Things to do in Al Ain
Al Ain, known as the Garden City of the Gulf, has plenty of interesting things for the tourist to do. Apart from sightseeing sessions of old forts and museums, one can also visit the beautiful gardens of this city. There is a Go-Kart track as well for those interested in trying their hand at this thrilling race activity.
Al Ain National Museum
Get to know the history of this region by visiting the Al Ain National Museum. There are important artifacts of the region besides the reconstructions of traditional majilis and erstwhile life in this museum. You can see the extensive collection of gifts received by the President from visiting heads of state. The museum houses a reconstruction of the Grand Hili tomb and displays its rock engravings. History and culture buffs will enjoy a visit to this museum.
When you are in Al Ain, you should take in some of the forts in the area. There are ruined forts as well as restored ones here with interesting frescos. The large Jahili Fort was restored recently. It is located in its own grounds and is close to the public garden. Other must visit forts are the Mujairib Fort and the Al Muwaiji Fort.
Hili Archaeological Site
Another visual treat for history buffs is the Hili archeological site. There are many artifacts here. The archeological excavations in this area throw light on old settlements – some of them dating back to the Bronze Age. Plan on spending time in the beautiful garden at the site as well. Apart from Bronze Age sites there, are Iron Age sites as well. Brush up on your history of this place before you visit this site.
Jebel Hafeet is a 1,340-meter high mountain that dominates the surrounding area. A visit to the base of this mountain to taste the mineral springs of the area should be part of your itinerary. After partaking of the spring waters, drive up to the top of the mountain to watch the sunset. Take a camera along and capture the magic of the enchanting sand dunes of the area.
Al Ain Oasis
The Al Ain Oasis is bang in the middle of the city. It is surrounded by a cool garden and offers a respite from the heat of the summer sun. There are other oases and gardens spread around the city that one can visit as well.
Take a break from Arab culture and spend some time at Al Ain’s international standard Go-Kart court. The Al Ain Raceway, which hosted the 2007 Rotax Max World Karting Finals, now caters to the general public.Heritage Village
Another must do activity is a visit to the Heritage Village that brings alive the traditional Bedouin lifestyle and culture. Have a look at the courtyard homes, rudimentary irrigation systems followed by depictions of natives and the compact tents they used. Make sure you visit the workshop at the center and see for yourself how master craftsmen toil hard to produce the beautiful wares of their trade. Take time to visit the folk art museum that showcases great works of art from the region.
January 19, 2010
by sequoia maner