The population of Al Ain is 650,000 people in 2013. Now (note: the article was published in 2017), the population is estimated at 720,000. It is the 4th largest city in the UAE after Dubai , Abu Dhabi and Sharjah .
Within the city limits it is legally forbidden to build buildings above 4 floors, there are several exceptions, but for such construction it is necessary to obtain a special permit.
Sale of alcohol in Al Ain is banned, except for five seats. These are the bars of the Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet, The Al-Ain Rotana, Danat Al-'Ain Resort, Hilton, Al Ain Equestrian Shooting & Golf Club. Public drinking and being drunk are punished according to the strictness of the laws of the UAE, read the details in our review " Laws of the Arab Emirates ".
The Russian tourists Al-Ain is popular as a sightseeing destination. Here arrange one-day excursions.
The program of this excursion includes: visiting Jebel Hafeet mountain, hot springs, zoo and fort Al-Jahili (in the photo next, click on the photo to enlarge). Dinner is provided.
Tourists are taken from the hotel to Dubai or Abu Dhabi at 7-8 in the morning and brought back to 18-20 pm. The price of such an excursion is from 90 to 120 US dollars.
Of course, such an excursion will not show half of everything interesting in Al Ain. To see the city fully and deeply feel its charm, you will have to go by yourself. It's easy to get there, the long-distance communication to the UAE is well established.
How to get there by yourself
The city of Al Ain has its own international airport Al Ain International Airport (code: AAN), but for tourists it is of no interest. Here planes land only from India, Pakistan and Egypt. This airport serves only to exchange the city's traveling labor force with the rest of the world.
Getting to Al Ain is the easiest way by bus.
From Abu Dhabi there is an X90 bus from Abu-Dhabi Bus Station. It departs every 30 minutes from 7:30 am to 2:30 am. Buses on routes "X" are equipped with air conditioning, comfortable seats and go filled by a third. Photo of this bus below, click on the photo to enlarge.
The journey takes about 2 hours. The fare is 25 UAE dirhams. You can see the current course in our article " Money in the UAE ".
From Dubai from the station AL Ghubaiba Bus Station mini-buses go. They depart every 40 minutes or an hour from 6:30 am to 22:30 pm. On the way - 1 hour 45 minutes, the fare is 25 dirhams.
Sharjah from Sharjah's Al Jubail Bus Station has a 117. It departs every 45 minutes from 7 am to 22-45 pm. On the way about 2 hours, the fare is 30 dirhams.
If you wish, you can also get a financial opportunity by taxi, the trip will cost 200-300 dirhams. About tariffs, see our review " Taxi in the UAE ".
The trip there and back will take about 4-5 hours. See all the interesting things in the city and its surroundings for the day just will not succeed. To fully enjoy all the entertainment in Al Ain, you will have to stop here at the hotel for a day or two.
Hotels in Al Ain
There are 18 hotels in total (state for 2017). Prices are low - from $ 50 to $ 130 per night. Local hotels are not suitable for tourists, but more for employees on business trips.
There are no luxury hotels here, only five: Hili Rayhaan by Rotana, Al Ain Rotana, Danat Al Ain Resort, Ayla Grand Hotel. Prices can be viewed using the form below.
For tourists are interesting entertainment and attractions. To understand the value of local parks, museums and excavations, it is useful to know the history of the city.
A bit of history
The settlement on the site of the city of Al Ain has existed for 4000 years, this fact is confirmed by excavations in the places of Al-Healy and at the foot of the mountain Jabel Hafit where ancient tombs were found. This area was known as the Buraimi Oasis.
There were no significant historical events until the 20th century here. In the 7th century, the local population adopted Islam, according to legend, Islam was brought here by Cab al-Akhbar.
Forts, which tourists are now watching in the city, were built in the late 19th century. They protected the oasis from raids and served as a support for the power of the emirs of Abu Dhabi. In the 40s, the famous British traveler Wilfried Theger was here, they met with Sheikh Zayd.
In 1952 an interesting event occurred. The armed group of Saudi Arabia captured the oasis of Al-Ain. The forces of Oman and Abu Dhabi, together with the British, recaptured the oasis back. These lands were a disputed territory, Oman and Abu Dhabi finally agreed on borders only in 1972, Al-Ain moved to Abu Dhabi, and neighboring Al-Buraimi to Oman.
In 1971, Al-Ain was visited by Queen Elizabeth II, she stayed at the Hilton. After the creation of the UAE in 1971, the city of Al Ain began to grow rapidly, and investment from Abu Dhabi flowed here.
In the 90's, the city of Al Ain became famous for its sad events. Here, in the area of As Sanaya, the uprisings of visiting workers broke out, the rebels had to be suppressed by the forces of the army and the police. All participants in the riots were detained and deported.