Al Ain Palace

Al Ain Palace lies in the city of Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The present city of Al Ain was originally a group of oases, separated by desert, centered in an area of some 24 km², just north of the Jebel Hafeet mountain. Originally the area was known as Al Buraimi Oasis. In the late 19th and early 20th century a large number of forts and towers were built to solidify Abu Dhabi's control over the oases and to protect the settlements and oases from roaming bandits.

In 1952 Saudi Arabia sent raiders to capture Al Ain's forts and incorporate the oasis into the Saudi kingdom. Forces from the Trucial Oman Scouts, as well as the army of Muscat-Oman, arrived to recapture the oasis. With British intervention, the Saudi forces surrendered.

After the independence of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, Abu Dhabi and Oman agreed on final borders, dividing the oases. The Abu Dhabi part was then known as Al Ain and the Oman part as Al Buraimi. From then on Al Ain experienced rapid growth, quickly becoming larger and more successful than Al Buraimi.

The Al Ain Palace was built in 1937 as the residence of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan. Its front, with the gate building and the round towers were probably not built for defensive purposes but more for esthetic reasons. The round towers resemble the watch tower at nearby Al Jahili Fort. The palace consists of a couple of courtyards with gardens and buildings meant for guests, the sheiks family, his family-in-law and service buildings. Sheikh Zayed and his family lived in the palace until 1966, when he moved to Abu Dhabi. Between 1998 and 2001 it was restored and turned into a museum.

At present Al Ain Palace can be visited for free as a visitor of the Al Ain Palace Museum. It is quite large and most of the rooms are decorated the same, so I found it a bit boring. The entrance facade with the towers is the best part.


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Al Ain Palace

Al Ain Palace lies in the city of Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The present city of Al Ain was originally a group of oases, separated by desert, centered in an area of some 24 km², just north of the Jebel Hafeet mountain. Originally the area was known as Al Buraimi Oasis. In the late 19th and early 20th century a large number of forts and towers were built to solidify Abu Dhabi's control over the oases and to protect the settlements and oases from roaming bandits.

In 1952 Saudi Arabia sent raiders to capture Al Ain's forts and incorporate the oasis into the Saudi kingdom. Forces from the Trucial Oman Scouts, as well as the army of Muscat-Oman, arrived to recapture the oasis. With British intervention, the Saudi forces surrendered.

After the independence of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, Abu Dhabi and Oman agreed on final borders, dividing the oases. The Abu Dhabi part was then known as Al Ain and the Oman part as Al Buraimi. From then on Al Ain experienced rapid growth, quickly becoming larger and more successful than Al Buraimi.

The Al Ain Palace was built in 1937 as the residence of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan. Its front, with the gate building and the round towers were probably not built for defensive purposes but more for esthetic reasons. The round towers resemble the watch tower at nearby Al Jahili Fort. The palace consists of a couple of courtyards with gardens and buildings meant for guests, the sheiks family, his family-in-law and service buildings. Sheikh Zayed and his family lived in the palace until 1966, when he moved to Abu Dhabi. Between 1998 and 2001 it was restored and turned into a museum.

At present Al Ain Palace can be visited for free as a visitor of the Al Ain Palace Museum. It is quite large and most of the rooms are decorated the same, so I found it a bit boring. The entrance facade with the towers is the best part.


Gallery