Destination

Qasr Al Muwaiji

If you have a mind to get acquainted with the rich history of UAE, Qasr Al Muwaji is a must visit place. The primitive walls have witnessed the many historical tales of the Al Nahyan family. How interesting it is to know that the voices of the emperors have echoed along the halls and corridors of the Qasr Al Muwaji in Al Ain. Actually, the palace was also the administrative base of the ruling Nahyan family.

It so happened that Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan during his rule made important enhancements to the fort and his efforts led the Qasr Al Muwaiji fort to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. Therefore, this piece of architecture is worth a visit. Let us look closely into the various aspects of the fort’s developments and plan out our itinerary marking a visit to this coveted location while we are in Al Ain.

History

Muwaji Fort or Qasr Al Muwaji is located in central Al Ain. The birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan who is the present ruler of Abu Dhabi and the President of the UAE is at this place. It was here that his father had spent his tenure. This was built in the 20th century by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan during his father’s reign.

Let us look at the few sections of the Muwaji Fort aka Qasr Al Muwaji, Al Ain.

The Fort

  • The building has a very simple structure but it is extraordinary in every respect.
  • The projecting towers on all sides stand up like pillars and the entrance ushers a grand gate to welcome its visitors.
  • This place was used at the place of governance which was also know as the Diwan.
  • This was the place where all the community used to gather to join the council.
  • Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as per sources, had made some important enhancements to the fort thus placing a lot of importance to the place of governance where the government used to meet for discussions, the visitors were received for some important decision making.
  • He also had added new building as Diwans and also kitchen thus trying to accommodate more and more guests and the number of visitors.

The Mosque

The fort’s Mosque was also enlarged.

  • As a result, a large number of people gathered to pray and celebrate.
  • Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan and his son moved to Abu Dhabi when he became the ruler.
  • Since 1970, Qasr Al Muwaji underwent great number of changes which was, basically, a project for regeneration thus establishing the importance of the position of Qasr Al Muwaji in Al Ain.

The Exhibition

  • There is a spectacular exhibition hall which is a glass space in the courtyard of Qasr Al Muwaji.
  • It has exhibits that tell the story of the fort and the people who had lived here.
  • The main focus of the exhibition is on the life and accomplishments of late H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
  • It tells people about the historical significance of Qasr Al Muwaiji from the archaeological evidences.
  • It continues to tell its story till today, about the people who visit the place.
  • The displays at the exhibition also tell a lot about the importance of water in life, in Al Ain and the role of the nearby Muwaji Oasis.

The Oasis

  • In Al Ain although the Muwaji Oasis is the smallest, yet it holds as many as 21,000 palm trees.
  • It also has the Falaj irrigation system which also uses the underground canals to fetch water from the mountains nearby.
  • The land at the fort has been long used for the cultivation of dates.

Location

The Qasr Al Muwaji is located to the western part of the city of Al Ain. As we already know, this iconic location has a great role in the history of UAE. It is also an outstanding specimen of the mudbrick architecture of the twentieth century.

How to reach

  • You can reach the place, which is located on Zayed Street, by a private or a public transport.
  • You need to book a tour in advance if you are taking a tour of the fort.
  • A tour operator can be hired to take you around the museum.

There is a huge parking space available.

Timings

  • The Qasr Al Muwaji is open on Friday from 3 pm to 7 pm.
  • On Tuesday, Wednesday it is open from 9 am to 7 pm.
  • The place remains closed on Mondays.

Entrance Fees

  • This place has no entry fee to enter Qasr Al Muwaiji.

Conclusion

Qasr Al Muwaiji is worth visiting for its historical importance even today. It was the beautiful additions to the fort that enhanced the importance of the Muwaji Fort. Presently, Qasr Al Muwaiji’s importance has grown to the optimum in the community for people to gather, celebrate and also to pray. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is noted for its outstanding universal importance.

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