Al Ain, also known as the ‘Garden City of the Arabian Gulf’, is an inland oasis city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is well-renowned for its archaeological sites, beautiful desert landscapes, and cultural attractions. This city by the Jebel Hafeet mountain range is famous for its wealth of historical sites that tell the story of Al Ain’s past. It is also home to some of the UAE’s most iconic attractions, including the Al Ain Oasis and Al Ain Grand Mosque.
The city offers a wide range of activities, from exploring ancient ruins to enjoying the natural beauty of the desert. Our list includes 14 top-rated attractions and things to do in Al Ain for an adventurous holiday. So explore the ‘Garden City of the Arabian Gulf’ with your family!
Things To Do In Al Ain – Top 14
Day Out With Kids at Al Ain Zoo
Al Ain Zoo is a popular attraction offering a unique experience to visitors of all ages. It houses more than 4,000 animals, making it one of the largest zoos in the world. Visitors can get up close and personal with exotic wildlife, enjoy shows featuring sea lions and explore educational exhibits.
Plus, experiencing a safari adventure or learning about conservation efforts from experts are other things to do in Al Ain Zoo.
Location: Nahyan al Awwal Street, Al Ain
Glimpses of Bedouin life at Al-Jahili Fort
Al-Jahili Fort is one of the most iconic landmarks in Al Ain, built in the late 19th century. It is a prime example of Emirati architecture and a great place to discover the history and culture of this region. Check out the photographs in the fort barracks by the British explorer Wilfred Thesiger, offering a glimpse into Bedouin life.
The fort has many activities for visitors, from sights of its picturesque courtyards and fascinating artefacts to its breathtaking views from the topmost tower.
Location: Sultan bin Zayed Street, Al Ain
Fun Day Out at Wadi Adventure Park
Wadi Adventure Park is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and experience nature. It is a popular attraction for families, groups, and individuals. Come and explore the natural wonders of this unique outdoor adventure park.
Choose from the many activities, including rafting, kayaking, hydro-zorbing, and rock climbing. The trails designed to provide a safe and fun environment for all ages are inviting. Alongside, visitors can enjoy and appreciate the beauty of the region.
Location: Hazza bin Sultan Street, Al Ain
Wander the compounds of the Al Ain Palace Museum
Al Ain Palace Museum was the former residence of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the first ruler of Abu Dhabi. Wander through the palace compounds, beautifully restored to reflect the beauty of the palace. Visitors can explore the museum’s collections of archaeological artefacts, ancient manuscripts and rare coins. View the royal artefacts and learn more about their history through interactive sessions.
Experience the splendour of Sheikh Zayed’s former residence and gain insight into the culture of Abu Dhabi. Visitors can also take a virtual tour of the palace and take photos of the beautiful grounds.
Location: Sultan bin Zayed I Street, Al Ain
Say Hello to the Camels in Al Ain
Al Ain’s Camel Market offers a wide selection of camels for sale or auction. Enjoy watching camel racing, seeing animals being groomed or taking a camel ride. It’s an opportunity to learn more about desert life, observe the unique way of trading, and experience the atmosphere of an authentic Arabian market.
Witness a vibrant atmosphere with vendors selling traditional Middle Eastern foods and crafts. Furthermore, there are a variety of shops selling souvenirs you can bring home.
Location: Zayed bin Sultan Street, Al Ain
Unwind in the Spring Pools at Green Mubazzarah Park
Located at the foot of Jebel Hafeet is Mubazzarah Park, known for its natural hot springs and lush green landscape. Dipping in the warm spring waters of the pools is a great way to relax and unwind. You can also enjoy the lush greenery of the park and its breathtaking views.
Partake in numerous activities, such as swimming in the hot springs, picnicking, bird watching, or simply relaxing amidst a tranquil environment. The park also has a variety of restaurants and cafes, making it a top-rated attraction in Al Ain.
Location: Off Hazza bin Sultan Street, Al Ain
Take the kids to Hili Fun City
Step out to Hili Fun City, an exciting thing to do in Al Ain with kids. There is an outdoor water park, a roller coaster, a mini golf course, and other attractions. There are more than 40 rides at the park, including an elevated sky-flyer. Most of the park’s rides are slower, such as dodgem cars and carousels suitable for all ages. Right next to the theme park is the Al Ain Ice Rink, a full-sized Olympic-style facility with both skating and plenty of activities for kids.
Location: Aroh al Jaw Street, Al Hili, Al Ain
Watch a Camel Racing Spectacle
The Emirate is well known for its popularity of traditional camel racing. The races are held throughout the year and are an exciting way to experience the region’s culture and traditions. The camel racing track is in Al Dahir, 16 kilometres southwest of the town centre.
Visitors are welcome to attend the races and cheer on their favourite camels. It’s an extraordinary experience, with the camels running at speeds of 40 km/hr and the handlers leading them with a combination of skill and custom.
Location: Zayed bin Sultan Street, Al Dahir
Enjoy the beauty of Al Ain Paradise Garden
The Central Public Garden, also called Al Ain Paradise Garden, is a lush oasis of beauty perfect for a peaceful day outdoors. Wander along the breathtaking blossoms and capture the beauty of around 10 million colourful flowers.
Walk along the avenue lined with countless hanging pots that lead to a 10m high Eiffel Tower-shaped flower display. Watching it in full illumination is a popular thing to do in Al Ain at night. Another highlight is the 7m tall pyramids of flowers. Spend precious family time amid flowery blooms and breathtaking landscapes.
Location: Zakhir – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Navigate through the Al Ain Oasis
The oasis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an incredible landscape full of lush green palms, pools and wildlife. Wander through the paths and explore the area, discovering its many hidden gems. You can find almost 100 varieties of date trees within the oasis and expansive palm plantations. Learn about the ancient irrigation system, called falaj, still used to irrigate the farm. The 3,000-year-old irrigation system makes this a fascinating place to visit.
Location: Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE, United Arab Emirates
Drive the Jebel Hafeet trail
Jebel Hafeet trail of 12 km is one of the most scenic drives in the United Arab Emirates. Offering stunning views of the Hajar Mountains, the winding roads of Jebel Hafeet are perfect for a leisurely drive. Enjoy the majestic views and the peace of the mountains while taking in the breathtaking scenery. As the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and the second highest in the UAE, Jebel Hafeet towers over the city at 1,249 metres. Driving to the top for stunning city views is a memorable experience.
Location: Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Seep into history at Al Ain National Museum
The museum features over 7,000 antiquities from before the Islamic era, houses, artefacts from the Stone Age and many local archaeological finds. There are two main sections – the ethnographic section and the anthropological section. Witness vibrant displays of ancient pottery and archaeological collections from throughout the region.
Check out the interactive exhibits for children on arts and crafts. From educational activities for students to engaging workshops, the National Museum offers plenty of things to do.
Location: Al Mutawaa – Al Ain – United Arab Emirates
Go back in time to Hili Archaeological Park
Discover ancient history and explore the evolution of civilisation at Hili Archaeological Park. See the remains of the Bronze Age city, among the top things to do in Al Ain for history buffs. Admire the reconstructed buildings and artefacts that have been preserved and uncovered. The Grand Tomb, a circular structure approximately 4 metres tall and 12 metres wide, is the highlight feature of this archaeological park. It dates back to 2000 BCE, the last resting place of many from the neighbouring settlements.
Location: Hili – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates
Shopping at Al Ain Mall
The Mall is among the biggest shopping centres in the UAE, boasting over 350 top-notch shops and 60 eateries serving local cuisine. There is a variety of entertainment, such as Kiddie Kruzzer or Play Town, offering fun times.
Remember to pick up a souvenir or two for memorabilia to take home. The mall is also connected to a 5-star hotel, offering guests a luxurious shopping experience. In addition, it is home to a large ice rink, a bowling alley, a go-kart track and several interactive gaming zones, making it an ideal spot for family fun.
Location: Othman Bin Affan St – Central District – Abu Dhabi – United Arab Emirates