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Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya (road of the forts of the oasis of Liwa)

Updated on 03.06.2018

The Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya, on the road of the forts of the oasis of Liwa, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, Al Gharbia region ©Odyfolio

Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya is the most basic of the forts of the Liwa Oasis. Devoid of rooms to live, it consists of a small square wall with a guard tower in the center.

History of fort Mariah Al Gharbiya

Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya is part of a group of forts that were built between the nineteenth and early twentieth century, to protect the coveted oases of the region. Little information has reached us and it is a shame. We would have liked to know if the forts are part of a coordinated set of defense or not, if they had the same architect, what was the life in the forts... One day perhaps the historians we will tell us more. In the meantime, we must visit an impeccable restoration carried out by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, until a tourist sign, and some brochures, tell us a little more.

Visit of the fort

Fort Mariah Al Gharbiyah has a very basic architecture and does not have any living space, unlike all the other forts in the Liwa Oasis. A square enclosure protects an inner courtyard, with a guard-path on almost the entire perimeter of the wall.

Inner courtyard of Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya, on the road of the forts of the oasis of Liwa, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. ©Odyfolio

In the middle of the courtyard, a watchtower, which today is reminiscent of a dovecote. Note the floor of the upper floor built of palm wood. The ladder to climb to the top is very rudimentary. The view at its summit is not exceptional compared to what can be seen on the other forts of the oasis of Liwa. So in this remote area where rescue can take a long time to come, think twice before making the perilous climb.

Ladder to climb to the top of the tower of Fort Al Gharbiya, in the oasis of Liwa, United Arab Emirates. ©Odyfolio

It is to be regretted that efforts to restore the fort are spoiled by the only electrical line in the area crossing the fort, and by concrete walls that unnecessarily surround the sand parcels adjoining the fort.

Around the fort

In this remote area, we are really far from everything, so no hotels or nice restaurants to stop. But note right next to the fort, a small grocery store that sells take-away refreshments and some food items.

Access map

The visit of the fort Mariah Al Gharbiya is generally carried out as part of a the road of the forts of the oasis of Liwa. Refer to our article for practical information on finding forts in the area.

If you followed this route, leaving the fort Qutuf and returning to the main road, drive west for 16 kilometers, then on a sharp intersection, turn right towards Khannoun. At the first roundabout turn left, then at the second roundabout go straight. Continue for 900 meters, you will see a fork-shaped intersection. Take a left. Continue on this track for 300 meters, the fort Mariah Al Gharbiya will be revealed on your right.

Location of Fort Mariah Al Gharbiyah on the map of the Liwa Oasis, Al Gharbia area, United Arab Emirates. ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Access map to Fort Mariah Al Gharbiya, Liwa Oasis, Emirate of Abu Dhabi ©OpenStreetMap contributors

To see nearby

In the immediate vicinity of this fort, there is not much to see. Most likely if you got there, it's because you followed our #link tour:the Liwa Oasis Forts Roads|1520#. Returning to Liwa, do not miss to take the road leading to the Moreeb dune, which is the highest in the region. By pursuing further towards the West, the presence of man will become more and more rare. After about 150 kilometers the road ends up reaching the coast, close to the ferry terminal connecting the island of Sir Bani Yas, artificial jewel in the waters of the Persian Gulf, on which we you are advised to book two hotel nights (Anantara Desert Resort or Al Sahel Villas). Closer and cheaper, Hotel Tital Liwa.