A Day in Al Ain
Al Ain, Hilli Archaeological Park, camel market, lunch at the Inter Continental Hotel, Al Ain Museum and a visit to Al Ain Oasis.
DurationApproximately 8-8 1/2 hours
Al Ain – Arabic for “the spring.” Quite fitting, then, to be the name of this desert oasis in the eastern section of Abu Dhabi, near the Oman border. The hardscrabble terrain out here leads to abundant groundwater springs – a welcome stopover back in the day when nomadic caravans traveled between the United Arab Emirates and Oman through the arid landscape. Explore Al Ain on this full-day excursion and you may discover past and present are not so far apart after all.
From the pier in Abu Dhabi, you will board a luxury motor coach and proceed eastward to the garden city of Al Ain, about 100 miles. Your first stop is the Hilli Archaeological Park, where tombs date back an astounding 5,000 years to the Umm Al Nar period, so called for the geographic region where a Dutch archaeologist was the first to make the discovery.
Your next stop is a market quite unlike any you have visited before: a camel market. Unique to this region, camels are traded daily here, a commodity that has plenty of room for negotiation. Enjoy the show.
Lunch is served buffet-style at the Inter Continental Hotel, a beautiful property in a lush garden setting so prevalent throughout this city.
It’s then on to the Al Ain Museum, inspired by Sheikh Zayed, beloved leader and first president of the UAE. Zayed spent part of his childhood here, and was instrumental in getting the museum off the ground, believing “a country with no past has no present or future.” Filled with exhibits categorized as archaeological or ethnographic, the museum houses numerous significant findings of this recently established country in an ancient, historic land.
Finally, you will take another step into the past, this time through lush palm trees to a truly enchanting oasis. Marvel at the demonstration of falaj – the ancient irrigation system depended upon by so many, so long ago.
Before you know it, it will be time to re-board your coach and return to Abu Dhabi and your luxurious Crystal ship. The beauty and intrigue of the garden city of Al Ain is yours to keep.
Important Notes: It is recommended that guests wear flat, comfortable shoes. The order of sights visited may vary.