The roundabouts in the Central District were removed in 2009 and 2010, being replaced with crossroads to improve traffic flow Image Credit: Gulf News

Overview

Al Ain’s Central District is, as the name suggests, the very heart of Al Ain. It is the main shopping centre of the town and there is barely a shop or service that you won’t be able to find. Understandably, traffic can be a bit busy around rush hour, but there are generally enough parking spaces. You certainly won’t go hungry here.

Where it’s located

Central is bordered by Kuwaitat to the north and east, Al Mutaredh to the west, and Al Jahli and Al Mutawaa to the south.



Transport and parking

There is no shortage of parking in the Central District, but some places are more popular than others, meaning that sometimes it’s better to park where you can find a space and walk the rest. Traffic moves more consistently now the roundabouts have been replaced with traffic signals, but it can be very busy during rush hour.

Parking Parking in the town centre is paid at Dh2 per hour in standard zones (black and blue kerbs) and at Dh3 per hour in premium zones (white and blue kerbs) Bus Numerous bus routes run through the town Taxi There are taxis everywhere.

Culture

Neighbouring Al Jahli and Al Mutawaa boast museums and the famous Al Ain Oasis. You can go and enjoy the Murabba Heritage Fort, which is next to the police station and the camel market runs occasionally near Kuwaitiat. 

Hotels

There are no hotels in the Central District itself, but the Al Ain Rotana is not far in neighbouring Al Jahli, while the Hilton and Dana are five minute’s away. 

Healthcare

Al Noor Hospital is located right in the heart of the town.


The nearby Al Ain Oasis | Gulf News


Shopping

The Central District is nothing but shops and restaurants. Thankfully, shops of a similar nature are usually tied together along the same stretch which makes shopping around both convenient and economical. It’s much easier to barter a price if the guy next door won’t.

The biggest supermarket in town is Choithrams, next to Al Noor Hospital. Parking outside can be difficult but the shop is well-stocked, particularly with familiar western brands.

The western end of Main Street (Zayed Bin Sultan Street) is home to electronics goods shops, from electrical supplies to music equipment. The eastern end of the street is home to textiles. Khalifa Street is packed full of restuarants and recruitment offices. Ali Bin Abi Street is home to many mobile phone shops, although be weary of fake items. Behind Ali Bin Abi Street  you will find a raft of typing offices.

The Al Ain Town Square is also a great place to shop and dine. The Emirates Commercial Complex, between Main Street and Khalifa Street is the home of Al Ain’s only Emirates Airline office, and also where the Dubai airport coach departs and arrives.

The Al Qattara Souq is a great place to sample some authentic Arabic culture.

Restaurants - 3 to try

Try one of these restaurants

Leisure

Leisure is arguably Al Ain’s most happening spot. It has both indoors and outdoors seating and is a superb choice if you want to puff back on some shisha. It’s a place that caters to all types of evening. There is a separate section for those who want to watch football, and for those who want to dine in peace and private. The menu is packed full of Lebanese favourites. Booking is advised. Phone03 766 1116 Website Leisure

Golden Sheep

There is no question that the Golden Sheep on Khalifa Street serves the best mixed-grill platter in the UAE. Words don’t do it justice. Parking in front of the restaurant is sometimes impossible as there is usually a queue of cars waiting to take away – a hallmark of its popularity. Dine in or take out. Phone 03 765 5743

Shawarmaji

Looking for a simple shawarma? We won’t say too much more, because we can’t, but this place does one of the best shawarmas in town.