UAE National Day

In November each year we celebrate National Day: the day when the Emirates was born.

The town is lit up at night, buildings covered in lights. Here are some photos from the 40th anniversary in 2011…

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Cars are decorated…

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This is what it looked like outside my son Felix’s school gate…

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Transporting livestock in Al Ain

I love seeing camels and goats being transported round Al Ain, and taking photos of them. Here’s one, and I’ll post others soon…

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Al Qattara Arts Center, Al Ain

In the northern part of Al Ain, roughly 2 roads north of Al Jimi Mall, and to the left (west) of the road going out to Duabi, is the Al Quattara district with the Al Quattara Oasis.

This is the location for the Al Qattara Arts Center. You see the back of the building from the road, and you have to go over the sand and round the ‘back’ to find the front. This is what you’ll see…

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As you step inside the entrance you enter a courtyard with this view to your right…

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…and this view to your left…

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Slide back the glass door you’ll see in the photo above, and you’ll see this on your left…

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This gallery is on your right…

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Here’s a view from the bottom end…

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These are some of the exhibits there when I went in June 2011, about 2 months after it opened. They will give you an idea of the kind of art to expect which may encourage you to visit this delightful place.

This piece, presumably of Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the middle, is about a metre across…

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I think this is a dissected camel’s heart (as big as a human’s head)…

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Bath time…

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And more…

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Walking further into the Center is this corridor. I loved the shadows cast from above…

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Two beautiful sculptures…

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One of them in detail…

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There are various studios where you can learn to paint etc…

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There’s more art on another corridor’s walls…

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Amazing, huh!

Do go and have a look sometime. They have classes running during the week.

Etisalat junction, Sanaiya, Al Ain

Here is a video I filmed at the junction in Sanaiya with the impressive Etisalat building on one corner, in which I slowly turn 360 degrees, pointing out different landmarks.

You may find it helpful to download the maps I’ve created so you can orient yourself as you watch the video…

There’s a companion video to this here which does a 360-degree spin at the Clock Tower ’roundabout’ which you may wish to check out.

Clock Tower ‘Roundabout’, Al Ain

For me, the Clock Tower junction, which used to be a roundabout until 2-3 years ago (I hear), represents the centre of Al Ain.

Here’s a short video I created which shows the landmarks at each corner of this junction….

I say in the video that the Etisalat building is 200 yards/metres south of this junction: it’s more like half a mile!

Also, if you go west from this junction, I mention the Deer Roundabout, but you’ll also see Al Jahli Park on your left and after that the Thai Massage for ladies building on the left. On the other side of the roundabout is the Rotana Hotel.

There is a companion video here which does a 360-degree spin at the Sanaiya junction which you may wish to check out.

Waterfall roundabout

If you travel west from the Hilton Hotel, the next major junction is at Sanaiya, and you’ll see the Etisalat building on your right and The Mall (still under construction) on the left. The next roundabout after that is my favourite in Al Ain with 3 waterfalls on one side…

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… and 2 on the other...

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If you are mad enough to walk across to it…

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you’ll find steps going up to the top, where you can take in the views to the east…

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…and west…

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Occasionally I’ve seen people standing at the top admiring the view. And often in the evenings you’ll see Asians sitting in groups of 2 to 4, relaxing and chatting on the grass on many of these attractive roundabouts, and other grassy sections by the roadside.