29 December 2016

Al Jahili Fort

Sultan Bin Zayed Al Awwal Street
Al Mutawaa, Al Ain
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates
Coordinates: 24.216165, 55.752746

Excerpts from Visit Abu Dhabi’s website:

The picturesque Al Jahili Fort is one of the UAE’s most historic buildings. It was erected in 1891 to defend the city and protect precious palm groves. The former headquarters of the Oman Trucial Scouts, the force that protected the mountain passes and kept inter-tribal peace, it also served as a residence for the local governor. It is set in beautifully landscaped gardens, and visitors are encouraged to explore it.

the grand gates to the old fort

this is a reconstruction, if you can believe it

entering the fort's main courtyard

we're not sure which is old, which is new

over a hundred years old

this must be old, right?

Brendan catching his own reflection

typically sturdy

we suspect this is the reconstructed portion

but we can't be too sure

here we go

dabbing in the desert

Conservation and rehabilitation works carried out by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority in 2007 preserved the fabric and value of this historic building, whilst transforming the most recent parts of the building into an active visitor destination with an information centre and permanent and temporary exhibition spaces.

at the information centre

a study in contrasting light

this must be the old fort

getting ready to climb up the fort tower

time for a photo op

Brendan too

peering through time

exploring the inside of the tower

looks reconstructed?

imagining we're soldiers on guard

view across the courtyard

time to get down

one final parting shot

The conservation and development process was informed throughout by archaeological investigations and documentation that allowed the preservation and interpretation of the various parts of the building.

walking down the tower 
now familiar architecture



ah, so this is the old fort

despite the heat

the interior was kept cool 


trying to determine if this is old or new

no clues from the outside

neither from the inside

hello there?

amazing mud brick creation

as the sun baked us

we glanced up the old fort's tower

and wondered what secret's lay within

this space was surprisingly eerie

keeping in the shade

feeling imprisoned

corridors of power, once upon a time

as we left the fort

The north wing of the courtyard is devoted to a permanent exhibition of black and white photographs by the traveller Wilfred Thesiger and entitled ‘Bin London and Freedom of the Desert’. The west wing is used as the temporary exhibitions centre, opening on to the court, while the south wing contains an information centre for visitors to the fort and to Al Ain, as well as a bookshop and majlis.

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