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  • Writer's pictureLiz Totton

The Road to Al Ain, Part ١

Road Food in the Middle East

Gross Food that is DELECTABLE on The Road.

The Road to Al Ain (or the E-22 for locals) is fortunately not a long one; fortunate only for my kids to whom road trips are the drag to end all drags. For me, a road trip is the dream that never has to end. You can drive and drive all you want; it never has to end! There is so much to see, so much Road Food‎ to eat. Gas is super cheap here in the Middle East–this is truly the Road tripper’s paradise!  If you are here, what are you waiting for? Get out and drive everywhere!  

The Road to Al Ain was not at all what I was expecting: it was more and it was less; in short, it was kind of how life is. If someone asked you what you thought a an hour and a half long trip into one of the most remote deserts on this planet, appropriately called “The Empty Quarter,” might look like, you would probably envision something akin to this, right:

Red sand dunes in Al Ain.

Red sand dunes in Al Ain.

But, it doesn’t look like that everywhere. There are gardens, grass and palm trees everywhere! You would never even know you’re in the desert, which is the idea. Here’s an example:

Roads of Al Ain

Greenery of Al Ain

The Line-up at Wadi Adventure

The Line-up at Wadi Adventure

We went to Al Ain for a short vacation for some R & R over our kids’ spring break, which happily coincided with my husband’s job change. “R & R” was apparently not on our itinerary.—there was too much to do in Al Ain in such a short time. There were so many giraffes to feed at the Al Ain Zoo, water slides to slide at our hotel on the mountaintop and then waves to ride—yes, we surfed in the desert. Check it out, if you are interested. We surfed at Wadi Adventure. We barely scratched the surface of this town. There was no time at all for me to visit a souk or to see a camel.

The Map to Road to Al Ain

The Map to Al Ain

For the unacquainted, Al Ain, known as the ‘Oasis City’ of the Emirates, is the UAE’s largest inland city. This peaceful city lies under the shadow of Jebel Hafeet – the Emirate’s tallest mountain peak at 1,340 meters (4,020 feet). The city is surrounded by magnificent red sand dunes and an imposing mountain range. The climate on the mountain offers relief from the humidity of the coast. It has long been a holiday destination of the UAE’s Sheikhs. We stayed at the Mercure Jebel Hafeet. If you are here and want to visit this spot, Hit this Deal now for a great, short stay in Al Ain. This hotel is well worth a visit for the evening views alone. Ours, of course, were obscured by an incoming sandstorm. That’s just our luck–sandstorms seem to follow us everywhere.  I wish I could have brought you the night’s landscape in all its splendor, but the weather had other plans for us. No worries though. We had great days, but evenings with little visibility.

 Stay tuned for the next part of The Road to Al Ain.

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