Residents heading to the Garden City can now check out a new programme of activities open to the public at the Al Ain Oasis.

In addition to being the UAE’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site is considered one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, dating back more than 4,000 years.

Here are six new things to do when visiting…

1. Check out the aflaj irrigation system


At 1,200 hectares, the oasis uses a system of narrow waterways to get fresh spring water from the Hajjar Mountains to irrigate the date farms inside. It is estimated that there are over 147,000 date palms growing in the space.

2. Learn about the oasis at the Eco-Centre


Head to the Eco-Centre to learn more about the history of the oases and why they are so important. And while you are there, be sure to check out the design of the building which mimics interlocking palm branches.

3. Find your way with the Techno Palm

While it isn’t a real palm tree, this techie version will help you find your way around the massive Oasiscape. There’ll be a number of them dotted around the space to help guide you.

4. The Miniature Oasis

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Give your legs a break with a look at this interactive experience. Mimicking the Al Ain Oasis, you can get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding monuments and forts, to the organisation of the oasis and the distribution of water.

5. Refuel at the Al Ain Oasis Plaza

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Shaped like a triangle looking out to the city, the Plaza has been designed to blend into the landscape. There’s a rest area, food & beverage outlets and spots to buy traditional goods and local produce.

6. See the West Gate Exhibition

Illustrating how important water is in the desert, this exhibition features a projection on the waters of a Shari’a cistern.

The Al Ain Oasis is located in the city centre, near the Al Ain Palace Museum and Al Ain National Museum, and is open daily from 9am to 6pm, with the restaurants, cafes and shops remaining open until 9pm. Tel: (800) 555. Head to website for more info. Find a PDF map here.

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