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Al Ain Map

Al Ain, also known as the Garden City due to its greenery, is the second largest city in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the fourth largest city in the United Arab Emirates. With a population of 374,000 (2009), it is located approximately 160 km east of the capital Abu Dhabi and about 120 km south of Dubai. Al Ain is the birthplace of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the first president of the United Arab Emirates, and it has the country's highest number of Emirati nationals.

Al Ain is located in Abu Dhabi, inland on the border with Oman. The freeways connecting Al Ain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the center of the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometers from the other two.

Tourism and recreation in Al Ain

Al Ain is developing as a tourist destination. the dry desert air makes it a welcome retreat from the coastal humidity of the larger cities. Many Emirati nationals in Abu Dhabi have holiday houses in the city making it a popular weekend destination for families from the capital city. Its attractions include the Al Ain National Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum, several restored forts and the Hili Archaeological Park site, dating back to the Bronze Age. Jebel Hafeet, a 1340-metre-high mountain, dominates the surrounding area. It is popular to visit to the mineral springs at the base and to drive to the mountaintop at sunset. Other attractions include the Al Ain Oasis in the city centre, other oases dotted around the area all cool retreats in the middle of the summer heat-Al Ain Zoo, an amusement park named "Hili Fun City", many well-maintained parks popular with families in the summer evenings, and a heritage village.

Al Ain has three major malls-Al Ain Mall in the town center, Al-Jimi Mall in the Al-Jimi district, and Bawadi Mall located in the Al-Khrair District. Most commercial activity is centered in and around town center.

Another popular pastime for Emiratis and expatriates alike is spending time in coffee shops and Shisha cafes. There are many cafes in Al Ain, ranging in size and quality.

Al Ain also has an International standard Go-Kart circuit. Al Ain Raceway was selected to host the 2007 Rotax Max World Karting Finals, an event which saw 220 drivers from over 55 different countries compete for the Karting world title. Al Ain Raceway opened to the general public in May 2008 and proves a popular activity for local Emiratis and tourists alike. It was announced in late 2010 that the 2011 Rotax Max World Karting Finals will be held at Al Ain Raceway, this will bring nearly 1000 tourists to the small garden city.

Like the rest of the UAE, Al Ain has strict laws governing the consumption and distribution of alcohol. Four facilities in the city currently serve alcohol, three of which are hotels. The Al Ain Rotana, Hilton, and Intercontinental hotels all have pubs, bars, or night clubs. In addition to the hotels, the Al Ain Palms Sports Resort in Al-Maqam also serves alcohol.

Currently, there are only three locations that sell alcohol for private use-Spinneys near the Al-Jimi district, an outlet to the left of the Hilton hotel (next to the hotel's staff quarters), and the North Africa Market in Sanaiya.

The city has two English-speaking radio stations 100.1 Star FM, which plays English-speaking hits alternating with Arabic-speaking hits, and 105.2 Abu Dhabi Classic FM, which plays classical music.

Links:Al Ain Municipality