Qasr Al Muwaiji .. Birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa

Keeps within the walls memories and historical data

The building embodies the cultural and civilizational heritage of the region

Al Ain – Rashid Al Nuaimi

In the Al Muwaiji area of ​​Al Ain, there is an ancient archeological palace that carries within its walls historical memories and data related to the history of the Emirates, where the center of the first rule was for the founder and heart of the deceased, God. willingly, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – may God bless him – and the place where the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State – may God bless him – was born – and witnessed his first education.

Qasr Al Muwaiji has undergone a meticulous restoration and advanced rehabilitation process according to the highest international standards. This building embodies the history and cultural and civil heritage of the region. Qasr Al Muwaiji’s restoration program has lasted for more than four decades, with the aim of restoring its original image and highlighting its archaeological components, in proportion to His place in the history of the UAE.

Located in the center of Al Ain, Qasr Al Muwaiji is an impressive building that has secured the oasis for over a century. The palace was built in the early twentieth century as a sofa and a meeting place for members of society. It was characterized by simple simplicity and fascinating monuments at the same time. It witnessed an important stage in the history of the UAE, and its construction represents a refined model of architecture based on brick construction in the early twentieth century.

Historic building

Qasr Al Muwaiji was built during the era of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan (Zayed I) (1855-1909) and his son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa, and after the assumption of the deceased, by the will of God, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al. Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, the founding father of the United Arab Emirates. of his rule.

Al Muwaiji Oasis is one of the smallest oases in Al Ain. It contains about 21000 dates. It is famous for its aflaj irrigation system, which depends on groundwater and below ground level, coming from neighboring mountains. Over the years, the castle lands were reclaimed for palm cultivation.

As for the Al Muwaiji Palace, which was built on the west side of the city of Al Ain near the Muwaiji Oasis about 100 years ago, it is considered one of the distinctive historic buildings of the city. Al Ain is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List of heritage because of its tremendous global value.

The palace was built by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan in the early years of the twentieth century during the reign of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa I, ruler of Abu Dhabi.

The palace is built in the shape of a square, the length of its sides is 60 meters and the total area is 3600 square meters, it is surrounded by a high defensive wall, about five meters high, and the thickness of the wall at the base is 950 millimeters. The palace has three main towers, some of which are intended for housing and a government court to manage the affairs of the Al Ain region, and outside the palace there is a mosque, the design of which is similar to the architectural style of the palace.

firstborn birth

In 1946, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan moved to Qasr Al Muwaiji when he took up his post as representative of the ruler of Abu Dhabi in the Al Ain region. Two years later, Qasr Al Muwaiji was honored with his birth. The eldest son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, where Sheikh Khalifa spent most of his childhood days In this palace, he relies on his father’s thoughts and acumen and learns from him wisdom and sound leadership.

Despite the simplicity of the castle building, it remains exceptional, as you see a large inner courtyard surrounded by the square-shaped structure of the building, with prominent towers in its corners and a large gate. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may his soul rest in peace, made many additions to the castle, which confirmed its growing importance as the main seat of government in the region, a council for discussions, a place to receive visitors, a center for consultation and decision-making, and he also ordered the construction of new court buildings and new kitchens, as well as ordered the expansion of guest rooms to accommodate the growing number of visitors.

The Citadel Mosque also witnessed an expansion with the growing importance of Qasr Al Muwaiji, as a center around which community activities revolve, as the number of people who came to it to meet, pray and celebrate increased. When the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, his soul resting in peace, took over the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in 1966, he moved with his son Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed to Abu Dhabi and in the early seventies of the twentieth century , this building underwent various stages of restoration that culminated in a major renovation project that contributed to the return of Qasr Al Muwaiji to its previous era as a general destination for visitors to Al Ain.

modern museum

As part of the modernization process, the palace has been transformed into a modern museum, where the exhibition hall has been erected in the courtyard of Al Muwaiji Palace, surrounded by glass walls that tell the story of the castle and its inhabitants. focuses mainly on the achievements of Sheikh Khalifa.The exhibition also tells the story of Qasr Al Muwaiji, ranging from archaeological evidence to the present day, going through his role in welcoming travelers and visitors.

The palace currently contains a set of stations that can be explored and enjoyed, starting from the entrance gate, where the exterior view of the castle and the surrounding area is displayed, and then the visitor moves to the permanent exhibition square surrounded by magnificent glass walls in the courtyard of the palace, where he learns about the history of the palace and its inhabitants over the years. It also presents a chronology of the lives of members of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi and their close relationship with Qasr Al Muwaiji, through a rare group. photographs, narrating defining moments on the country road.

It also reviews the life and achievements of the late Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, while the visitor can view some of the President’s items in the palace, where visitors to the palace have the opportunity to learn about his history through early discoveries of archaeological evidence. , and its importance as a family palace, a place of government and a destination for society. There will be an opportunity to learn a lot about special aspects of Qasr Al Muwaiji’s history, such as its role in welcoming travelers and visitors and the importance of water for its survival and prosperity.

Outside the exhibition grounds, visitors can view the historic towers, the courtyard of Al Muwaiji Palace and the Al Qasr Mosque outside its walls, to live a unique experience that blends evidences of splendor, wisdom and originality, and between the past and the present, its prosperity and aspiration for the future. The restoration of the palace also provided a place of learning, awareness and appreciation.

The Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi has opened the northwest tower of the palace to visitors. In the early years of the palace, this tower contained living rooms, and during the era of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest him soul, it became the main residence of the family.Its area is larger compared to the northeast tower and one of the traditional architectural features of this tower is the refreshment of the rooms, which gives a lot of comfort throughout the place.

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