Step away from the heat and din of Al Ain city and into the cool, shady walkways of its sprawling 3000 acre desert oasis. Eight entrances lead to narrow pathways, winding past almost 150,000 date palms. These are fed by the 3000-year-old falaj irrigation system that gives life to this lush, inner-city haven.
Arrive in either Dubai or Abu Dhabi airport, transfer to your hotel in the heart of Dubai. The rest of the day is at leisure. At your hotel's doorstep is the historical heart of Dubai - turn right and a short stroll up the street is the art gallery-cum-cafe XVA, and the Basta Art Cafe, either of them a great way to unwind and settle into Dubai style.
This morning take a seat in a half-day city tour of Dubai, featuring photo stops at Burj al-Arab and Jumeirah Mosque, a walking tour of old Dubai and the Bastakia Quarter, crossing Dubai creek by abra and a visit to Dubai Museum. The rest of the day is at leisure. If you have had enough of history by then you may wish to visit Dubai Mall or the Mall of the Emirates, two examples of Dubai's flashy mall culture. On either of the first two nights you also have the option to book on an evening dune dinner "safari".
A full day-tour by coach to the desert oasis of Al Ain, a two-hour drive from Dubai. Visit Al-Jahili Fort and the camel market, take a walking tour of the oasis before returning to Dubai. Al Ain is of some renown as a town regularly visited by the English explorer Wilfred Thesiger in the course of his many visits to Arabia and the Empty Quarter during the 1940's and 1950's, and a feature of this day-tour is the exhibition of photographs covering Thesiger's expeditions which is contained within Al-Jahili Fort. The visit to the camel market is also a glimpse into the other-worldiness of Arabian desert culture, not to mention its total contrast from the glitz of Dubai.
Return airport transfers, accommodation and sightseeing.