South of the centre, spreading west from the National Museum, a dusty green wall of palms announces the presence of the beautiful Al Ain Oasis, the largest of the various oases scattered across the city (the name Al Ain, means, literally, “The Spring”). This is easily the most idyllic spot in the city, with a mazy network of little walled lanes running between densely planted thickets of trees. There are an estimated 150,000-odd date palms here, along with mango, fig, banana and orange trees, their roots watered in the summer months using traditional falaj irrigation channels, which bring water down from the mountains over a distance of some 30km. It’s a wonderfully peaceful spot, the silence only broken by the calls to prayer from the two mosques nestled among the palms, and pleasantly cool as well. There are eight entrances dotted around the perimeter of the oasis, although given the disorienting tangle of roads within you’re unlikely to end up coming out where you entered.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Dubai features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

6 things every family must do in Dubai

6 things every family must do in Dubai

Dubai is the most spectacular playground on Earth. The desire to make everything bigger and brighter and better has created a city of superlatives – and for w…

15 Jun 2017 • Keith Drew insert_drive_file Article
Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

Burj Khalifa: is the world’s tallest building worth the hype?

One of Dubai’s main attractions and currently the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa draws in hundreds of people daily to marvel at the views from i…

31 Jan 2017 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

Away from the skyscrapers: how to find the “other” Dubai

It’s big, brash and lays claim to so many world records it might even have the world record for the number of world records. But beyond the superlatives, skys…

22 Nov 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Weekly newsletter

Sign up now for travel inspiration, discounts and competitions

Sign up now and get 20% off any ebook