Al Maqta Fort & Watchtower

Fort in Sheikh Zayed Mosque Area

Image by Lindsey Parry Lonely Planet

Despite being one of the oldest sights in Abu Dhabi, this 200-year-old guardian of the city was restored and then more or less abandoned after the visitors centre here closed (though word has it that a new, as-yet-undisclosed project is in the works). For now, although neglected, this old relic, with its companion watchtower on a rocky island in Khor Al Maqta (the so-called Abu Dhabi Grand Canal), is worth an up-close view – if you can find it!

There are lots of brown signs leading to the fort, but it is frustratingly difficult to get to. Take the road into Al Maqta district, turn sharp right at the first roundabout and follow the road leading under Al Maqta Bridge (an icon of the 1960s) to the fort, which is marooned in the middle of highways and building sites.