Hessa Bint Mohamed Street
Al Mutawaa, Al Ain
United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 24.215582, 55.763409
Right beside the Al Ain Palace Museum is the Al Ain Oasis. Sern was excited to come here to take a look at the traditional irrigation system still in place here.
|Sern was suitably excited to be here|
|getting lost in the landscape|
|this has existed for a thousand years?|
|maybe even longer!|
We on the other hand came here to see what a desert oasis looks like, and acquaint ourselves with the delectable fruit of the UAE that tickles our taste buds with its sweetness. The date has sustained generations of people and has become an integral part of the UAE’s heritage and identity.
|this walkway runs for kilometres|
|something's caught their fancy|
Excerpts from Visit Abu Dhabi’s website:
In the heart of the city, the Al Ain Oasis has been opened as the UAE’s first curated UNESCO World Heritage site visitor experience. Spread over 1,200 hectares (nearly 3,000 acres) and containing more than 147,000 date palms of up to 100 different varieties, this impressive oasis is filled with palm plantations, many of which are still working farms.
|our first time at an oasis|
|still a working farm|
|the sun peering at us|
|we'll soon catch up with you, sun|
|100 different varierty of date palms to be found|
The cool, shady walkways transport you from the heat and noise of the city to a tranquil haven; all you will hear is birdsong and the rustle of the palm fronds. The site introduces visitors to the delicate oasis eco-system and the importance it has played in the development of the emirate.
|cool shaded walkways|
|we walked further in|
|in search of the aflaj|
|Brendan holding up a tree|
|do you see the misspelling?|
The oasis landscape of Al Ain is shaped by a complex shared water supply based on both wells and ‘aflaj’, the UAE’s traditional irrigation system. Al Ain Oasis has plenty of working examples of the falaj which have been used for centuries to tap into underground wells.
|as we walked along|
|we met an odd character on a bicycle|
|but not before one last dab|
Here we found a vendor selling freshly processed dates and gleefully helped ourselves to a few packets. The UAE is the fourth largest producer of dates in world with 750,000 tonnes of the fruit produced annually, contributing to 14 per cent of global output.
|Al Ain dates|
|a royal treat|
|a shed that stores the unprocessed dates|
|time to go!|
With less than an hour left till sunset we hurried back to our car and made our way across Al Ain almost to the border with Oman, to witness a spectacular sunset.