Al Jahili Fort, Abu Dhabi - Timings, History, Best Time to Visit

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Abu Dhabi): 144 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Place Location: At Al Ain Town

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab

Travel Tips: None

At a distance of 144 km from Abu Dhabi, Al Jahili is a historic fort located at Al Ain, Abu Dhabi. It is one of the historic structures of UAE and among the popular places to visit while holidaying in Abu Dhabi.

Al Jahili is one of the largest forts in the UAE and was built by Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan. The construction of the fort began in 1891 and was finally completed in 1898. The fort is one of the most remarkable buildings in UAE, which was erected in order to protect the city and its prized palm groves. After the death of its founder in 1909, the fort became the residence of his elder son Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan and was later used by the Trucial Scouts. The building fell into disrepair by the early 1950s, when British forces came to Al Ain and requisitioned the fort as a base for a unit of the Trucial Oman Levies. Barracks and other buildings were added to the earlier fort and tower.

The fort is located in the southern part of the city of Al Ain close to Al Ain Castle Museum. Similar in appearance to Mezyad Fort, Jahili Fort is one of the largest castles in the city. The original part of Al Jahili Fort consists of two buildings, a square fort and a separate round tower composed of four concentric tiers. The design of this round tower may reflect an ancient tradition of fortification in the oases of Al Ain. The square fort was originally entered through the gate in the south wall, which is surmounted by an inscribed poem naming Sheikh Zayed as its founder.

Between 2007 and 2008, the fort was restored under a project implemented by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach). Now, the fort is adorned with a museum exhibiting the work of British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger. Since opening its gates in 2008, Al Jahili Fort has been a cultural focal point of activities associated with the philosophy and heritage of Abu Dhabi in the Garden City. The complex also has the visitors' office, gift shops, cafe and wider Public Square for exhibitions and cultural activities. Surrounded by a lush park, this enchanting fort won the prestigious Terra Award for the best Earthen Architecture in the world in 2016.

Timings: 9 AM - 5 PM, Closed on Monday & 3 PM - 5 PM on Friday

Entry: Free