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Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

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Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

The ship docks 9pm Sat. Jan. 28th and leaves on the 31st 3am.

This gives us 2 days (Sun/Mon) in AD and 3 nights.

Originally, I was planning to go to Al Ain on the 29th. And do AD on the 30th.

Now we have 5 days after this in Dubai Feb. 3rd - Feb 7th. I may do Al Ain on the 5th, Sunday. (Most things are closed on Monday.) But this would take away one of the days seeing Dubai sites.

To make the most of my time your thoughts on:

1 day Al Ain the next day AD sites.

Or

Sitesee both days only in AD.

Below is what I'm interested in and I'm worried that over the 2 days I'll have a lot of free time.

I read ILOVETHEMIDDLEEAST post on things to do in AD.

Want to see the Mosque and then thinking of Masdar. From the 3 reviews on TA, I'm not sure if it's worth it. How much time will I need?

Interested but not important: Heritage Village, Iranian Souq, Marina Mall Tower - only for the view. We are not shoppers.

Driving by the Breakwater and Corniche will be fine. Don't need to walk it. One woman has mobility problems.

I'm not interested in the formula one and race track nor roller coaster.

Would like to see the Emirates. The reviews don't seem good for the afternoon tea. Perhaps we should eat lunch or dinner there?

Is it better to see it in the day or night?

We have 3 nights in AD, so maybe we can go for a late dinner?

For the evening, any suggests as to something important to see/view. Like a nightclub? We don't drink.

I've heard Al Ain takes 1 hour from Dubai and 2 hours from AD. Is that correct?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you.

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Al Ain
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1. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

I would stick with your initial plan to visit Al Ain on Sunday and Abu Dhabi on Monday. Al Ain is about 100 miles from Abu Dhabi and 75 miles from Dubai.

You could visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Emirates Palace Hotel easily in one day. There are two guided tours of the mosque in the morning and one at 5 pm. You might even want to visit at both times to see the mosque lit up at night. visitabudhabi.ae/en/…sh.zayed.mosque.aspx

I have eaten at BBQ al Qasr at Emirates Palace and it was excellent. I had the chateaubriand which was delicious. The atmosphere is quite nice, service very good, and it is right on the beach. It was recommended to me by the staff while staying there and at first I thought it would be too casual for the evening but it was quite nice.

I don't think you will be missing anything at the Iranian souq, especially if you aren't in the market for household items. It's nice to see the dhows filled with goods but when I was there signs were posted not to take photos. You could also do an evening dhow dinner cruise at the Al Dhafra Restaurant at the Dhow Harbour but check the reviews as I haven't done this.

Another idea to do in Abu Dhabi is visit the Falcon Hospital. The hospital has won numerous awards and also does research. Falconry is an important part of the Gulf heritage. I just did a tour there and it was very interesting. They explain the background of falcons, you see them perform a procedure on one of the birds (trimming the talons and beak while I was there) and you can actually take pictures with the birds resting on your arm. Reserve ahead, allow two hours, and it's about a 40 minute drive from the cruise terminal.

Manarat al Saaidyat will just be ending an art exhibit the day you arrive, The also have a display of what the area will look like once the three museums are built and a nice restaurant but without a special exhibit not enough to see by itself.

There are many new hotels both in Abu Dhabi City and Yas Island that probably have night club type venues. Perhaps someone will recommend one.

Hope your planning is coming along. Enjoy your cruise.

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2. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

If you don't like shopping then 5 days in Dubai is going to be too much which is mainly why I suggest you visit Al Ain from Dubai rather than Abu Dhabi. Also Abu Dhabi really deserves more than a day in your itinerary.

The Iranian souq is not really about shopping but to see the stuff (kitchenware, terracotta and what I can only describe as tat) that gets brought over from Iran and the wooden dhows that are right beside the quay. While you are in the port area you could also visit the fishing port (fishing is by traditional wooden dhows, smaller type than the Iranian dhows) and also the carpet souq. When I have visitors they usually enjoy seeing this part of the city and you also get good views of the city skyline from the port area.

I think the heritage village is worth only an hour at most. Do that just before or after Marina Mall tower as it's near. But if you are feeling energetic then a kayak tour of the mangroves might be interesting - something I did for the first time only recently and thoroughly enjoyed.

Masdar City is right next to the airport and would best be combined with a trip to Yas Island but you say you are not interested in Yas Marina Circuit or Ferrari World.

Emirates Palace is good during the day or night. Afternoon tea there I think is quite good, but if price is a factor there are cheaper options around. You can also just use the lobby cafe or restaurants while you are looking around. The grounds and fountains are particularly nice. All the food outlets I have been to at EP are good (buffet, Chinese, Lebanese, Italian, seafood, lobby cafe) and it is also home to Mezlai (Emirati food), an Iranian restaurant. EP also has the night club (Etoiles), which also serves nice food.

For dinner with a view Marina Mall tower or Al Fanr revolving restaurant at Le Royal Meridien are my suggestions. The time you are here you might like to sit outside for lunch/dinner and there are a lot of options for that including Yas Viceroy and other hotels at Yas Island (like Filini at the Radisson and Stills at the Crowne Plaza). Most of Emirates Palace restaurants also have outside seating areas. If you want to sit outside near the water's edge I can also suggest Chamas and Yacht Club at the InterContinental which overlook the marina ; Finz at Beach Rotana and Fishmarket at the InterCont have some seats outside by the sea. The Italian at Le Royal Meridien has tables outside by the pool which is lovely at this time of year (and sheltered from the wind). Abu Dhabi golf club has a nice terrace for eating out and would be a great option if you like golf as 29th January is the final day of the golf championship. There are lots of new hotels in Abu Dhabi as mentioned already so you could try some of those but there may not be any reviews.

You won't see the water or the green park area if you stay in a vehicle on the Corniche road as it's motorway standard. The cafe area on the Corniche near the end of Khaleej Al Arabi street is a nice place to sit outside near the sea and watch the world go by. It is just as nice after dark if you are looking for something to do in the evenings.

I hope this gives you a lot of other ideas of what to do. ILME

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3. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

Umm, why does OP think things are closed on a Monday?

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4. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

The museums in Al Ain are closed on Mondays.

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5. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

For someone wanting to experience the culture of this area, Al Ain has the highest population of native people. We have museums which are free of charge; the Paradise Gardens which has won the Guinness World record two years in a row for largest hanging basket garden in the world; Jebel Hafeet with beautiful hotel and warm springs; several oases (also free entry); and archeological sites. We are the only city in the UAE registered by UNESCO on the World Heritage List as well.

www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite…

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6. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

For someone wanting to experience the culture of this area, Al Ain has the highest population of native people. We have museums which are free of charge; the Paradise Gardens which has won the Guinness World record two years in a row for largest hanging basket garden in the world; Jebel Hafeet with beautiful hotel and warm springs; several oases (also free entry); and archeological sites. We are the only city in the UAE registered by UNESCO on the World Heritage List as well.

www.wam.org.ae/servlet/Satellite…

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7. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

I agree with Elizabeth regarding Al Ain. Although I live in Abu Dhabi I often pop up to Al Ain to work and sometimes just for something to do. I always take lunch in the Golf Club as the food is excellent and not expensive. One word of warning for anyone driving to Al Ain. The road (E22) has quite a few speed cameras. They are not immediately obvious as some have become hidden in foliage (this doesn't stop them working). Generally the speed limit is 120 km/hr and I can tell you through bitter experience they are set very fine. Other than that the drive is ok with the road never being packed with cars.

C_B

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8. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

Thanks I L M E. It has a problem if I put all the letters together haha!

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9. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

Are there any organised excursions by coach or private taxi tours to Al Ain?

If so, how much would this cost?

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10. Re: Should we spend 1 or 2 days in AD. Al Ain for 1 day.

thanks all.

i got the impression that the only way into the emirates palace was to make a reservation. so can i just go in for a visit if i'm dressed appropriately?

perhaps i'll start a new post for information on masdar?

can anyone tell me how much should i pay for a taxi to wait at the mosque or should i tell the driver to come back? if i go to masdar, i have the same taxi question.

thanks lilybob24, the planning is coming along very slowly, but i'm grateful for the all the TA help. so looking forward to my cruise!

re: Al Ain. i've been trying to find tour operators in the peninsula. for the ones i've tried i've gotten no responses.

someone on the boards contacted me and here are prices. can anyone tell me if this is about right to al ain with the jebel?

full day tour with 7 seater 4 wds incl English speaking guide:

4 Pax 2000 AED ( 550 USD)

3 Pax 1800 AED ( 495 USD)

2 pax 1500 AED ( 410 USD)

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Al Ain
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Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates