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Delegates tour historical sites in Al Ain
BY A STAFF REPORTER November 28, 2016
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AL AIN: The Al Ain National Museum brought together representatives of governmental and educational institutions on a tour of the historical and cultural sites of Al Ain from Nov.22-24, through a new initiative titled ‘My Old House’.

Among those invited were delegates from the General Directorate of Customs, the Department of Municipal Affairs and Transportation, Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Al Ain Police Directorate, Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), Sheikha Amna religious heritage centre, Al Ain Municipality Centre in Mazyad, and The International Fund for Houbara Conservation (IFHC).

The tour spanned seven historical and cultural sites; Al Ain National Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Qubaisi House, Jimi Historic Buildings, Qattara Historic Buildings, and Qattara Arts Center and Souk.


Al Ain National Museum was established in 1969 by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan to display archaeological finds discovered in and around Al Ain. The museum exhibits two different collections illustrating the archaeology and heritage of the United Arab Emirates. In 1974, the museum was expanded and two halls were added to display the archaeological objects discovered through ongoing excavations in Al Ain.

Al Ain Oasis setting is key to understanding the traditional buildings of Al Ain. These buildings were concentrated in villages or Harrat located around the edge of the oases, and were constructed using upcast earth from its gardens and the by-products of the palm.

The typology of these buildings includes forts, defensive towers, and fortified houses built to protect the inhabitants and produce of the oases, as well as mosques for those working in the palm gardens.

Al Qubaisi House’s building in the Mutaredh district of Al Ain is an important example of local architecture from the immediate pre-oil era in the1960s.

Constructed largely of local limestone and Juss plaster, the house consists of two rows of rooms with an external arcade along the north and south sides of a walled courtyard.

Jimi Historic Buildings - East: The House and Mosque of Bin Hammoodah Al Dhaheri is located on the eastern edge of Jimi oasis. It has a large courtyard with a deep well and is thought to date back more than two hundred years. A mosque, with a prayer hall and small courtyard lies in the eastern part of the house.

Qattara Historic Buildings – East: Abdullah Bin Salem Al Darmaki House – This large ruined mud brick tower house is located along the eastern edge of Qattara oasis and belongs to the earliest group of historic buildings in Al Ain, all of which probably date back to some point during the seventeenth century. The most notable feature of the building is the tower at the south east corner, which is preserved to its full height of three storeys.

Qattara Arts Centre was opened in 2011 to provide the local community of Al Ain with a venue where they could participate in art and Cultural activities. Along with Souk Al Qattara, re-opened in 2012, it is the location of various heritage events and programmes.

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