Al Ain is a border city on the eastern side of Tawam oasis and the seat of the administrative division, the Al Ain Region, in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
It is bordered to the east by the Omani town of Al-Buraimi in the Al Buraimi Governorate. It is the largest inland city in the Emirates, the fourth-largest city (after Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah), and the second-largest in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The freeways connecting Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai form a geographic triangle in the country, each city being roughly 130 kilometres (81 mi) from the other two.
Al-Ain is known as the “Garden City” of Abu Dhabi, the UAE or the Gulf, due to its greenery, particularly with regard to the city’s oases, parks, tree-lined avenues and decorative roundabouts, with there being strict height controls on new buildings, to no more than seven floors, and according to one author, an oasis around Al-Ain and Al-Hasa in Saudi Arabia are the most important in the Arabian Peninsula. That said, the region of Al-Ain and Al-Buraimi, altogether Tawam or Al-Buraimi Oasis, is of cultural and historical importance. For example, the area witnessed events relevant to the history of Islam during the Rashidun, Umayyad and Abbasid eras, similar to Dibba and Ras Al-Khaimah. It was where Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founder of the United Arab Emirates, spent much of his life (at least since 1927, before becoming the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966). Though it is often held that he was born in Abu Dhabi, some hold the view that he was born in Al-Ain. Al-Ain may also be the site of the oldest mosque in the country, in the premises of the Sheikh Khalifa Mosque.
The city has a hot desert climate, featuring long, extremely hot summers and warm winters. In Al-Ain, the mean annual rainfall is 96 mm (3.8 in) and the average relative humidity is 60% (United Arab Emirates University, 1993). Low humidity in Al-Ain, particularly during the summers, makes it a popular destination for many people at that time of year. Boer (1997) classified the UAE climate as hyper-arid and divided it into four climatic regions: the coastal zone along the Persian Gulf, the mountain areas northeast of UAE, the gravel plains around Al Ain, and the central and southern sand desert. More rainfall and lower temperatures occur in the northeast than in the southern and western regions. The monthly average rainfall around Al-Ain was 100–120 mm (3.9–4.7 in) from the period 1970 to 1992.