Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum in Al Ain

The Sheikh Zayed palace also called Al Ain Palace Museum is one of the main attractions of Al Ain - in fact, it's not really a museum but a beautiful fortified building to visit.

Sheikh Zayed Palace Building in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

History of the palace

Historically, it was here that Sheikh Zayed, the founding father of the Emirates, lived until 1966, when he was ruling the eastern region of Abu Dhabi. This beautiful fort built from 1937 had more a residential than military function, which explains its architecture different from the other forts of the region.

Main Tour of Sheikh Zayed Palace in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi Emirate ©Odyfolio

Guide to visit

On entering the building, take the right under the arcades where a series of paintings are hung. Following the main road you will arrive at a room with a family tree of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, as well as the portraits of his most illustrious representatives. Identify the portrait of Sheikh Zayed.

Then go outside in a courtyard with a pool of water, and head to the multi-storey building. Go up to the first floor. You can find surprisingly fresh living rooms with old furniture. It is rare in the area to find furniture in the rooms of the forts. In the outer corridors, pay attention to the philosophical thoughts of the Sheikh which are framed. They illustrate the great modernity of Sheikh Zayed on topics such as the place of women in society and education.

Then join the ground floor and continue the visit of the museum by other living rooms including the kitchen, food storage rooms, school and majis.

Garden and Inland Water Body of Sheikh Zayed Palace in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Majis of Sheikh Zayed's palace in Al Ain, Abu Dhabi emirate ©Odyfolio

Useful information

Free entry. The site is very nice and it takes between 45 minutes and one hour for the visit. The museum is open every day except Monday from 8.30am to 7.30pm. On Friday the site opens at 3pm. The site has a toilet at the end of the main courtyard.

Location and access map

Map of the center of Al Ain with the most important tourist sites of the city ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of the center of Al Ain, with the location of the museum palace of Sheikh Zayed ©OpenStreetMap contributors