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The Essential Guide to Al Ain

By Betsy Burlingame

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Summary: Our Guide to Al Ain: Top Attractions, Culinary Hotspots, Nightlife, and More. Plus, Tips on Making Connections with the Locals and Finding Fun Recreational Activities

Welcome to Al Ain! If you're planning to move to Al Ain, congratulations on taking the first step towards a new adventure. While there are many things to think about before you leave, such as visas, housing, and transportation, it's important to remember that once you arrive, the fun really begins. In this article, we'll introduce you to some of the best sites, restaurants, and nightlife that Al Ain has to offer, as well as provide tips on recreational activities and making friends in Al Ain.

Al Ain is a city in the United Arab Emirates, located in the eastern region of the country. It is known for its rich cultural heritage, stunning desert landscapes, and vibrant nightlife. There are many sites of interest for tourists and locals alike in Al Ain.

The Al Ain Oasis is a must-see for visitors to the city. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest oasis in the UAE, and is home to over 150,000 date palms. Visitors can explore the oasis on foot, or take a guided tour to learn more about the history and culture of the area.

The Al Ain Palace Museum is another popular attraction. This museum is housed in the former palace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the UAE. The museum showcases the history and culture of the region, and visitors can explore the palace grounds and gardens.

The Al Ain Zoo is a great place to visit for animal lovers. The zoo is home to over 4,000 animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and elephants. Visitors can take a guided tour of the zoo, or explore the grounds on their own.

The Al Ain National Museum is another popular attraction. This museum showcases the history and culture of the region, and visitors can explore the exhibits and learn more about the area.

The restaurant and nightlife scene in Al Ain, UAE is vibrant and diverse. There are many popular restaurants and bars in the city, offering a variety of cuisines and atmospheres. Some of the most popular restaurants include the Al Ain Palace Hotel, which serves traditional Emirati cuisine, and the Al Ain Rotana, which offers international dishes. For a more casual dining experience, visitors can try the Al Ain Mall Food Court, which offers a variety of fast food options.

When it comes to nightlife, Al Ain has plenty to offer. The city is home to many bars and nightclubs, such as the Al Ain Club, which is a popular spot for live music and dancing. The Al Ain Sports Club is another popular spot, offering a variety of sports and activities.

Recreational activities are popular in Al Ain, UAE. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, such as golfing at the Al Ain Golf Club, horseback riding at the Al Ain Equestrian Club, and swimming at the Al Ain Aquarium. There are also many parks and gardens in the city, such as the Al Ain National Park and the Al Ain Botanical Garden.

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Insider Tips from Expats in Al Ain: Making the Most of Life and Connections

"1) Al Ain Toastmasters Club 584495 to meet other professionals (while developing other useful skills). Check out www.toastmasters.org to find the club. 2) For those who like to sing, join the Al Ain Choral Society. 3) Join in at social activities at lounges/pubs in the local international hotels, such as trivia contests, karaoke, etc. 4) Go to the cafes (Starbucks, Coffee/Bean/Tea Leaf, etc.) in the local malls on weekend afternoons (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.). You'll be certain to see people you know or make new friends. (Evenings it gets too crowded.) 5) Join one of the clubs are the local international hotels where other westerners go to swim, exercise, dine, tennis, etc. 6) For sports enthusiasts, especially men, you can find rugby and other intramural sports. 7) Join the Emirates Natural History Group (www.enhg.org), an interesting way to not only meet people but have an opportunity to explore the natural histories of the UAE and Oman. 8) Your workplace may organize social activities including trips to the other Emirates for shopping, sightseeing, etc. You may also be able to join activities at some of the other organizations/companies in the area," said one expat living in Al Ain.

"Major international hotels are (in order of my preference) the Intercontinental, Hilton, Rotana, Mercure Jebel Hafeet. The Palm Resort has a Rugby Club and Golf Club and both are good value. Have a look at the Living in Al Ain thread on the British Expats site in the Middle East Forum, it is a very popular thread and full of information about events, schooling, life in general," wrote a member in Al Ain.

"Expats living in Al Ain can join a variety of clubs and activities, such as sports clubs, book clubs, and language classes. Expats can also meet people by attending local events, such as festivals, concerts, and art exhibitions. Additionally, many expats find it helpful to join online forums and social media groups related to their interests, as well as attending meet-ups and networking events," commented one expat who made the move to Al Ain.

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"Life definitely revolves around work. Otherwise, it depends on if you are single, have children with you (and their age), etc. Singles often like to go to Dubai on the weekends for fun, sun, dance, shopping, friendships, etc. Families usually stay in the Al Ain area. With the clubs to join at the hotels, and other activities that many of them discover, there is sufficient activities for people not to get bored. There is a lot of socializing, too. Schools have a lot of after school activities, sports, dance classes, etc., and often have recitals and presentations. Married couples, and singles who do not enjoy the party/night life, join clubs and organizations in Al Ain, socialize among themselves, etc. We spend a lot of time at the mall, sitting and talking, too. Many people like to camp in the various Emirates as well. There are churchas and religious gatherings. Some of us organized Bible Studies, and were active in our churches. Some did volunteer work organizations such as Feline for Friends," commented an expat living in Al Ain.

"Al Ain is a great city to live in and offers many things to see and do. Expats get together frequently for quiz nights, to watch sporting events, meet for coffee in the malls. Life is varied and interesting," said an expat in Al Ain.

"Al Ain is a great destination for expats and digital nomads looking for a unique experience in the United Arab Emirates. The city is known for its rich culture, stunning desert landscapes, and modern amenities. Expats and digital nomads can enjoy a variety of activities, from exploring the city's historical sites to taking part in outdoor activities such as sandboarding and camel riding. The city also offers a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its low cost of living, Al Ain is an attractive destination for expats and digital nomads looking for a comfortable and affordable lifestyle," remarked one expat who made the move to Al Ain.

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About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


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