Aviva Directory » Local & Global » Asia » United Arab Emirates » Cities & Towns » Al Ain

Situated on the United Arab Emirate's border with Oman, the city of Al Ain is in Abu Dhabi Emirate. The largest inland city in the UAE, Al Ain imposes height control on new buildings, restricting them to no more than four floors.

Al Ain is in the eastern part of the emirate, just short of a hundred miles east of Abu Dhabi City, and about seventy-five miles south of Dubai City.

As a significant service center extending into Oman, Al Ain has three major shopping centers: the Al Ain Mall, the Al Jimi Mall, and the Al Bawadi Mall, as well as several traditional shops selling fruits, vegetables, livestock, and other products. Industry in Al Ain is small-scale but growing, and the Sanaiya and Pattan Market region includes auto sales lots, auto mechanic shops, and artisan shops.

The area of Al Ain has been inhabited for at least 4,000 years. Built on an oasis, the settlement provided water for early farms. Tradition has it that a companion of the Prophet Muhammad was sent to the region to convert people to Islam. He settled there and lived the rest of his life at the oasis.

The historic forts that remain in Al Ain were constructed in the late 1800s and early 1900s to ensure Abu Dhabi's control over the oasis. A network of forts protected the oases and settlements from attack by bandits. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the UAE, moved to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi in 1927, and spent a good part of his life at the Al-Muwaiji Fort in Al Ain.

In the early 1950s, Saudi Arabian raiders captured the forts at Al Ain, intending to incorporate them into the Saudi kingdom. With British intervention, the Saudis withdrew, restoring the oasis to Abu Dhabi and Muscat-Oman forces.

Upon independence, Al Ain grew rapidly, outpacing its sister city of Al-Buraimi, Oman. In 1972, Abu Dhabi and Oman agreed upon the borders separating the two cities. The border between Al Ain and Al-Buraimi was open until 2006, when the border was closed and passport restrictions imposed.

The United Arab Emirates University is headquartered in Al Ain, and two campuses of the Higher Colleges of Technology, Al Ain Men's College and Al Ain Women's College, are also there. Other institutions of higher education in Al Ain include the Al Ain University of Science and Technology and a campus of Abu Dhabi University. Al-Khwarizmi International College has established a campus in Al Ain, as well. Several private schools cater to the expatriate population in Al Ain, at the elementary and secondary levels.

Tourism is increasing in importance in Al Ain. Several Emirati nationals from Abu Dhabi have vacation homes in Al Ain, drawing nationals to the city on weekends and holidays. Attractions include the Al Ain National Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum, the Al Ain Zoo, several historic forts, and archaeological sites dating back to the Bronze Age. An amusement park known as Hili Fun City and several parks attract families with children. The city has five major malls, and several coffee shops and cafes.

Al Ain hosts an annual classical music festival, and there are several sports events, such as the Al Ain Club, and the Al-Ain Vipers Men's Team, a hockey team.

Topics related to the city of Al Ain are the focus of sites listed in this category. These may include municipal government sites, businesses, sports teams, religious institutions, schools and colleges, and organizations based in Al Ain.

 

 

Recommended Resources


Search for Al Ain on Google, Bing, or Yahoo!