Al Ain is one of the most beautiful spots in the UAE and for good reason. This emirate has the Green Mubazzarah and the Jebel Hafeet mountains, making it the perfect destination for nature lovers who want a break from the city. You can easily get a car rental in Dubai and drive down to Al Ain in under 7 hours for a fun weekend of camping, picnicking and hiking. Here are some places you can visit to unwind and take in the beauty of Al Ain:
1) The Road to Jebel Hafeet
The Jebel Hafeet mountains are an astounding sight. You can choose to hike up the mountains if you’re in the mood, though the drive up is equally spectacular. The road winds and curves up the mountains, with incredible vistas on either side. On a clear day, you can easily see all of Al Ain from the view point, so make sure to check the weather report before you head up there. The viewing point also has a restaurant and bar where you can relax, as well as a playground for the little ones.
2) Green Mubazzarah
Located just below Jebel Hafeet is the Green Mubazzarah Park. Formed around a natural oasis, the park also has natural hot springs with separate bathing areas for men and women. It’s a great spot for a picnic with the family as there is a playground and a small dam reservoir for boating. You can take a packed lunch, spread out the picnic blankets and relax as you enjoy a day in peace with your loved ones.
3) Al Jahili Fort
The Al Jahili Fort is a breath-taking structure constructed by Sheikh Zayed in 1898. It is one of the best preserved and well-maintained forts in the UAE. The fort also contains a photo exhibition of the British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger- the first person to cross the Empty Quarter Desert. The best part? There is no entrance charge!
4) Al Qattara Oasis
Before the development boom in the ’70s, this part of the country was more famous for its two oases and the plentiful date palms that grow here. You can visit Al Qattara Oasis for a look at the local way of life which still revolves around the oasis. The green surroundings of the oasis are a welcome break from the heat of the desert. You can recline and relax in the shade of the date palms that are still plentiful here.
5) The Camel Market
See the old traditions of the Arab way of life in its most vibrant form at the Camel Market in Al Ain. Arabs have traded camels for centuries, and the camel market is part of that tradition and culture. Built in the traditional style, the camel market is certainly an interesting sight for visitors. You can also take photos with the camels for a small price while you observe the haggling and bargaining of the determined buyers and sellers.