Theme Week Abu Dhabi – Al Ain

Monday, 8 May 2017 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Oasis of Green Mubazarrah © Shahinmusthafa Shahin Olakara/cc-by-sa-3.0

Oasis of Green Mubazarrah © Shahinmusthafa Shahin Olakara/cc-by-sa-3.0

Al Ain (literally The Spring), also known as the Garden City of The Gulf given the many oases, parks, tree-lined avenues and decorative roundabouts within the city. Strict height controls on new buildings, to no more than four floors, emphasise the greenery of the city, is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 650,000 (2013), it is located approximately 160 kilometres (99 mi) east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about 120 kilometres (75 mi) south of Dubai. Al-Ain is the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates, and has the highest proportion of Emirati nationals (30.8%). Al-Ain is located in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, inland on the border with Oman. Jebel Hafeet (Hafeet mountain) is considered one of the monuments of Al-Ain, lying just to the southeast and rising to 1,300 m in elevation. Sand dunes of varying texture that are tinged red with iron oxide lie to the north and east of Al-Ain. The freeways connecting Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the other two. The cultural sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas) are UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2011.

Al-Ain is developing as a tourist destination. The dry desert air makes it a welcome retreat from the coastal humidity of the larger cities. Many Emirati nationals in Abu Dhabi have holiday houses in the city making it a popular weekend destination for families from the capital city. Its attractions include the Al Ain National Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum, several restored forts and the Hili Archaeological Park site, dating back to the Bronze Age. Jebel Hafeet, a 1340-metre-high mountain, dominates the surrounding area. It is popular to visit to the mineral springs at the base and to drive to the mountaintop at sunset. Other attractions include the Al Ain Oasis in the city centre, other oases dotted around the area — all cool retreats in the middle of the summer heat — Al Ain Zoo, an amusement park named “Hili Fun City”, many well-maintained parks popular with families in the summer evenings, and a heritage village. Opened in 2012, Wadi Adventure is located near Jebel Hafeet and provides a range of water-based activities including surfing, kayaking and rafting.

Al Ain with the road to Jebel Hafeet © Nepenthes/cc-by-sa-3.0 Central Al Ain © Mwendeleo/cc-by-sa-4.0 Oasis of Al Ain © Nepenthes/cc-by-sa-3.0 Oasis of Green Mubazarrah © Shahinmusthafa Shahin Olakara/cc-by-sa-3.0 Oasis of Green Mubazarrah © Nepenthes/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Oasis of Green Mubazarrah © Shahinmusthafa Shahin Olakara/cc-by-sa-3.0
Al-Ain has three major malls — Al Ain Mall in the town centre, Al-Jimi Mall in the Al-Jimi district, and Bawadi Mall located in the Al-Khrair District. Most commercial activity is centred in and around town centre. Another popular pastime for Emiratis and expatriates alike is spending time in coffee shops and shisha cafes. There are many Café’s in Al-Ain, ranging in size and quality. Al-Ain also has an International standard go-kart circuit. Al-Ain Raceway was selected to host the 2007 Rotax Max World Karting Finals, an event which saw 220 drivers from over 55 different countries compete for the Karting world title. Al-Ain Raceway opened to the general public in May 2008 and proves a popular activity for local Emiratis and tourists alike. It was announced in late 2010 that the 2011 Rotax Max World Karting Finals will be held at Al-Ain Raceway, this will bring nearly 1000 tourists to the small garden city.

Like the rest of the UAE, Al-Ain has strict laws governing the consumption and distribution of alcohol. Five facilities in the city currently serve alcohol, Four of which are hotels. The Al-Ain Rotana, Hilton, Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet and Danat Al-Ain Resort, hotels all have pubs, bars, or night clubs. In addition to the hotels, the Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club in Al-Maqam also serves alcohol.

Read more on Al Ain, VisitAbuDhabi.ae – Al Ain, unesco.org – Cultural Sites of Al Ain (Hafit, Hili, Bidaa Bint Saud and Oases Areas), Al Ain Mall, Wikivoyage Al Ain and Wikipedia Al Ain (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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