5 Must-visit Cultural and Historical Sites That Define Abu Dhabi, UAE With an array of ultra-modern shopping malls, commercial buildings, and hotels, Abu Dhabi perfectly befits its status as the economic and business hub of the United Arab Emirates. But as it progresses as a first-class emirate, it never fails to keep a watchful eye on its rich history and heritage. And since its culture is firmly rooted in Islamic traditions, many of the most-visited tourist spots in the area exhibit the emirate's commitment to its origin. A true destination of distinction, Abu Dhabi will let you discover a slew of cultural havens. Among these are: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre Apart from being one of the most prominent and beautiful architectural monuments in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque represents great sentimental and moral value for the people of the UAE. That is why the government established the centre that houses a state-of-the-art library, which promotes inter-cultural discourse by showcasing books spanning multiple Arabic and Islamic eras. You will be delighted to see an extraordinary collection of Arabic calligraphy and copies of the Holy Qurâ€™an printed in Europe from 1537 to 1857. The centre also keeps more than 50,000 rare editions of imprints and manuscripts. Al Maqtaa Fort Visiting the Al Maqtaa Bridge will bring you to this 200-year old sand-coloured fort. Standing on the edge of Abu Dhabi, the Al Maqtaa Fort was originally built to fend off bandits at the entrance of the city. Today, it entices a lot of tourists from various hotel accommodation in Abu Dhabi for it provides a marvellous contrast to the modern bridge next to it. This splendid fortress has intricately carved wooden doors and shuttered windows. Other sights to behold in this place are the watchtowers on a small island in the sea and on the other side of the bridge. Hili Archaeological Garden The Hili Archaeological Garden is both a public recreational park and archaeological site that is a popular place for tourists and locals alike. It highlights excavated remnants from Bronze Age settlements, which are believed to be more than 4,000 years old. One of the most-visited parts in the site is the Grand Garden Tomb, a round structure with a 10.5 diameter. Meanwhile, the garden is filled with plants and fountains, and equipped with a small children's activity area. The Hili Archaeological Garden sits near Fossil Valley, another area that is rich in a variety of ancient remains. Al Qattara Arts Centre From being an old defence structure in Al Ain, the Al Qattara Fort is redeveloped into an arts centre and gallery. Boasting a traditional facade, the reconstructed Al Qattara Arts Centre maintains a blend of traditional architecture with specialised facilities. It holds hundreds of contemporary exhibits, paving the way for the development of local arts in UAE. Moreover, the Al Qattara Arts Centre has studios for a variety of art activities, such as music, drawing, and painting. It also houses a fully furnished pottery studio, digital room for photography, calligraphy studio, and library. Al Ain National Museum This museum displays Abu Dhabi's heritage and history in its 3 sections dedicated to ethnography, archaeology, and gifts. The archaeology exhibit displays relics from the Hili Gardens. The gifts section, meanwhile, houses the presents Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan received during his time. These include silver daggers, golden swords, and a golden palm tree. The ethnography section displays interesting collections of Bedouin jewellery, musical instruments, and weapons. Located next to the Eastern or Sultan Fort, this oldest museum in the emirate is within a close distance from several Abu Dhabi hotels.
Published on Oct 10, 2012
Published on Oct 10, 2012
Apart from being the most progressive emirate of UAE, Abu Dhabi remains to be a haven of historical sites. With its commitment to Islamic tr...