Falaj A forest in the uae

Most of the world thinks of Arabia as a barren place of sand and heat. And for the most part it's true. But humanity has managed to stick to some pretty weird places in its history. Al Ain is one of them. It's one of the birth places of the UAE - an oasis where the Bedouin lived out the summer months before going back to the sea to fish for pearls in what became Abu Dhabi. Because of this heritage, Al Ain ("the Spring") is a fount of interesting places to visit.

A family favorite was the Al Qattara oasis (https://goo.gl/maps/9obkgkXVBA22). A nice cheap Arabic meal, followed by a walk in the greenest place you could find in the UAE.

It's not really easy to find....

Alone in the UAE, I've decided to revisit the old haunts that pleased us when the family lived here. So my first trip was to Al Qatarra.

It's still there,. The Heritage village cafe has caught up with the times. It's apparently an …Italian restaurant! (not really) — complete with valet parking and a not-so-cheap Friday brunch. It's still a fun local place to visit though.

Don't worry - it's useless - there's plenty of sand to park in
The Al Ain elite get to park their cars in front. I had to park 30 meters away. Woe

Quiet time

The Oasis is divided in plots leased by Al Ain residents. Each is usually worked on by expatriate workers, some of whom seem to live there. Some plots are remarkably tidy, but most look to be on the verge office reverting to nature.

Date bunches are wrapped in nets to prevent overripe dates from falling on the ground in sticky - and smelly - messes.

ft's just past date season. The remains bags are lost and forlorn.

I'd expect the trees to be culled if they weren't growing well or straight. But you see them stuck every which way.

The bricks in the walls are even moved around when the trees grow through them.

If you're lucky, the falaj will be full and you'll walk to the sound of running water, or the distant call to prayer.

Created By
Paul Atlan
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