Al Jahili Fort

Historic Site in Al Ain

Surrounded by a lush park, this fairy-tale fort was constructed in the 1890s as the summer residence of Sheikh Zayed I (1836–1909) and expanded by the British in the 1950s. The original parts are the square fort in the far-left corner of the courtyard and the wedding-cake-tiered tower opposite. It won the prestigious Terra Award for the best Earthen Architecture in the world in 2016.

Today the compound houses a tourist centre with temporary exhibitions (Zayed I, UAE Armed Forces etc) and a superb exhibit of photographs taken by British explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger during his multiple crossings of the Empty Desert in the 1940s.