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An Oasis of Learning


No trip is complete without a visit to Al Ain Oasis, so here’s Yalla’s primer on what you can learn at Al Ain Oasis.

Al Ain is the UAE’s most well-preserved historic city and with good standing, thanks to the archaeological finds that can be dated back thousands of years. It is also the original home to the country’s founding Father Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan al Nahyan.

 

Al Ain Oasis

Al Ain Oasis is one of seven oases in the city but the largest and most significant.  It is the UAE’s first UNESCO site and includes over 100 species of trees. Spread over 1200 hectares in the centre of Al Ain, it is a place to come to seek shelter from the heat of the day. The highlight is exploring the 3000-year-old falaj irrigation system—an interesting example of an early irrigation with its grid of waterways used for channeling fresh clean water from off the mountains and into the oasis.

Save the Date

Occupying nearly 3,000 acres of central Al Ain, this quiet park is best known for its date palms — nearly 150,000 of them. The towering trees are part of the numerous plantations (some privately owned) that still help supply Abu Dhabi city with the popular regional snack and gift.

Early Agriculture

The West Gate Exhibition takes visitors on a step-by-step guide of the irrigation system, or ‘falaj” in Arabic, demonstrating how precious desert water is sustained throughout the oasis. Three falaj systems have been in use for more than 3,000 years, and this is one of the oldest systems to have been discovered in the UAE. The ‘falaj’ system is still used today to water the ubiquitous date palm, mango, orange, banana, and fig trees at the site and in the neighbouring farms. Keep your eyes peeled for the remains of an old mosque and, with your camera, try to capture the contrast between the verdant oasis and the dry desert.

Eco Centre

If you’d like a complete history of the area and its formation, which dates back to the Stone and Bronze Ages, the Eco Centre is the place to start before you head into the main oasis area. With its central cladding that mimics interlocking palm branches and its use of eco-friendly materials, the Eco Centre pays homage to the palm canopy of the oasis.

Fuel Up

The Al Ain Oasis Plaza includes restaurants and shops. You will also find the miniature Oasis which is an interactive display breaking down the workings of the oasis.

 

Free entry. Click here for timings and general information

To learn more about Al Ain, click here.

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