The garden city offers myriad outdoor family activities and venues
DAZ Festival has returned to Al Ain with entertainment for everyone until 19 February
Dance along to the biggest hits from your favourite regional stars at Al Jahili Park
Abu Dhabi, UAE-: From vibrant green landscapes to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the UAE’s garden city, Al Ain, is blooming with fun activities for families. Just a short 90-minute drive from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, Al Ain makes for the perfect getaway to enjoy these must-visit attractions this weekend.
Al Jahili Fort
One of Al Ain’s most iconic landmarks, this 19-century fort built from sun-dried mudbrick, straw and palm tree fibres has stood the test of time and is a major draw for residents and tourists alike. Once a summer home for the ruling family, the fort has been restored and features a permanent exhibition of striking images taken by British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger during his monumental crossing of the Empty Quarter.
Al Jahili Fort is also the backdrop of the returning DAZ Festival, taking place in the adjacent Al Jahili Park until 19 February. Celebrating the charms of spring, the nature-inspired festival will bring unique experiences with carnival rides, global cuisines and local street eats, an immersive art park and shopping for everyone.
The joys of the vibrant spring season are on full show with live open-air concerts from A-list regional artists, including famous Egyptian musician Tamer Hosny on 16 February, Egyptian singer Ahmed Saad on 17 February and the electrifying Miami on 19 February. Families can also enjoy movie time with their kids with Disney classics inspired by nature, including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, The Jungle Book, and The Lion King playing at the festival.
Jebel Hafit Desert Park
No road trip to Al Ain is complete without a scenic journey up Abu Dhabi’s highest mountain peak. A climb revered by professional and amateur cyclists from all over the world, this 1,240-metre-high challenge offers unforgettable views for travellers on two wheels or for those who want to explore the trails on foot. Those looking to make a weekend of it can book their spot at Jebel Hafit Desert Park, which has camping offers ranging from Bedouin-style tents to luxury glamping experiences.
Al Qattara Arts Centre
Established in 2011, Al Qattara Arts Centre is for anyone who wants to experience and create art. The centre showcases the traditional and contemporary art from Emirati and UAE-based artists, and has archaeological findings from the site on permanent display in the Qattara Archaeological Basement. The centre also offers a range of classes, including music, handicrafts, drawing and painting, pottery and calligraphy.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in cooperation with strategic partner Al Ain City Municipality and media partner Emarat FM and Star FM, the DAZ Festival (formerly known as the Dar Al Zain Festival) returns to Al Ain with even more exciting entertainment for the entire family.
For visitors attending the DAZ Festival, tickets are available on Ticketmaster.ae and start from AED 25 online and AED 30 at the door. Visitors can purchase the add-on Festival Pass for AED 110, with access to all free zones and attractions in addition to all paid experiences, except for the skill games and inflatables which can be purchased separately at the festival. Visit www.dazfestival.ae for more information about the festival.