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Fort Mezaira'a (Liwa Oasis Forts Road)

Updated on 03.06.2018

Fort Mezaira'a in the oasis of Liwa, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Fort Mezaira'a is the most famous fortress in the Liwa Oasis with the green dune of a presidential palace in the background. Located in a semi-urban area, it is one of the most accessible forts in the Al Gharbia region.

History of Fort Mezairaa

There are very few written records on the forts of the Liwa oasis, and the testimonies of the inhabitants are becoming more and more rare at the beginning of the 21st century. The information given here should therefore be taken with great care. Fort Mezzairaa was built in the nineteenth or early twentieth century. At these times, nomadic tribes from Qatar, Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates today raided the oases, a source of water, food and life in these desert lands. Hence the need for the inhabitants of the region to protect their plantations and homes from external aggression. Fort Mezairaa has undergone a recent restoration, under the auspices of the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism of Abu Dhabi, and the patronage of the Sheikh reigning in person, very involved in the preservation of historical heritage. The restoration is very successful, so much so that it is doubtful whether it is faithful to the original. What is certain is that historical data is difficult to obtain, so conservators have had to make choices to restore the entire building.

To see during your visit

The fort of Mezaira'a adopts the classical structure of the forts of the Liwa oasis, with moderately high walls, three watchtowers. A single staircase leads to the guardrail upstairs, and to the upper floors of the towers. In the center of the fort is an inner courtyard, and all around the doors to access areas for housing and storing food.

Part of Fort Mezairaa, in the Liwa Desert, Al Gharbia area, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

Like other forts in the oasis, the only gateway to the fort is wooden and beautifully carved. Like the fort Jabannah, there is under the entrance porch a door opening onto a living room, with again a wooden door.

Carved doors under the entrance porch of Fort Mezaira'a, Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates ©Odyfolio

If you are not dizzy, and are not afraid to get dirty, climb the ladders carefully to reach the top of the towers.

Inside a tower of Fort Mezaira'a, on the road of the forts of the oasis of Liwa, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi ©Odyfolio

Access map and practical information for the visit

Fort Mezaira'a is located near the main road junction of the area, in the locality of Liwa, on the main road towards the locality of Mezaira'a, which marks the center of the oasis.

Count two roundabouts, then take the first paved road on your right (350 meters after the second roundabout). Continue on this lane which turns on the left for 400 meters, you will see on the right the fort Mezaira'a.

Location on a map of Fort Mezaira'a in the Al Gharbia region, Liwa desert, Abu Dhabi emirate ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Map of Fort Mezairaa, Liwa Oasis, United Arab Emirates ©OpenStreetMap contributors

Admission is free, and the gates of the fort are almost always open during the day. Be sure to close the doors of the interior rooms to keep them cool, and to thank the guard if he opened the doors of the fortress of Mezaira'a especially for you.

To see in the surroundings

If you liked Fort Mezaira, there are a lot of similar buildings in the area and our article The Liwa Oasis Fort Road offers an itinerary to discover them.

If you liked Fort Mezaira, there are many similar buildings in. In the immediate vicinity of Fort Mezaira we can mention Al Hamily Fort, also called Fort Dhafeer. A few hundred meters from this site begins the road leading to the dune of Moreeb which would be the highest of the region....