Al Ain Raceway, Al Ain

If you travel east of the Hilton Hotel in Al Ain, drive past the Danat Hotel (previously called the Intercontinental Hotel), and carry on for about a kilometre, you’ll see the Al Ain Raceway on your right (just around the time you say to yourself “It can’t be this far out of town!”).

It’s a great place for a birthday party treat. One of my 11-year-old son’s friends invited him and 2 others to create a party of 4. They had a blast: 2 15-minute sessions in karts which travel up to 40kph. (Though you’ll swallow hard when you discover the damage to your wallet.)

Here’s the reception area…

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There’s even a model of the entire circuit. It’s a big, complex track you can drive round!…

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And there’s a large showroom on the right if you fancy buying your own kart…

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Here are 4 karts ready to set off…

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Racing round the big track outside…

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My Toby sharing the highlights of his experience in the waiting room before the second 15-minute session…

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Each racer gets a sheet at the end showing all his/her racing statistics…

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…and a PC screen hung on the wall shows who did the fastest lap time, who was fastest overall etc – perfect for competitive youngsters!

In terms of sheer professionalism I couldn’t fault the place: it’s brilliantly kitted out and very well maintained. A spot-on day out when you’re feeling flush!

What’s more, this place hosts professional races every year or 2, with serious kart racers flying in from all round the world to compete!

Update: I received an email from a reader…

“Re: Your site is fabulous! My name is David and I will be visiting Al Ain later this year for the Karting Rotax Max Grand Finals at the the Al Ain Raceway which will reunite the 265 best karting drivers from all 5 continents and some 60 countries. Your website is a jem for all that have apprehensions concerning a trip to that part of the World.