Al Ain is nicknamed 'The Garden City' for good reason: the name, for a start, is Arabic for 'spring', and the city's oases, parks and tree-lined avenues make it very, very green.
Now, you can experience all that for yourself, as Abu Dhabi's Department of Transport and Dubai's Road & Transport Authority have teamed up to launch a new bus route, which runs every 30 minutes during peak hours.
The E201 bus leaves from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, near the Al Fahidi Historical District, and will stop off at a few Dubai spots along the way, before it parks up at the Al Ain Bus Station. It costs Dh25 for a one-way fare.
Stops include: Al Jafiliya Metro Station (north), Wasl, Wasl Club 1, Emirates NBD – Nad Al Sheba, Marmoom Dairy Farm 1, Al Faqa station 1, UAE University Mohammed bin Khalifa Street 1, City Petrol Station 1 and Sheikha Salama Mosque 1.
See the sites
Once you're there, there's plenty to see, from museums and parks to fascinating heritage sites.
Look through the photo gallery below to see some of The Garden City's best sites:
This includes Al Ain Oasis, which was the UAE's first Unesco World Heritage Site, where more than 100,000 date palm trees tower over wandering visitors. Elsewhere, Al Jahili Fort, which was built in the 1890s, gives you a glimpse into the emirate's rich history. And don't miss Hili Archaeological Park, a Bronze Age site that's home to a park, playground and historic tombs.
If you're up for an onward journey, head out to Jebel Hafeet, one of the tallest mountains in the UAE, which features a number of unique rock formations and caves. It's the ideal spot for hiking and picnics.
Nine new routes
The news of the route between Al Ain and Dubai comes just after Dubai's RTA launched nine other new routes on April 7. This includes new links between Dubai and Sharjah, and other inner-city connections, such as between International Media Production Zone and Arabian Ranches, with a stop in Dubai Studio City.
Here's the full list of routes that have been launched:
- Route 20 from Al Warsan 3 to Al Nahda via Airport Terminal 2, connecting Rashidiya Metro Bus Station and International City. Every 30 minutes during peak hours
- Route E201 from Al Ghubaiba Bus Station to Al Ain Bus station. Every 30 minutes during peak hours
- Route J02 connecting International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) with Arabian Ranches via Dubai Studio City. Every 30 minutes during peak hours
- Route 310 from Rashidiya Metro and Bus Station to the International City. Every eight minutes during peak hours
- Route 320 from Rashidiya Metro and Bus Station to Silicon Oasis/Academic City. Every eight minutes during peak hours
- Route F34 from Dubai Internet City Metro Station to Dubai Production City via IMPZ. Every 20 minutes during peak hours
- Route F37 linking Mall of the Emirates Metro Station with Dubai Sports City. Every 20 minutes during peak hours
- Route E315 runs from Etisalat Metro Station to Muwaileh Bus Station in Sharjah
- Route E316 runs from Rashidiya Metro Station to the University of Sharjah (Airport Road Interchange)
Visit www.rta.ae for more information on the bus routes.