Looking for a fun family weekend of exploring away from the UAE’s big cities? We love taking a short break down in the Oasis City of Al Ain where you will find several really reasonably priced resort options perfect for families – and often at a fraction of the cost of coastal counterparts!
We’ll be honest though; everything in Al Ain has a somewhat dated 1980’s feel to it! But nonetheless, facilities and service are still spot on for UAE standards. There are plenty of things to see in do in town, as well as relaxing and enjoying the resort facilities.
Here’s a run-through of our family resort favourites in Al Ain and where you will find them spread out over the city which borders with Oman.
Where to stay in Al Ain
Use the map below to navigate around town or keep reading to see why we recommend each one
Family Fun close to town – Al Ain Rotana
Al Ain Rotana is in an excellent central location. We love the larger-sized rooms on offer and the great range in dining options including international, Middle Eastern and Trader Vics with their signature French-Polynesian cocktails! The breakfast also gets a big thumbs up too.
For families to enjoy there is a lovely outdoor pool with swim-up bar, kids pool and a small kids outdoor play area. There’s a fitness club with sports and yoga classes on offer, tennis, squash and great award-winning Zen Spa facilities.
We have found the twin bedrooms to have large enough beds you can fit 4. There are also 2-bedroom chalet and villa options available which are great for families. Many rooms on the higher levels have great views over to Jebel Hafeet.
We also love that in the cooler months you are easy walking distance to Al Jahili Fort, the Al Ain Palace Museum and the Al Ain Oasis, so this one is ideal for sightseeing as well as resort facilities
Radisson Blu Hotel & Resort Al Ain
This is probably the most modern of offerings in Al Ain at present. Set in beautiful lush gardens, with five restaurant choices covering international, Middle Eastern, Tex-Mex and Italian.
The pools here are extensive, including a kids pool, a large water slide and several tennis courts. There’s also a decent-sized outdoor playground and evening entertainment, plus babysitting available.
Families may, however, find they need interconnecting rooms depending on your kid’s age and willingness to share (twin rooms can fit 4 at a squeeze, even 5 with the couch). The suites are huge though, and they offer duplex villa options which can fit larger groups with lovely lawn views.
Amazing views on top of the mountain- the Mecure Grand Jebel Hafeet
The only hotel on Jebel Hafeet mountain, the Mecure Grand commands some spectacular views from its 915-metre high vantage point over Al Ain.
There are five drinking and dining options to choose from on-site, offering international and Middle Eastern cuisine. There are three large outdoor pools, kids outdoor playground, waterslide, mini-golf, on-site spa and 124 hotel rooms. The larger suites are suitable for families if you are happy to convert the couches to beds and have self catering facilities.
There’s more about staying in the Mercure described in this post. We’ll be honest, this one definitely needs some renovation work, but those views!!
Desert resort life in Al Ain – Danat
Danat Al Ain has been around for years (and unfortunately at times shows this), but it’s still a gold old family favourite for a very affordable retreat into the desert, but not too far from the centre of Al Ain and all the favourite attractions.
There is a great range of dining options on-site with eight bars and restaurants including an international buffet, Indian, Italian and a McGettigans Pub.
For outdoor entertainment expect to enjoy three swimming pools, one with small kids slide and a small kids playground in a very pretty garden setting, plenty of deck chairs to go around. There’s also access to tennis, badminton and squash facilities as well as a gym. There’s a games room to but we haven’t yet check this out.
(NB, last we stayed the pools weren’t heated! Just be mindful if visiting in the coolest winter months).
Rooms come in a variety of sizes and can cater to larger families (if you’re not seeing the option online ring up and enquire, we’ve not had a problem fitting 5).
Ultimate Al Ain Desert Luxury – Telal Resort
If you are happy to stay a little bit out of town, a not to miss experience is staying at Telal Resort. Situated just off the main Abu Dhabi highway, this is a really quiet hidden gem of Al Ain!
With its tented-camp look and sitting within a nature reserve, everything about Telal Resort is bathed in luxury and refined Arabian touches. There are stunning desert lagoon pools and an infinity pool.
Arrange activities through the resort including a private wildlife safari, falconry experience and in small groups you can enjoy heritage and cultural activities, along with a vast array of outdoor desert sports including camel and horse rides, sandboarding, quad biking, sand bikes.
Although they do cater to families including luxury private pool villas, we strongly recommend this one as your romantic retreat destination so you can enjoy the spa and desert tranquillity!
Looking for other cheaper Al Ain Hotel options?
If you are only just passing through Al Ain, perhaps on a border run mission or your driving early the next day through to Oman you may not need all the luxury touches of a resort. Some good hotels we would still recommend include:
Or search on the map below for options that fit your budget.
Are there any other resorts you have stayed at in Al Ain you would recommend? We’d love to hear your thoughts, drop them in the comments below!
Before you go! Check out these great posts about visiting Abu Dhabi and the UAE
- 40+ FREE & really cheap things to do in the UAE
- Abu Dhabi’s all-inclusive resorts
- What should I wear in Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi’s best cultural attractions
- Best things to do with a long Eid break
- Exploring the UAE outdoors in the winter
- Al Ain’s Best cultural and family attractions
- The UAE’s best family beach resorts