Three surprises in Al Ain

Today is our last day in Al Ain.  Later today we will travel to Abu Dhabi to work with the Abu Dhabi campus of Al Ain University (AAU).  Yesterday we had a great day exploring some of the major attractions in Al Ain.  This morning we decided to walk around the neighborhood of our hotel to get a feel for the area.  Our hotel is on the edge of a new residential area so we really did not expect to see much “out of the ordinary.”  As is often the case when we travel, we were pleasantly surprised by what we discovered.

Surprise #1 – The border with Oman.  Al Ain is literally on the UAE/Oman border and we knew that.  Nevertheless, the actual border was quite surprising.  A pretty significant “fence” divides the UAE from Oman.  We understand that until about a decade ago the border was completely open.  Unfortunately,  illegal immigration had become an issue and a fence was erected.  Sound familiar?

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Surprise #2 – A camel farm.  About a mile from our hotel was a working camel farm.  I suppose that should not be a big surprise given the importance of the industry in the region, but as we “stumbled” upon the farm, in the city, we were very surprised.

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Surprise #3 – The beautiful streets.  We could not believe how clean, almost manicured all of the streets were.  There was NO trash anywhere … what a pleasant surprise.  I should add that the cleanliness was not unique to the area around our hotel.  Virtually everywhere we traveled in Al Ain was sparkling clean!

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