Al Ain Oasis is the perfect place to experience what life was like in the UAE thousands of years ago. Al Ain is known as the garden city and the oasis is its most beguiling attraction.
Farmers have been cultivating this part of the Rub al Khali desert for 4,000 years and the same irrigation system is still used to this day.
Discover another world under a canopy of 147,000 date palms made up of 100 different varieties. They are accompanied by fruit trees, including mango, banana and fig.
Learn about Al Ain Oasis’ history through the interactive displays and explore on foot, horseback or by bike to discover its secrets.
Families looking to get involved with interesting, interactive displays and lovers of green space and spending time surrounded by nature.
Seeing the dappled light shining through the trees, experiencing Abu Dhabi’s great outdoors and learning about vital farming traditions.
Follow the ancient channels that make up the falaj system of irrigation, which has been keeping the Al Ain Oasis watered for millennia. These channels are blocked and opened to direct the water to where it is needed throughout the complex.
It has travelled to the oasis over many miles via above and below ground aqueducts from the direction of the Hajar Mountains and Jebel Hafeet. It’s astonishing to think this intricate system has remained unchanged, and truly effective, for thousands of years.
Enter through Al Ain Oasis Abu Dhabi’s West Gate and you’ll come across the Eco Centre. This information hub provides fascinating context for the entire site. It is equipped with a number of interactive exhibits that will appeal to young children as well as adults.
The multiscreen documentary explaining the history of Al Ain Oasis has been designed to engage the whole family. The technological approach brings it to life for the younger generation.
Al Ain Oasis has been recognised by the UN for its incredible biodiversity and cultural heritage. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011 and has so much insight to impart to visitors.
Learn how generations of farmers have managed to thrive in Al Ain and what they can teach the rest of the world about agriculture. With more than 100 different varieties of date palms alone, the oasis is a haven of diverse plant life.
Located at the eastern edge of Al Ain Oasis is a historic fort, which was built by Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed in 1910. He was a prominent member of the Al Nahyan family and went on to rule Abu Dhabi.
The Eastern Fort was defended by distinctive corner towers and housed opulent reception rooms. Wheat and dates from the nearby palms were kept in expansive store rooms and used to feed guests.
Looking at the Al Ain Oasis map you’ll see it stretches out over 1,200 hectares. This opens up the potential to explore via an alternative mode of transport. At the West Gate, you can hire bikes or buggies to cover more ground in comfort.
During the UAE’s winter, horse and pony rides become available, for a relaxing way to see the oasis at a pace that mimics the rhythms of nature.
Al Ain Oasis’ location is just a four-minute drive from Al Ain City and around 90 minutes by car from the centre of Abu Dhabi.
The route from Abu Dhabi Corniche to Al Ain Oasis is a fairly direct way to travel. Heading inland it is driven almost entirely on the E22 road. Simply follow the signposts to Al Ain for most of the way until they become signs for Al Ain Oasis.
To travel to Al Ain Oasis from Yas Island, take the E11 road to the roundabout where it joins with the E22. From here it is very straightforward, as this road goes all the way to Al Ain. Once in the city, take Sayed Bin Sultan Street and look out for signposts.
Getting from Saadiyat Island to Al Ain Oasis means starting on the E12 road, before turning onto the E11 at the Al Reef roundabout. After a short while, another roundabout will bring you onto the E22, which goes all the way to Al Ain.
There is plenty of free parking at either end of the Al Ain Oasis complex.
Al Ain Oasis enjoys plenty of shade, however it still gets warm under the Abu Dhabi sun, so wear light, loose clothing, a hat and top up sun cream regularly.
A small kiosk inside the oasis offers soft drinks and snacks to visitors. Be sure to stock up on bottled water.
The wide, paved paths of the Al Ain Oasis make it accessible for travellers who use wheelchairs or use a walking stick.
Al Ain Oasis is open from 9am until 5pm every day of the week. It is recommended that you give yourself at least an hour or two to look around. Dedicating a whole morning or afternoon will mean you can take in all the attractions and exhibits without having to rush.
It is free to enter the oasis and you will be given a complimentary Al Ain Oasis map to help you find your way. Hiring a bike, buggy or a horse or pony will cost extra.
9am to 11am is a good time to visit Al Ain Oasis. This is before the sun gets to its hottest and before the majority of visitors arrive.
Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the busiest days of the week at Al Ain Oasis. As a fairly large, outdoor site, it never feels too busy, but Monday and Sunday are the quietest days.
Take in stunning views of Al Ain from the top of Jebel Hafeet. This mountain is particularly majestic at sunrise and sunset.
From white water rafting to ziplining, there’s plenty to get the adrenaline pumping at this action-packed park.
Experience more elements of Emirati culture at this traditional oasis village, complete with age-old handicrafts.
Farmers have been bringing life to the desert at Al Ain Oasis for more than four millennia.
There are two falaj systems at Al Ain Oasis – Al Aini and Dawood.
Each individual plot of land at Al Ain Oasis is separated by historic boundary walls.
Al Ain Oasis was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site certified in the UAE.
As iconic to Abu Dhabi as the date palms, sand dunes offer the most spellbinding backdrop to your adventures on a desert safari.
Home to the Al Nahyan family in the 1790s, this watchtower is an important landmark in the history of the UAE.
Take on the world’s tallest indoor skydiving flight chamber or summit the highest climbing wall on earth.
All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi