Accessing the internet in Al Ain

Accessing the Internet here in Al Ain is more expensive than in the UK or US. We are paying in the region of £25 a month for a one meg line. We managed quite fine with a 512k line for a few months, but accessing YouTube was a little too frustrating at times at this speed so we upgraded. One of the Abu Dhabi guidebooks says that you can only get an Internet connection if you also pay for a landline. This may have been the case a year or 2 ago, but it is no longer true now.

One downside of living in Al Ain is that you can only have an Internet connection once you get your residence visa, so until then you will need to access the Internet in an office, at an Internet cafe, or at a local coffee shop where you will get free Internet access when you buy a drink or snack.

The first thing that we did when we got our residence visas was to sign up for an Internet account at the impressive Etisalat building in Sanaiya, a district in the south part of Al Ain.

Here is a shot of the building taken from the west…

Etisalat building

Notice the canopy for the Al Ain Club’s football stadium to the right of it.

Here’s the building from the north…

Etisalat building 2

Notice the cranes towering over the new mall called The Mall! This will open in the summer of 2012 and will house a Carrefour supermarket. Next door (south of it) is a Lulu hypermarket which has been there for a few years.

As the building we live in has no name or number, and the road we live on has no name, I was fascinated to see how the staff at Etisalat would find out where we lived. We were asked to describe where we lived and from a brief description we were shown a computer monitor screen with an overhead map of the town and then we drilled down to identify our building which had its own unique number. The very next day the engineers from Etisalat came round and within 30 minutes we were online – which was a tremendous relief.

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