The weekend is here and the weather is perfect.
Yes, it’s foggy and yes it can get cold if you ahead away from the cities but we think you should be embracing it and getting out there before the heat of summer is on us once again.
Let’s face it, there is nothing better than packing your bags, hitting the road and heading to the great outdoors to bond with family.
And the beauty of this particular trip is that it is not too far yet also a world away, where nature and education meld at an oasis whose history stretches back 4,500 years.
The place we are talking about is Al Ain of course, a city nestled under Jebel Hafeet and one that is filled with surprise and wonder.
To get the best out of your time there, we ask local tour guide Amal Al Dhaheri to share her recommendations.
And if you do decide to stop over, there are numerous hotels that you can stay in during your visit. However,
Yalla recommends the Al Ain Rotana for its proximity to everything.
If it is just a daytrip then there are three great sites you can visit – Al Ain Oasis, Al Ain Palace museum, Al Jahili Fort.
Since they are close to each other, it should not take more than four hours to see them all.
You will work up an appetite so you may wish to lunch at Al Fanar restaurant (03 766 5200 – open seven days a week, 9am to 10pm), where you will be served authentic Emirati cuisine in a traditional setting or try Teerej, an Emirati Café.
That should inject some enough energy into you to get you over for a wander around Mubazzarah, a hot spring, or you could instead drive up Hafeet Mountain and see the entire city of Al Ain spread out before you.
Al Ain Zoo should be on the list, especially now the tables have been turned and visitors are caged and lions roam free.
Staying longer means you have more time to visit the wonderful and historic Al Ain Oasis, from where you can easily walk to the old souk to visit the vegetable, fruit and fish market nearby, which is a hidden gem where you can bargain with local sellers and buy fresh fruit, vegetables and dates from local farms at very low prices.
Head to Qasr Al Muwaje, a fort and home to generations of the ruling Al Nahyan family and first Diwan in Al Ain.
The tower has two floors, with the balcony on the upper overlooking the current Diwan. It is a superb spot from which to capture Al Ain’s famed sunset.
You now have time to immerse yourself in Al Ain life through the variety of cuisines and cafés located in Al Ain Square, in Hazza Stadium.
Or head to the recently opened restaurants behind Al Jimi Mall in a beautiful alfresco area.
Or be a like a local and grab some food and head to the desert in the Al Bada, Al Nabaq and the airport area for a few hours.
For more ideas on where to visit in Al Ain, follow tour guide Amal on Instagram @amal.alain1
Note: before setting off on your journey, please check official government websites for guidelines on traveling during the pandemic and be aware that some places could close without warning.
Image source DCT – Abu Dhabi