A Glimpse of a City and Town❤️
A Glimpse Of City and Town
I was born in Al Ain, a small yet beautiful place in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in the country United Arab Emirates. Little did I know that I’d be there for the first eighteen years of my life and get too attached to the place. Well… by far the best years of my life♥️
Basically, Al Ain is an oasis in UAE. Al Ain is mostly known as the ‘Green City or the Garden city of UAE’. Alain is at the border of Oman. Al Ain is the fourth largest i.e., after Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. There are numerous parks and streets filled with trees, shrubs and lights. Al Ain is also known for the innumerable roundabouts. Tunnels, bridges, and roundabouts just made it more and more beautiful. The heat might be there but Al Ain never looks dry with all the greenery everywhere. The name Al Ain means ‘The Spring’. Well I’ll take you into the must visit places and history in the later paragraphs.
Growing up here is a perfect mixture of various cultures and traditions. Neighbours, classmates and friends all from different parts of the world. Mingling with these kids from a small age helps us to be broad minded, accept differences, see different kinds of mindset’s and perspectives. Understanding different beliefs, culture, traditions, religions, and lifestyles. Learning few words in different languages and trying to converse. We end up learning a lil bit of Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Filipino, and of course Arabic. Teachers from different walks of life. Such a safe environment it is. Childhood was filled with cycling in the neighbourhood, playing all sorts of games we created and things games I guess y’all played too, climbing up to the terrace and finding out nuts, bolts and washers which back then we kids called them ‘Small CD’s, metal beads’ and few other names that I fail to recall. We’d collect them, observe how shiny they were, counting them over and over again. We played cricket and football with different kids, teaching one another the games people played back in our country.
AC filled rooms always as it’s way too warm all the time. Malls and shopping pretty much summed up our weekends. Thursdays and Fridays used to be our wknds. Then somewhere in mid 2006 it shifted to Friday’s and Saturdays. Thursday being a day at the park with family and friends having a bbq night, or a drive up to Jabel Hafeet and later by the hot springs in Mubazzarah. Friday was often a lazy morning followed by shopping in the evening, in LuLu or Carrefour or MegaMart; every Hypermarkets filled with people, or chilling at the malls, football nights, and all that and Saturday eventually becomes a day you do all the work you are supposed to finish by the weekend, finally the ‘Funday’ sheet that you’ve been waiting for all week is finally here,probably even a haircut if you were caught by your staff.
Families given much important in the UAE culture which binds up the kids to the parents here always. School was always fun. We had many programs, events, culturals and competitions. We’ve tried foods from different parts of the world and somehow they get included in our lifestyle. Desert drives, sand dunes, camel rides, sandstorms, cactuses, and Ghaf tree had become part of our lives. Strolling down the mall with friends to beat the heat. Knowing the best shawarma outlet is every place. Never fearing about strangers. Following all sorts of rules and such peace and quiet atmosphere. No honking or arrogant people screaming, everyone being so gentle and respectful is something you’ll miss when you are far away from here.
We loved going to the hot springs of Mubazzarah or to the top of Jabel Hafeet and seeing AlAin from up there and watching the sunrise or sunset was a beautiful sight indeed. The love, care and hospitality from the people here whether it’s from the expats or the Emiratis is just so pure and something that will etched in our hearts forever. Maybe our life here was different from what you had and maybe y’all had better experiences and fun. But I’d always say I’m glad I was here I could experience a lot and meet the best people I don’t think I could ever find elsewhere.
The thing I always disliked was people came and left. Like after 8th or 10th people generally move back to India or US for higher studies which always have us temporary friendships. We always knew someone among us would leave the country someday… but we made the most we could. We’ve cried, missed and hoped to meet them again. We learnt about losing people at a very young age I’d say.
Years passed by quickly, I grew up with Al Ain, like literally. The changes in those 18 years, the people that came and went, the way Al Ain is now and the way it was like 10 years ago isn’t a bit same! But the feeling of home never changed. Life was beautiful here, maybe we didn’t have an amazing weather. But people here valued the resources they had. They planted trees everywhere, trying to cultivate crops and so on. I don’t think I’ll ever find anybody else who gets as excited as the ppl in the gulf region when they see rains. They’ve loved rains so much, and the needs that they’ve started with the cloud seeding.
Later, tuitions and board exams were part of our lives and I’ll never forget those days when we had two tuitions in a day and we’d run from the first to the second place and have tiny break for snacks or shawarma and head back to class. Heading to that mandatory grocery in every residential area, and refreshing ourselves, and finding snacks we’d find nowhere else.
2017, the year when I graduated high school. Dreams, ambitions and future plans came in front and I had to leave home. It was June 24, 2017 and standing in the airport and looking back at those wonderful moments and I started missing everything even before the flight took off. Though I knew it was for the best, hoped it would be a change that I needed but deep down I knew I won’t have the same experience or the kind of people I met here. I remember the tear-filled journey so fresh in my memory. I still do come here for my vacations and it’s crazy how vacation meant going to India and now it’s the complete opposite.
Now… to why I titled it ‘A Glimpse of City and Town’. Well late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan was the president of UAE and the ruler of Abu Dhabi. He was born in Al Ain and he wanted Al Ain to retain its heritage and since there are rules that a building shouldn’t be higher than 7 floors. So even though it’s a city we have no skyscrapers so I guess you could called in a modern town or whatever. So yes you could see the sky and the moon easily and you aren’t in a concrete jungle like the rest of the typical cities.
Let’s move on to the must visits in Al Ain.
1. Jabel Hafeet
2. Green Mubazzarah
3. Al Ain Oasis
4. Al Ain Zoo
5. Museums and Forts
It would be incomplete without walking through the light filled streets streets muching on these delicious delicacies!
There’s so much more I could write and remember if I sit and think about or look at old pics.
But there you go. That’s my home♥️
The memories, the food, the love and care is something I’ll never forget. This place has been a home to so many of us, lol we third culture kids??
This place has given us everything we possibly could need and it’s beautiful to see it housing a new mass of people ?
The numerous road trips, school memories, the endless school bus trips, tuition stroll down the streets, getting lost in the oasis, making the best memories, meeting new people, losing a lot of people due to them shifting etc….. just created a perfect blend of everything.
The people I’ve met here made everything better. The lifelong friendships that has been built here and no matter how far we are, we still talk about our days back at home and miss it dearly. No matter to how many places I might shift or settle in, Al Ain surely holds a special place in my heart forever♥️
To many more memories to be made here…!!