If you are new to Al Ain, one thing that will strike you quite quickly, is that addresses are not used as they are in the west. The streets/areas are numbered as are villas and apartments, however if you are taking delivery of something this will mean nothing to the truck driver. What he will want is your nearest landmark and the directions from there.. Very often they will require you to drive to the Carrefour car park so they can follow you home from there!
To help you navigate your way around the garden city, which is spread out over a large area, it’s worth considering the purchase of a satnav – Garmin is the leading brand – and these can be picked up quite cheaply at Carrefour. You will get the best advice as well as the widest choice from AMIT in Dubai Creek (N25 15.972, E55 17.718). I won’t make any recommendations on model to choose, the best thing to do is read up on them and buy the one with the features you like and need.
In the meantime, please download Google Earth; as well as getting a literal overview of the city, you can also copy and paste the GPS co-ordinates I have listed in this and other blogs, click “fly to” and the program will home in on the selected location. It should then be easy to identify the point on one of the many maps you can pick up free around the city.
I have done a series of blogs about finding your way round Al Ain, click through on the links below to find out more.
GPS – N24 11.848, E55 39.45
A good choice for western brands, this well stocked small supermarket offers a surprisingly wide range of groceries. Not the cheapest store in town, but very conveniently located if you live in the west of the city. It has a small separate shop that sells pork proucts to non-muslims. The compex also has one of the best noticeboards in town for buying/selling furniture and cars.
GPS – N24 13.376, E55 46.905
Having recently opened a huge extension, this large mall is host to most of Al Ain’s “designer” shops, as well as a wide choice of everyday shops, cafes and restaurants. Home to a popular ice rink, in common with most malls in the country, there are evening shows to attract people in to the mall.
Al Foah Mall
GPS – N24 20.624, E55 47.547
A relatively new mall, with a good Lulu Hypermarket which does great takeaway food. The mall offers a wide selection of smaller shops. as well as a some some restaurants/coffee shop and a cinema.
GPS – N24 14.646, E55 43.616
A medium sized mall with loads of charm and interest, Carrefour has its largest supermarket in Al Ain here. The mall is home to the GCC anchor store CentrePoint’s furniture shop Home Center.
Al Remal Mall
GPS – N24 12.250 E55 45.778
A small mall with underground parking situated near the Etisalat building. 2015 has seen many shops take space in this mall and it is well worth a look.
GPS – N24 09.589, E055 48.407
A large mall opened in 2009, it has a good concentration of stores popular with expats.
Carrefour has their second Al Ain supermarket here, and you can also find Marks and Spencer, Boots, BHS , Ace Hardware and Daiso here. Huge foodcourt, large kids’ play area, it also has a “fun ski village”.
GPS – N24 16.440 E55 46.739
A medium sized mall with Geant, Spash, Bodyshop and other great shops.
Lulu Hypermarket Kuwaitat
GPS – N24 13.815, E55 46.489
Probably one of the best places to buy British and European brands, this huge superstore has a vast array of food and non-food. There are also some smaller independents here too, as well as a Cafe Nero.
GPS – N24 12.178, E55 45.688
This one is called a hypermarket too, but it’s not as big as the others in the city. Plenty of choice here, and some items can be a few fils cheaper than the Kuwaitat store.
GPS – N24 12.760, E55 45.122
This store often has very good special offers and the flyers for these are distributed to homes throughout Al Ain.
Souq Al Zafaraana
GPS – N24 14.231, E55 43.202
A well located shopping complex with the Safeer grocery/non-foods supermarket being complemented by some food outlets such as Pizza Hut, Baskin Robbins etc. Behind the supermarket there is a small mall with local shops, and also a fruit and vegetable market.
SouqExtra Mall (Extra Mall)
GPS – N24 13.099, E55 38.430
Home to Spinneys (note this branch does not sell pork) this small mall has a good choice of useful outlets which make it ideal as a daily mall for those living nearby in Al Bateen.
GPS – N24 13.497, E55 44.288
Not really a mall or a shopping centre, there are a few shops on either side of the road north of this roundabout. For furniture – Homes R Us and Pan Furnishings, and on the other side of the road there is a BHS/Dwell/Tammy store.
The town centre (around N24 13.529, E55 45.907) offers shops too many to mention, from kandura tailors, to gift markets and perfume shops, you will find them all here!
Al Ain’s second pork shop is downtown at Choitram (separate entrance) – N24 13.438, E55 46.105.
In addition there are small supermarkets run by Al Ain Co-operative Society dotted all round the city, mainly on the periphery of housing areas. In the older areas of Al Ain, you will find a grocery shop carrying drinks/yoghurt/bread at the end of most streets – and they will deliver too!
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