Friday, 11 April 2008

sight seeing in Al Ain

You've got visitors coming into town on a whirlwind tour. Where do you take them?

1. The Al Ain Museum - My social buddy took me there when I first arrived and I enjoyed it. The static exhibits are a bit the sameish, but they're okay to poke around for a while. I really enjoyed the videos though. They're quite long, but they are an interesting account of the history of the area. The nearby oasis is worth a walk through if it isn't too hot. And then there's the markets opposite.

2. Jebel Hafeet - That's an obvious attraction with the obligatory stop off on the way down at the Mercure for a coffee or a meal.

3. Green Mubuzarah - (how do you spell that?). It's a picnic area with running hot springs. Interesting.

4. Airport Road - There's the road out the back of town and the road to the airport. They're pretty stunning on a first viewing. Well the airport isn't stunning, but I like the plane sculpture on the roundabout; particularly when the water is running. There's quite a variety of desertscapes in a small area too.

5. City Centre
- the look of the shops, particularly in the backstreets is fairly interesting.

6. Roundabouts - Can you do a tour of the roundabouts? Seems a bit boring, but I'd actually like to do a roundabout tour and take pics of each roundabout. Have them all recorded before they disappear. I"m sure I'm not the first person to think of that. There are probably several people with lots of roundabout shots and a few with a comprehensive collection. I wonder if anyone has a pic of the clocktower roundabout before it was dereoundabouted.

7. Camels and Building Site - Apparently if you go out on the road to Jebel Hafeet and Green Mubuzarah, but don't take the hafeet turn off, you end up on a road out the back of the mountain that has wall to wall camels and a huge shopping complex that's under construction. Why would they build a shopping complex out there? It's the middle of nowhere. Either it's a completely hair-brained scheme, or it's a good example of forward planning.

8. International Hotels - for a coffee and dinner. There's the French Bakery.

9. The Zoo - haven't done the night walk. I wonder if that's still on, or if it's getting too hot.

10. Malls - yea. I guess.

11. Cinema - There's the one at the mall and there's the one at the Rotana. Why don't they have a gold class cinema? I like a bit of pampering every now and then.

12. Palace Museum - that's an interesting look at how life may have been in the past.

I guess there's more, but I've run out of ideas for the moment.


Anonymous said...

What's the French Bakery? I thought I knew Al Ain, but once again I learn something new!

Aussie said...

You probably know it as La Brioche. It's at the front of the Al Ahlia centre. The one where Spinneys is at the back and a burnt out supermarket is in the middle!

There's also a new coffee shop at the Safeer Centre just up from Spinneys. It's on the outside on the side furthest away from Al Ahlia. It looks nice and they make their own pastries there, but I haven't sampled their coffee and cake yet.

nzm said...

Good list.

Brn, who's now left Al Ain, did 2 photographic series - one on the roundabouts and the other on the mosques.