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Dubai to Al Ain Day Trip Guide | Getting There, Things to Do, Restaurants & More

Al Ain is the Garden City of UAE. The historic city bordering Oman is some 140 kilometers south of Dubai. Al Ain, with a history dating back 4,000 years, invites tourists from all walks of life. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is located in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Al Ain boasts ancient oases, historical forts, palaces, archaeological sites, camel markets, etc. The picturesque city of lush green gardens is also a top destination for visitors who want to explore the rich history of the region.

Why take a Day Trip from Dubai to Al Ain

Dubai to Al Ain- Why take a Day Trip from Dubai to Al Ain
  • A day trip from Dubai to Al Ain is a popular tourist trail that helps visitors explore the unknown side of the Arab region.
  • Al Ain is a historically important region with traces of human settlement since 3,000 BC.
  • Al Ain oasis is a spectacular 1,200-hectare sprawling green region, the first to get the coveted UNESCO World Heritage tag in UAE.
  • Al Ain has close ties to the rulers of the UAE. Historical evidence such as the forts and palaces will blow your mind away, for sure.
  • Al Ain is well connected with Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, making it easier to choose your next destination.

Dubai to Al Ain: At a glance

Dubai to Al Ain- Al Ain at a glance

Distance from Dubai: 146 Kilometres or 90 Miles

Travel Time: 1.3 hours

Best Time to visit: October to April

Modes of transportation: Car, bus

Approx. Budget: AED34 for bus, AED 229 for taxi

Things to do: Al Ain oasis, forts, palaces, Al Ain Zoo, Adventure in the desert

Getting to Al Ain from Dubai

Dubai to Al Ain- Getting to Al Ain from Dubai

By Bus

Travel Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Bus Stations:  Al Ghubaiba bus station, catch the E201 bus.

Timings: The first bus departs at 05:30 AM and the last bus at 12:00 AM. Service is available every 30 minutes.

Price: Single Journey: AED 25.

Dubai to Al Ain- Getting to Al Ain from Dubai

By Car/Taxi

Travel Time: 2 hours

Price: AED 268.11 for cabs from Dubai

Top Things to Do on a Dubai to Al Ain Day Trip

Dubai to Al Ain- Visit World Heritage Site Al Ain oasis

1. Visit World Heritage Site Al Ain oasis

Heritage Site

Al Ain oasis in Abu Dhabi has a rich history. The 1,200-hectare oasis was inhabited for at least 4,000 years now. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Al Ain Oasis is the biggest oasis in the region with 1,47,000 date palms from over 100 varieties. Farmers in the region grow crops like orange, mango, banana, and fig. Farming plots are separated by traditional boundary walls. Also, watch the unique irrigation system known as falaj.

Nearby: Al Ain Zoo, Al Jahili Fort, Jebel Hafeet

Entry: Free

Dubai to Al Ain- Take Photos at Qasr Al Muwaiji

2. Take Photos at Qasr Al Muwaiji

Leisure | Sight-seeing

Qasr Al Muwaiji is a historic fort in Al Ain. A beautiful backdrop for travel photos, Qasr Al Muwaiji, is an example of mud-brick architecture that prevailed in the region. It has a square enclosure and watchtowers in corners and a large entrance. Qasr Al Muwaiji fort is particularly noted for its association with the ruling family of the UAE. Sheikh Khalifa, Founder of the UAE, was born here. 

Nearby: Al Basra Park, Majlis Mufleh Bin Ayed Al Ahbabi

Entry: Free

Dubai to Al Ain- Old and Grand Al Jahili Fort

3. Old and Grand Al Jahili Fort

Historic Fort | Sight-seeing

Al Jahili Fort is one of the most beautiful forts in Al Ain. Constructed in 1890 using mud-brick, straw, and palm-tree fibers, Al Jahili Fort is among the largest and oldest in the UAE. Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan of UAE's ruling family ordered the construction of the fort as their summer home. After restoration by Abu Dhabi authorities, the Al Jahili fort was opened in 2008 for visitors.

Nearby: Al Ain Zoo, Jebel Hafeet

Entry: Free

Dubai to Al Ain- Animal Watching in Al Ain Zoo

4. Animal Watching in Al Ain Zoo


Founded in 1968 by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the UAE, for the conservation of Arabian oryx, Al Ain Zoo is a top tourist attraction in the city. Today, Al Ain Zoo houses over 4,000 animals - local and exotic. These animals include rhinos, Barbary sheep, hippos, tigers, lions, a rare white lion, and Nubian giraffes. Built on the base of the Jebel Hafit Mountain, Al Ain Zoo covers 217 hectares.

Nearby: Al Jahili Fort, Jebel Hafeet

Dubai to Al Ain - Adventure Beckons at Jebel Hafit

5. Adventure Beckons at Jebel Hafit


 Jebel Hafit is the number one destination in Al Ain for adventure activities. Visitors can also enjoy breath-taking sunsets, catch the stunning panorama of Al Ain city, or camp in the mountains to stargaze. At 1,249 meters, Jebel Hafit is the highest point in Abu Dhabi. Adventure lovers can opt for trekking, riding mountain bikes, or buggies on dunes. If you love the traditional vibe, try camel and horse riding.

Nearby: Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain Zoo

Price: Depends on activities

Dubai to Al Ain- Hili Archaeological Park for History buffs

6. Hili Archaeological Park for History buffs

Heritage Site

Hili Archaeological Park in Al Ain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The history of this park goes back to 3000 B.C. Archeologists have unearthed in Hili pieces of evidence that date back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. The park also displays ancient tombs excavated from the region. Today, Hili Archaeological Park is transformed into a family-friendly leisure space with picnics and walks.

Nearby: Al Jahili Fort

Things to See near Al Ain

Dubai to Al Ain- Al Qattara Arts Centre

Al Qattara Arts Centre

Heritage Museum

A heritage museum in a mud-brick tower and house. Located in Qattara Oasis.

Distance: 21 KM or 24 minutes

Dubai to Al Ain- Wadi Adventure Park

Wadi Adventure Park


Wadi Adventure Park is located on the foothills of Jebel Hafit Mountain. Ideal for aqua-adventure activities kayak, rafting, etc.

Distance: 33 KMs or 30 minutes

Dubai to Al Ain- Hili Fun City

Hili Fun City

Amusement Park

This is the first theme park in Arabian Gulf. It boasts 25 rides and an ice rink.

Distance: 25 Kms or 28 minutes

Dubai to Al Ain- Zaman Lawal Heritage Village

Zaman Lawal Heritage Village

Heritage village

Take a peek at the traditional Emirati life in the Remah desert. Ideal for tasting food, shopping in souks.

Distance: 17 KMs or 18 minutes.

Best Places to Eat in Al Ain

Dubai to Al Ain- Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe

Arab cuisine

Al Fanar is a traditional Middle Eastern restaurant in Al Ain. The restaurant offers an ambiance of the UAE in the 1960s. The restaurant serves authentic Arabian dishes along with Persin and Indian. On the menu: kebabs, fish, soup, etc.

Price for two: AED 145

Address: Souk Al Zafarana, next to Al Khabisi Wedding Hall – Al Jimi

Find it on a map

Dubai to Al Ain- Solidaire


Lebanese cuisine

Solidaire in Al Ain has a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine. Solidaire boasts modern interiors. Try lamb dishes and spices, and Arabian sweets.

Price for two: AED 250

Address: Level 1, Hili Mall, Al Hili, and Al Jimi Mall, Al Jimi – Al Ain

Find it on a map

Dubai to Al Ain- Coriander


Indian cuisine

Coriander restaurant in Al Ain offers the best non-vegetarian dishes from North India. Delicacies from Punjab and Uttar Pradesh dominate the menu. 

Price for two: AED 190

Address: Ground floor, Entrance no. 5, Al Bawadi Mall, Zayed Bin Sultan Street, Al Khrair – Al Ain

Find it on a map

Dubai to Al Ain- Tanjore


Indian cuisine

Tanjore Restaurant is a traditional Indian restaurant. They use authentic Indian tandoori clay ovens. Try chicken, lamb, and lobster tandoori dishes. Indian main course including rice, raita, and naan is also available.

Price for two: AED 240

Address: Nyadat Street, Al Ain

Find it on a map

Best Places to Stay in Al Ain

Dubai to Al Ain- Budget Hotels

Budget Hotels

Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet: An affordable mountain oasis resort in Jebel Hafeet. Pool, bar, workout area, etc.

Price for 2/night: AED 236

Dubai to Al Ain- Mid-range Hotels

Mid-range Hotels

Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, Al Ain: This is a beautiful resort with sprawling gardens and landscape. Pools, sports, and leisure options.

Price for 2/night: AED 325

Dubai to Al Ain- Luxury Hotels

Luxury Hotels

Al Ain Rotana: An international quality five-star hotel in the heart of Al Ain. It has six restaurants and bars.

Price for 2/night: AED 350

More things to do in on a Day Trip from Dubai to Al Ain

  • Visit Al Ain Raceway at Al Ain Sportplex to go-kart.
  • Swim in the natural hot springs of Green Mubazzarah Park.
  • Enjoy the eco-tourism spot Al Batha Nature Reserve near Hili Archaeological Park.
  • Drive the 12-kilometer Jebel Hafeet Mountain Road for the views and pleasure of driving.
  • Visit Al Qattara Old Souq to buy traditional handicrafts.
  • Pay a visit to the Hatta Honeycomb Garden. You can learn the magic of beekeeping from experts.
  • Explore the vast Wadi Hatta Park, and organize a family picnic.
  • Buy vintage music CDs at Jabal Hatta Hypermarket.
  • Hike to click a photo with the Hollywood-style HATTA sign in the Hajar mountains.

Travel Tips

  • Unlike other emirates, Al Ain receives more rainfall in all seasons.
  • Dress appropriately. It is advisable to avoid revealing clothing.
  • Winter months in the desert cities can be hard; always carry a jacket or sweater.
  • Leaving tips at a restaurant is customary, not compulsory.
  • Please ask the permission of locals, especially women before clicking pictures.

Frequently Asked Questions About Your Dubai to Al Ain Day Trip

How do I get from Dubai to Al Ain?

Dubai to Al Ain is accessible via road. You can make the 140 kilometers journey by bus or car.

What are the top things to do on a Dubai to Al Ain day trip?

Al Ain is an oasis city. There are plenty of activities to do, including a visit to Al Ain Oasis, exploring the history of the UAE in forts like Qasr Al Muwaiji and Al Jahili, and paying a visit to Al Ain Zoo, etc.

How much time do I need for a Dubai to Al Ain day trip?

You can complete the travel from Dubai to Al Ain in under two hours.

What are the best places to stay in Al Ain?

Al Ain has hotels suiting all budgets. The best hotels in Al Ain are Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet, Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort, and Al Ain Rotana.

What is the best way to reach Al Ain from Dubai?

The best way to reach Al Ain from Dubai is by car or taxi cab.

Is Al Ain worth visiting?

Yes, Al Ain is rich in history and culture. Al Ain is far away from the hustle and bustle of Arab cities. Families, solo travelers, and adventure lovers would find peace in Al Ain.

What are the best things to see near Al Ain?

Some of the destinations near Al Ain worth visiting are Al Qattara Arts Centre, Wadi Adventure Park, and Hili Fun City Amusement Park.

Is drinking alcohol allowed in Al Ain?

Yes, drinking is allowed in resorts and licensed bars. Drinking in public, however, is banned.

Is Al Ain safe to visit?

Yes, Al Ain is a tourist-friendly city with a very low rate of crimes against tourists.

Does Al Ain have an airport?

Yes, Al Ain Airport is an international airport located 18 kilometers outside the city center.

What is the best time to visit Al Ain?

The best time to visit Al Ain is between October and April.