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Al Ain

(3.9/5 based on 3,600+ reviews for top 20 attractions)
Things to do: nature, wildlife areas, museums

The garden city

If you need a break from the U.A.E's two mega-cities, take a trip to Al Ain, a refreshing oasis of green amid the harsh desert. In fact, the city is literally constructed on oases--seven of them--designed using the ancient "falaj" irrigation method that makes use of water from boreholes. Constantly inhabited for more than 4,000 years, the city brims with a rich history and striking Middle Eastern architecture. Many visitors also come to escape the oppressive humidity of the coastal cities. Located inland on the border with Oman and less that two hours' drive from both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Al Ain serves as an easily accessible window into authentic Arabic culture. Make your own Al Ain vacation itinerary, with a little help from those that know the place like the back of their hands, by using our United Arab Emirates vacation builder.
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Where to stay

While Al Ain doesn't offer much in the way of true budget accommodations, many of its mid-range and luxury hotels are surprisingly good value. You'll find most hotels in the narrow streets of the old town, as well as some larger resorts around the fringes. Several of the city's hotels have swimming pools, which could provide welcome relief from the blistering heat. You can buy alcohol--heavily restricted throughout the U.A.E--at a few of the large hotels in Al Ain, including the Hilton and the Mercure Grand.
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