Al Ain Oasis, is also a must visit if you have some time on your hands. Offering a reprieve from the sun, you can take leisurely walks on footpaths that are fringed by date palm plantations. These palm groves are still fed by water channels using the traditional falaj irrigation system, that has been in use in the UAE for nearly 3,000 years.Stay
Go museum hopping in Al Ain. Start with the Al Ain National Museum. Housed in a fort, this is no ordinary museum. The museum's ethnographic section has on exhibit beautifully reconstructed majlis (a traditional place of sitting). It also holds on display a variety of Bedouin jewellery and traditional garments. These items have been curated for the exhibit in order to recreate items from the daily lives of the natives. Next up is the Al Ain Palace Museum that was the former residence of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan and his family, who went on to become the first ruler of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
Al Ain Palace Museum is the former residence of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan, the first ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The palace has been restored to its former glory and has beautiful interiors. The information inside is mostly in Arabic but the decor is worth admiring. The palace is divided into private, guest and official quarters by courtyards and landscaped with cacti, magnolia trees and palms. You can see the Sheikh's meeting room, take a tour of the huge kitchen and also see the master bedroom of the Sheikh and his wife.
Al Ain Oasis features a full programme of curated activities and exhibitions following its opening to the public as part of the UAE’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. The expansive palm plantations and the 3,000-year-old irrigation system make this an intriguing visit. It is a partially functioning date farm and home to almost 100 varieties of date trees. An ancient irrigation system, named falaj, is still used to irrigate the farm and other plants inside the oasis. There is a dedicated Al Ain Oasis Map that can be downloaded on your own and used to navigate through the public access areas.
Al-Jahili Fort was built as a defensive feature to protect the city from the invaders. It is one of the largest forts in Al-Ain and a class example of military architecture. Today, however, this fort has been restored and has become one of Al Ain's major points of interest. The north wing of the fort houses a permanent exhibition by British traveller and photographer Wilfred Thesiger, documenting his time spent in the desert in the 1940's. The west wing is used as a temporary exhibition centre and the east wing houses an information centre and a bookshop with books on the history and life of different emirates of the UAE.