Monday, 12 March 2018

A day in Al Ain, afternoon

After refueling at Starbucks we decided to visit yet another palace, or rather a museum situated in a palace - the Al Ain Palace Museum.

This was once one of the residences of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nayhan, he lived here with his family. It dates back to 1937 and now proves a glimpse into the life of the ruling family until they moved to Abu Dhabi in 1966.

The kitchen:

The bedroom of Sheikh Zayed:

The Al Nayhan family tree:

A large tent was the late Sheikh Zayed's favourite place to receive guests; although now a modern tent is in its place, the tent recalls Bedouin traditions.

After our visit to the Al Ain Palace we went just around the corner to have a look in the Al Ain Oasis. I was here last time too, but since then I had the kids with me, we only walked about in a very small part of this large oasis. This time we rented a small electric bus which drove us around all of it! Much better!

We explored the palm tree plantations and the falaj system:

While in the oasis we also got to visit the Al Ain National Museum on the eastern edge of the oasis, our little bus drove us there and back. This is the oldest museum in the UAE, established in 1969. It is charting the history of Al Ain from the Stone Age to the foundation of the UAE.

The Al Ain National Museum houses artefacts discovered in the many archeological sites of the region; it also has one section devoted to ethnography and another displaying gifts given to the late Sheikh Zayed by presidents and ambassadors of fellow countries from around the world.

Yes, Danish archeologists were here to help excavate in the late 1950s! They found evidence of 5000 year old tombs, and artefacts indicating the importance of maritime trade across the Arabian Gulf.

We finished off the day by driving all the way out to the Hili Archeological Park. This is where you can visit some of the amazing Bronze Age tombs, built in circular forms with diameters up to 12 meters. 

The Hili tombs are included on the UNESCO World Heritage List, so obviously very important sites here in the UAE. 

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