Al Jahili Fort à Al Ain

Entrance to al Jahili fort in the city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Al Jahili Fort is the city's most beautiful fort with its imposing round tower and majestic entrance - it's an important testament to regional military architecture, and if you only visit a fort in Al Ain, it should be this one. Find here all the information to organize your visit (advice, advice, opening hours, prices).

History of the fort

Its construction began in 1891 and was completed in 1898 under the patronage of Sheikh Zayed Premier. Its primary function was to protect the oasis of Al Ain rich in dates and food crops. It was used as a summer residence by the ruling Al Nahyan family, and also as a military site successively by the British occupation army and the Abu Dhabi army. Then, the site was restored in several phases. Since 2008, tourists can rediscover it.

Guide to the visit

Fort Al Jahili has an architecture more original and more elaborated than the other forts of the United Arab Emirates and Oman, including its two high towers erected on both sides of the entrance, and its large living tower. The fort is free to visit and has a relatively large area, with a double walled enclosure: it is as if there was a small fort in a larger one. Climb to the large circular observation tower which has the particularity of being very wide at its base.

Al Ain Fort Al Jahili Fort Observation Tower, Abu Dhabi Emirate ©Odyfolio

View of the fortifications of Al Jahili fort in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

On the ground floor in the North Wing, do not miss the permanent exhibition of photos of the adventurer Wilfred Thesiger who toured the region in the 1940s.

Useful information

The site is open every day except Monday from 9am to 5pm. On Fridays, the doors only open at 3pm. Free entry. Plan 30 to 45 minutes to visit.

Location and access map

Map of Al Ain (United Arab Emirates) with the location of the main tourist attractions of the city ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of the center of Al Ain, with the location of Fort Al Jahili ©OpenStreetMap contributors