Sultan Bin Zayed Fort, Al Ain

Childhood home of the legendary Sheikh Zayed

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Right next to the Al Ain museum, the Sultan Bin Zayed Fort (or Eastern Fort; same hours and ticket) is one of many such structures dotted around Al Ain and the surrounding countryside – a reminder of the area’s lawless past, and of its former importance on trade routes between Abu Dhabi and Oman.

The fort is most famous as the childhood home of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (ruled 1966–2004), the much-loved ruler of Abu Dhabi and first president of the UAE, who oversaw the transformation of the emirate from impoverished Arabian backwater into today’s oil-rich contemporary city-state. Sheikh Zayed spent most of his early life in Al Ain, serving as the town’s governor before succeeding to the throne in Abu Dhabi

The pretty little three-towered building is one of the prettiest in Al Ain, centred on a picturesque little courtyard dotted with a trio of trees and a couple of little traditional palm-thatched barasti huts – humble beginnings for the sheikh who would subsequently become one of the world’s richest men.

At A Glance

Off Zayed bin Sultan St
Al Ain
3dh (also includes entry to Al Ain National Museum)
Sat, Sun & Tues–Thurs 8.30am–7.30pm, Fri 3–7.30pm, closed Mon

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