Al-‘Ain is growing in popularity as a tourist attraction. The dry desert air provides a pleasant respite from the coastal dampness of bigger towns. Many Emirati citizens have vacation homes in Abu Dhabi, making it a popular weekend getaway for families from the capital city. Its attractions include the Al Ain National Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum, various reconstructed forts, and the Bronze Age Hili Archaeological Park site. The surrounding region is dominated by Jebel Hafeet, a 1340-metre-high peak. At sunset, it is common to visit the mineral springs at the foot and drive to the peak. Smaller attractions include the Al Ain Oasis in the city center, other oasis dispersed across the region — all cool getaways in the midst of the summer heat — Al Ain Zoo, an amusement park called “Hili Fun City,” numerous well-kept parks popular with families in the evenings, and a history town. Wadi Adventure, which opened in 2012 near Jebel Hafeet, offers a variety of water-based activities like as surfing, kayaking, and rafting.
The Mercure Hotel is located on top of Jabel Hafeet.
Al-‘Ain has three main shopping malls: Al Ain Mall in the city center, Al-Jimi Mall in the Al-Jimi area, and Bawadi Mall in the Al-Khrair District. The majority of business activity is concentrated in and around the town center.
Spending time in coffee shops and shisha cafés is another favorite hobby among Emiratis and expats alike. Al-‘Ain has a variety of Cafés varying in size and quality.
Al-‘Ain also features a go-kart track of international grade. Al-‘Ain Raceway was chosen to host the 2007 Rotax Max World Karting Finals, which included 220 drivers from over 55 nations competing for the Karting world championship. Al-‘Ain Raceway, which opened to the public in May 2008, is a popular pastime for both local Emiratis and visitors. In late 2010, it was announced that the 2011 Rotax Max World Karting Finals will be held in Al-‘Ain Raceway, bringing roughly 1000 visitors to the modest garden city.
Al-‘Ain, like the rest of the UAE, has stringent alcohol use and distribution rules. Currently, five establishments in the city provide alcohol, four of which are hotels. All of the hotels in Al-‘Ain Rotana, Hilton, Mercure Grand Jebel Hafeet, and Danat Al-‘Ain Resort offer pubs, bars, or nightclubs. The Al Ain Equestrian, Shooting & Golf Club in Al-Maqam, in addition to the hotels, sells alcohol.
Currently, just four outlets offer alcohol for personal consumption: Spinneys in Al-Jimi District, an outlet to the left of the Hilton hotel (close to the hotel’s staff quarters), High Spirits Bottle Shop behind Lulu Hypermarket Sana’iya, and the North Africa Market in Sana’iya.
The city has two English-language radio stations: 100.1 Star FM, which alternates between English and Arabic songs, and 105.2 Abu Dhabi Classic FM, which plays classical music.