experience along with plenty of games for children.
Al Ain is one of those cities in the United Arab Emirates that has a wealth of diverse tourist attractions. Those mentioned above are just a few of the places you simply cannot afford to miss. For more Al Ain attractions, watch out for the upcoming post.