Al Ain Camel Market

Market in Al Ain

Dusty, noisy, pungent and chaotic: Al Ain's famous camel market is a full immersion in traditional Arab culture. All sorts of camels are holed up in pens, from wobbly legged babies that might grow up to be racers to imposing studs kept for breeding. The intense haggling is fun to watch. Trading takes place in the morning, but it's usually possible to see the corralled animals all day long.

Some traders may offer to give you a tour (for a fee), but you're free to walk around on your own. Taking photographs will also elicit requests for payment. Haggling should bring the often exorbitant asking price down to Dhs10 or Dhs20. Women should dress conservatively in the market area.

The market is about 8km south of central Al Ain, behind Bawadi Mall and part of the Al Ain Central Market, which also trades in goats and other animals. Since this is an active livestock market, you'll see animals corralled together into pens awaiting their sale. The camel pens we saw seemed spacious enough but the goats and other animals nearby were very tightly packed in.