Oasis Adventure with a visit to a camel market and stop for lunch In the morning we head for the enchanting garden city of Al Ain, an adorable oasis that had served as an important caravan stop ever since and also boasts a university.
Al Ain is part of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and is just a 90 minute-drive from the capital. It is a place that offers life-saving resources in the middle of the desert. As it is blessed with substantial underground water resources, it is also an extremely fertile region, rich in greenery with numerous farms, public parks and important archeological sites.
A scenic drive through the desert brings us to our first stop, the Al Ain Museum with its adjoining fortress. The museum offers a good insight into the Bedouin lifestyle and local culture. It also has exhibits from the 5,000-year-old Mesopotamian burial site located nearby, called the Hili Graves.
Just a few minutes away from this historical site, date gardens are being watered by the 2,000-year-old falaj irrigation system. We continue our journey to the Al Ain Palace Museum, which was the residence of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan, the late ruler of the United Arab Emirates from 1927 until the early 1970’s.
Our next destination is the colourful camel market, which is the biggest in the region. From here we head to the apex of the 1,300-metre Jebel Hafeet - Mount Hafeet - which provides breathtaking views of the extensive desert below. Here you have the opportunity to take photographs before we have lunch in the Mercure Hotel right at the peak of the mountain.