About two hours east of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain is fed by natural springs and set among oases and plantations, garnering it the nickname ‘Garden City’. The birthplace of UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed was once a vital stop on the caravan route between Oman and the Gulf. Visitors flock to its forts, museums, zoo, Unesco sites and central date-palm oasis. A highlight is the drive up the mountain road snaking to the top of Jebel Hafeet, treating you to sweeping views of the arid splendour that is the Empty Quarter along the way.
The Lonely Planet of Middle East.
Known as the Garden City of the United Arab Emirates – on a day trip from Dubai. Enjoy the desert views as you journey toward the Hajar Mountains near the Oman border. Explore Al Ain Museum to uncover the city’s Bronze Age roots, visit the camel market and zoo, home to valued white tigers; and experience the hot springs and stunning views from Jebel Hafeet, the country’s highest peak.