Al Ain welcomed as new tourism option

DUBAI - Al Ain on Tuesday unveiled a new brand identity featuring images of an ancient building that dates back to 3,000 BC.

By (By a staff reporter)

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Published: Wed 5 May 2004, 10:07 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 2:23 PM

The new image will reinforce Al Ain's drive to position itself as an emerging tourism destination in the Gulf, Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Al Ain Economic Development and Tourism Promotion Authority, told Khaleej Times.

In an exclusive interview, Shaikh Sultan said that the private sector would have a major role in initiating the tourism sector in the emirate. He pointed out that promotion campaigns that are being launched by the authority would attract foreign and domestic investments thus giving a boost to the tourism sector.

"Al Ain's product can complement the emirates and the region. We have an inherent strength in areas such as culture, history, heritage, and natural resources. We believe that regional and international visitors will recognise this," he said.

Tour operators, both in the UAE and overseas, have welcomed the launch of Al Ain as a `new' destination on the global tourism map, and one that will offer new potential for real desert safaris, as well as historic, sporting and spa interests.

Shiakh Sultan said developments in Al Ain mean there is real potential to offer two-centre and round UAE itineraries linking Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, as well as other coastal destinations such as Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, and Dubai.

He pointed out that the city would benefit from linking with destinations on the UAE coast to provide a varied menu of options for potential holidaymakers.

"The sea and water in any guise is a big draw for those coming from Europe, for example, but we believe that Al Ain's complementary attractions that will enhance the overall appeal of the UAE," Shaikh Sultan noted. Among these, he cited the healthy dry desert climate, which is noticeably cooler in the summer than most parts of the region.

Al Ain is a city of great archaeological importance and one of the oldest in the Middle East. It is also one of the most picturesque cities in the region.

A drive along the Jebel Hafeet Mountain road, all the way up to the summit of the Jebel Hafeet Mountain, provides some magnificent views across the city and its surroundings. The Thermal Springs at the base of the mountain and the 13km winding road are all part of this fascinating rod trip.

Al Ain embraces the origins of the UAE, and continues to be a source of national pride and a historical reference point for the region. The city has preserved its status as a centre of Arabian culture, traditions, tourism, and education.

Most of the forts dotted around the city have been painstakingly restored with the original materials which includes mud, milk, plaster, local stones, palm tree by products, straw, tic wood, lime, and water.

The Al Ain National Museum which opened in 1971, has several displays that provide deep insights into the history of the city and the region, with exhibits ranging from discoveries from the Bronze and Iron ages, artifacts reflecting the customs and traditions of the Bedouin people. Dating back to 3,000 BC, the majestic Hili Tomb is considered one of the oldest archaeological sites in the region.

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