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Travel back in time and explore the UAE through the ages at these historical landmarks and points of interest
Although the UAE is a young nation, its story is rich and its land is full of important sites that honour the region’s early days. If you are interested in exploring the history of UAE, here are the 10 most essential places to visit.
Al Fahidi Fort
Housed within the beautifully restored 18th-century Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Museum brings the city’s past and present together in a series of life-size dioramas and archaeological exhibits from regional excavations. It also contains a collection of old weapons and arms from different periods along with a model of the city as it was in 1820.
(Dubai Museum), Dubai
Union House, Dubai
Located on Jumeriah Beach Road, Union House is the former office of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum. It is here where the historical agreement uniting the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain, and Ajman (Ras Al Khaimah joined later) was signed on 2 December 1971.
Jumeirah Archaeological Site, Dubai
Dating back to the Abbasid period, which extrended from the 9th to the 11th century, Jumeirah Archaeological Site is one of the largest and most important archaeological sites in the UAE. To visit the site, you must obtain a special permit from Dubai Museum, where many of the site’s finds can be discovered.
Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain
Situated in Al Ain, Al Jahili Fort was built in 1891. The fort has been carefully restored and now houses a permanent exhibition on the work of British adventurer Sir Wilfred Thesiger and his 1940s crossings of the Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) desert.
Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi
Qasr Al Hosn was originally built as watchtower in 1761. It was expanded in 1793 to be a small fort and eventually the permanent residence of the ruling family. A major extension of the fort took place in the late 1930s. The fort remained the ruler’s palace and seat of government until 1966. In 2007, it was redeveloped as a historical site and was opened for public viewing.
Al Hisn Fort, Sharjah
Built in 1820, Al Hisn Fort, which now is as a museum, was once the residence of Sharjah’s ruling family. It has played an important role in the emirate's history and has witnessed several social, political and commercial developments in the region.
Al Bidyah Mosque, Fujairah
Located in a small village about 50km North of the city of Fujairah, Al Bidyah Mosque is the oldest known mosque in the United Arab Emirates. Its construction can be traced back to 1446 AD. The mosque is a popular tourist attraction in Fujairah and is still used as a place of worship to this day.
Fujairah Fort, Fujairah
Fujairah Fort is the largest fort in the emirate of Fujairah. It was built in the era of Sheikh Hamad bin Matar Alsharqi from simple materials like stone, gravel, clay, hay, and gypsum. The architecture of the fort has some unique characteristics and differs vastly from other forts in the emirate.
Dhayah fort, Ras Al Khaimah
Located about 15km from Ras Al Khaimah, this 16th-century fort, perched atop one of the mountains, offers a dominating view of Shimal village, a significant archaeological site in the emirate. The fort is a popular tourist attraction due to the major role it played as a strategic military fort in the history of Ras Al Khaimah.