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
- 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
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
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.
Travel Time: 2 hours
Price: AED 268.11 for cabs from Dubai
Top Things to Do on a Dubai to Al Ain Day Trip
1. Visit World Heritage Site Al Ain oasis
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
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
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
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
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
6. Hili Archaeological Park for History buffs
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
Al Qattara Arts Centre
A heritage museum in a mud-brick tower and house. Located in Qattara Oasis.
Distance: 21 KM or 24 minutes
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
Hili Fun City
This is the first theme park in Arabian Gulf. It boasts 25 rides and an ice rink.
Distance: 25 Kms or 28 minutes
Zaman Lawal 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
Al Fanar Restaurant & Cafe
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
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
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
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
Best Places to Stay in Al Ain
Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet: An affordable mountain oasis resort in Jebel Hafeet. Pool, bar, workout area, etc.
Price for 2/night: AED 236
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
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.
- 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
Dubai to Al Ain is accessible via road. You can make the 140 kilometers journey by bus or car.
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.
You can complete the travel from Dubai to Al Ain in under two hours.
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.
The best way to reach Al Ain from Dubai is by car or taxi cab.
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.
Some of the destinations near Al Ain worth visiting are Al Qattara Arts Centre, Wadi Adventure Park, and Hili Fun City Amusement Park.
Yes, drinking is allowed in resorts and licensed bars. Drinking in public, however, is banned.
Yes, Al Ain is a tourist-friendly city with a very low rate of crimes against tourists.
Yes, Al Ain Airport is an international airport located 18 kilometers outside the city center.
The best time to visit Al Ain is between October and April.