Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates is blessed with bountiful nature. Also known to be the birthplace of UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, the sprawling city is set amid date-palm plantations and fed by natural springs. Once an important stop between Oman and the Gulf, this city radiates with modern skyscrapers and natural wonders in equal measures. There are tons of UNESCO World Heritage sites to keep the history buff in you interested. When you are done exploring its cultural offerings, you can also explore family destinations like the zoo and Wadi Adventure water park. No matter where you go in the city, its dramatic setting overlooked by Jebel Hafeet is unmissable! If you are looking to get up and close with UAE’s local culture, then there are a variety of excursions that you can explore. If you want to know more about the things to do in Al Ain, UAE, then this article is the right place to start!
Al Ain Zoo is the closest you’ll get to more than 200 species of wildlife! If you want to beat the tourist rush, then consider buying pre-booked tickets to meet some of the most exotic animal species. From Arabian oryx to Barbary sheep, you will be amazed to see the rich fauna on your tour! You can not only enjoy this excursion with family members but also your friends. Don’t forget to sign up for an open-air safari to meet these beautiful creatures up close.
Skip the Line: Al Ain Zoo & Entry Ticket to Al Ain Wildlife Park & Resort
Duration 9 to 20 hours
2. Explore the wide variety of vegetation at Al Ain Oasis
The historic Al Ain Oasis is a UNESCO World Heritage site that sprawls across 3,000 acres (1214 hectares) and offers its visitors an exclusive insight into the region’s inhabitants who started working on the desert 4,000 years ago and made it into an incredible tourist spot as we know it today. More than 1,40,000 date palms line its shaded pathways and houses more than 100 different varieties of vegetation! Take a walk inside the oasis and acquaint yourself with this natural splendour carefully tended for thousands of years.
Al Ain Oasis
Address: Hessa bint Mohamed St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Al Ain Oasis
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
3. Witness the architectural beauty of Al Ain Palace
Al Ain Palace, also known as Qasr al-Ain is one of the most splendid forts of Abu Dhabi emirate. Want to see how the Emirati sheikhs live their everyday lives? Explore its sprawling museum that showcases the day-to-day life of Sheikh Zayed and his family that inhabited the palace before 1966. Designed in classic Bedouin-style architecture, the palace dates back to 1937 and was transformed into a museum only in 1998 and opened in 2001 for the public. It soon became a cultural attraction for locals and visitors alike, carefully preserving its rich history.
Al Ain Palace
Address: Hessa bint Mohamed St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 3pm - 7.30pm (closed on Mon)
4. Marvel at the scenic beauty of Lake Zakher
Lake Zakher is one of those man-made wonders that parallels the natural beauty of Al Ain. Located near the border with Oman, it was created from the wastewater released on the land, increasing the groundwater levels, resulting in a lake. This the best place to witness the beautiful combination of lake, desert, and mountains. Its tranquil scenic view will leave you spellbound for hours that you spend there!
Address: Abu Dhabi, Al Ain Truck Rd, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
5. Visit Al Jahili Fort to witness the architectural splendor
Al Jahili Fort is a massive structure and is known to be one of the largest forts in the United Arab Emirates. It was built in the late 19th century by Sheikh Zayed as a royal summer residence and also as a symbol of his power. The fort opened its gates to the general public in 2008 to display the culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi. Al Jahili Fort is one of the finest examples of architectural excellence in the UAE and a must-visit place on your trip.
Al Jahili Fort
Address: Sultan Bin Zayed Al Awwal St، Al Mutawaa، Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sat - Sun: 9am - 5pm; Fri: 3pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 0.5 USD onwards
6. Check out the vintage car collection at Alain Classic Cars Museum
The Al Ain Classic Car Museum is one of a kind in the UAE. Dedicated to the finest displays of classic cars in the city, this museum combines the history and style to showcase the evolution of transportation in UAE. If you are a vintage car fanatic, then this place will certainly leave you mesmerized. The museum was established in 2009 and since then has become a rage for locals as well as tourists for its robust collection of antiquities. Sprawled across two levels, the museum displays more than 30 cars!
Alain Classic Cars Museum
Address: Ain Al Faida Complex, Near One To One, Al Ain City - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Alain Classic Cars Museum
Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 9am - 6pm; Fri: 4pm - 6pm
Price: 2 USD onwards
7. Explore the ancient history of Al Ain at Hili Archaeological Park
Located just outside the city of Al Ain, the Hili Archaeological Gardens is a combination of a public garden and an archaeological site. This place is very popular amongst tourists for its ancient monuments and easy access for visitors. One of the best things you will witness in this park is the Hili Grand Tomb that goes as far back as 2000 BCE. Back in the day, the tomb was used as a burial ground for locals from the nearby settlements. Additionally, there are many Bronze Age forts within the park that gives you an interesting look into the culture and history of the region. Don’t forget to visit Al Ain National Museum located inside the park. Your kids will especially enjoy playing in the sprawling garden dotted with fountains.
Hili Archaeological Park
Address: Near Al Ain National Museum Near Dubai Highway - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 9.30am - 6.30pm (daily)
8. Spend a day outdoors at Towayya Park
Towayya Park in Al Ain is a sprawling garden with neatly manicured lawns and aesthetic landscape. After you have explored the sights and scenes of the city, you can find a quiet spot in the lush gardens where you can rest your tired feet and your kids can indulge in fun. It is also a good place for a picnic! Pack a lunch, grab a few games, and spend some quality time with your family while enjoying the outdoors.
Address: Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
9. Enjoy first man-made whitewater rafting at Wadi Adventure
Wadi Adventure is the first-of-its-kind water park that offers fun outdoor activities such as kayaking, surfing, and whitewater rafting. There is no other place in UAE that provides this facility! When you are done playing in the water, you can also indulge in some aerial fun with zip-lining, rock climbing, airpark etc. Located at the base of Jebel Hafeet Mountain, you not only get to enjoy all the fun activities but also beautiful landscapes. ,
Address: Ain Al Fayda Resort, Near Green Mubazzarah, Jebel Hafeet
Website: Wadi Adventure
Opening hours: 11am - 7pm (daily)
Price: 13.5 USD
10. Feel the throbbing heart at Al Ain Raceway
Al Ain Raceway is Arabia’s largest go-tracking track. So, if you are feeling particularly adventurous today, then you need to hit these race tracks! Drivers of all abilities will feel the adrenaline rush as they indulge in some go-karting fun on these distinctive tracks. Just try a few speedy rounds or hone your skills with some of the finest rental karts at your disposal!
Al Ain Raceway
Address: Khatam Al Shiklah Street, Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Al Ain Raceway
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 2pm - 9pm; Sat: 10am - 6pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 32 USD
11. Engage in family fun at Hili Fun City
Hili Fun City is one of the best amusement parks in the UAE. However, don’t be fooled by its name because it is suitable for all age groups! You come here with your family or friends and spend an entire day inside the park be spoilt for choice with a wide range of activities. This flagship entertainment park boasts 28 attractions that can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. There is also a family show amphitheatre that you can all enjoy as a family. Even though the park first opened in 1985, it was recently renovated to add more rides and activities.
Hili Fun City
Address: Ardh Al Jaw St., Near Hili Wedding Hall - Abu Dhabi Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Website: Hili Fun City
Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 4pm - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 12pm - 10pm (closed on Sun)
Price: 14 USD
12. Organise a picnic at Green Mubazzarah Lake
Green Mubazzarah Lake is a natural treasure that completes the picturesque landscape of Jebel Hafeet Mountain. The lake surrounding the area is perfect for some quiet time in the evening. The park also features a barbeque area where you can cook your own meat as you enjoy the beautiful sunset. It is a popular picnic spot in Al Ain and you have to visit to see why! Many locals recommend visiting the lake for its lush and picturesque setting. The lake and park area is so huge that you can easily spend an entire day here, exploring every inch of it. Don’t forget to check out the hot springs!
Green Mubazzarah Lake
Address: Below Jabel Hafeet Mountain, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
13. Learn the history of Sheikh Khalifa at Qasr Al Muwaiji
Qasr al Muwaiji is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a massive structure that is at least a century old! It was built in the early 20th century by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa that functioned as the place of rule for many years. This architectural gem is a historical and cultural masterpiece that is open for the public, offering its visitors a close look into the culture of the UAE. The visitors will not only learn about the history of this fort through oral narrations, but will also get to know more about Sheikh Khalifa’s life, his childhood, and his achievements as a great leader.
Qasr Al Muwaiji
Address: Khalifa Bin Zayed St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Qasr Al Muwaiji
Opening hours: Tue - Thu & Sat: 9am - 7pm; Fri: 3pm - 7pm (closed on Mon)
14. Swing by the historic Mubazzarah Dam
Mubazzarah Dam is located inside the Green Mubazzarah park sitting idly at the base of Jebel Hafeet. The park was the last project of Sheikh Zayed, which also makes it a special one for its countrymen. The dam was built in 1955 and is often considered the oldest water installation in the history of Abu Dhabi. It was restored to its original splendor in 2005 by the government and opened for public viewing. Since then, it has become a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the dam and the nearby areas.
Address: Foothills of Jebel Hafit in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, the UAE
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
15. Unleash your artistic side at Al Qattara Arts Centre
Al Qattara Arts Centre plays a monumental role in sharing Al Ain’s cultural scene. Here you can come not only to see art but also create it. Established in 2011, this place is an epicentre of art and culture where it is practised and studied by the local people. But for travellers, they can visit the heritage studios and art exhibits to get an inside view of the country’s culture. What’s more? You can also check out their Dry Studio classroom, which is specifically designed to teach music and handicrafts. Wet Studios, on the other hand, teaches pottery, drawing, painting, etc. Refashioned from the Bin ʿAti Al-Darmaki House, the traditional mud house, the centre is designed in such a way that it blends with the historic buildings around it.
Al Qattara Arts Centre
Address: Near Al Qattara Oasis and the Friday market
Opening hours: Sat - Thu: 8am - 8pm (closed on Fri)
16. Watch bartering of camels at Al Ain Camel Market
Al Ain is famous for its camel markets that give you an opportunity to experience their local culture up close. These camels hold a special place in the Emirati culture and it is one of the best ways to see how the trading happens. Located at a short distance from downtown Al Ain, this popular market is a striking contrast from the glamorous city. The trading starts in the morning and goes on all day. Tourists can not only watch the bartering of young Arabian camels, but can also be a part of mock races, take pictures with them, and watch the people do some serious haggling! Some traders may even give you a tour for a nominal fee.
Al Ain Camel Market
Address: Cattle Market, Zayed Bin Sultan Road, Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 6am - 7pm (daily)
Price: 8 USD
17. Be part of the ultimate shopping experience at Al Ain Mall
Shop till you drop at the sprawling Al Ain Mall that houses more than 175 international brands that sell everything from perfumes to clothing. Be sure to set aside a day to explore this mall that offers not just retail but also entertainment opportunities. When you are tired of shopping, you can also check out the wide range of restaurants located inside the mall. It is also the only mall in the city to be named after the Al Ain city. Its close proximity from the downtown makes it easier for the patrons to access the mall.
Al Ain Mall
Address: Othman Bin Affan St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Al Ain Mall
Opening hours: Sat - Wed: 10am - 10pm; Thu - Fri: 10am - 12am
Price: Free entry
18. Enjoy a game of football at Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
The Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium is located in Al Ain City. It was opened in 2014 and is home to Al Ain FC, UAE Pro League. This 25,000-seater stadium showcases a fascinating architecture and is also the tallest building in the city, making it one of the most recognizable landmarks. The iconic state-of-the-art design of the outer façade is inspired from a palm tree trunk which is an important part of UAE’s culture and heritage.
Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
Address: Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Website: Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium
19. Soak in the ambience that Al Fanar Restaurant & Café offers
Al Fanar Restaurant & Café is a popular, traditional-style restaurant that everyone in Al Ain recommends, from ex-pats to locals to travellers! If you want to have the real taste of Emirati cuisine, then be prepared to be amazed! You can not only enjoy lip-smacking cuisine here but also enjoy the museum-like ambience. Check out the walls adorned with photos from the National Archives or simply enjoy your meal in the courtyard. It is the perfect dining place for friends and family. You can also book private cubicles if you want some privacy.
Al Fanar Restaurant & Café
Address: Souq Al Zafarana, next to Al Khabisi Wedding Hall – Al Jimi، Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Al Fanar Restaurant & Café
Opening hours: 9am - 11pm (daily)
Price: 50 USD
20. Get a taste of Al Ain's nightlife at McGettigan's
McGettigan’s in Al Ain is the ideal place for you to enjoy some good food, drinks, and live entertainment options. The open-air balcony in the restaurant is perfect for cool desert weather where the evenings become pleasant and enjoyable. Want to spend an evening drinking beer with your buddies? The spacious garden area is perfect for a post-work drink or game night. It is also a popular place for tourists who like to indulge in some Emirati nightlife scene. You will especially enjoy the friendly atmosphere and courteous staff who will make your experience even more memorable.
Address: Bonnington Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Cluster J, Dubai
Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 12pm - 2am; Sat - Tue: 12pm - 1am
21. Dance the night away at Moodz
Moodz Lounge Bar in Al Ain is a fun hangout party place that offers poolside seating and light refreshments. If you are looking to party in the city, then this is the perfect place to be. You can come in at any time and experience unique themed parties and dance till you drop! What’s more? Women enjoy free entry on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Looking for some entertainment in the city? If the answer is yes, then this place will not disappoint you. So, put on your dancing shoes and get ready to dance the night away!
Address: Al Ain Rotana, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 7pm - 3am (closed on Sun & Mon)
22. Try golfing at Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club
Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting, and Golf Club offer you the best golfing opportunity in the UAE. This social hub is for everyone, be it a novice or an expert. The 9-hole course and 18-hole course are both well lit by floodlights, making it possible for its patrons to indulge in a game after sunset. You will especially enjoy the picturesque setting and state-of-the-art golf course that offers various difficulty levels. Don’t feel disheartened by the weather of the Middle East! The winters are perfect and the summer is dry. With fantastic practice facilities, courteous staff, and golf buggy included in the green fee, you certainly get the best value for your money!
Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club
Address: Tawam St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 6am - 9pm (daily)
Price: 70 USD onwards
23. Take your kids bowling at Bowling City
Bowling City is the best and the most sought-after entertainment option in the country! Located in Al Ain Mall, don’t forget to add bowling fun to your shopping trip when you are in the city. But don’t be fooled by its name because even though it is called Bowling City, you can also find other games as well that include billiards, electronic gaming etc. First-of-its-kind indoor entertainment centre, it also features an Italian themed restaurant for the guests to indulge in a unique menu selection. You can get all these activities and more under one roof, making it a one-stop-shop for all indoor fun!
Address: Al Ain Mall, Near Grand Cinema, Othman Bin Affan St. - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Bowling City
Opening hours: 10am - 1am (daily)
24. Catch your favorite movies at Oscar Cinema, Al Foah Mall
Oscar Cinema located in Al Foah Mall is one of the best places to enjoy some great movies. The plush seats, clean ambience, affordable prices, and friendly services make it a fun experience for everyone. You will especially enjoy the exhaustive food collection at the cinema hall. Its easy accessibility means you can catch your favourite movies at a moment’s notice! What’s more? Order your snacks at your seat! They take your ticket stub and deliver your snacks to you. Their service and facilities are truly the best!
Address: Al Foah Mall, Al Ain-Dubai Road (E 66 Road),Al Ain - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Oscar Cinema
Price: 4 USD onwards
25. Have a relaxing session at Zen the Spa
Relax your tired muscles and sore feet after a day’s exploration at Al Ain. Zen the Spa is the perfect place for relaxation. Book a one-hour treatment and get pampered by professional masseuse who will massage all the tiredness away from your body. There is a wide range of treatments available for the guests to choose from. From body scrubs to body wraps to a rejuvenating massage, you can take your pick!
Zen the Spa
Address: 137th St - Abu Dhabi - United Arab Emirates
Website: Zen the Spa
Opening hours: 9am - 10pm (daily)
Price: 55 USD onwards
Something for everyone at Al Ain
Al Ain is one of the most culturally rich cities in the UAE. With a wide range of activities suitable for all ages, you can literally plan the best and the most memorable family vacation here. If you are struggling to make an itinerary for your stay, then you can check out these things to do in Al Ain, UAE, that will help you plan your trip perfectly!
Get Trip101 in your inbox
You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101
*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.