Al Ain is a family-friendly city famous for its lush oases and beautiful mountain ranges. It is also home to some of the most fascinating historical attractions in Abu Dhabi. The historical sites in this scenic area such as the Al Ain Palace Museum and Heritage Village depict the cultural aspects of the capital city and offer a unique glimpse into life in this region before the advent of modern technology.
All about the Al Ain Palace Museum Abu Dhabi
The iconic structure on the western edge of the Al Ain Oasis was built in the year 1937 for the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his family. The family lived there till 1966.
In 1998, work began to convert it into a museum and by 2001 it was open to the public. Even today, the venue continues to celebrate the rich history of the country and visitors have the unique opportunity to get familiar with traditional Emirati influences and learn more about the history of the place.
The Building Structure
Al Ain Palace Museum’s architecture is simply magnificent. Many historical buildings in the UAE feature architectural elements that were common during the time of their construction. For example, most ancient buildings have ventilation structures called Barjeels, which were designed to beat the summer heat.
The material used in the construction of the museum included airy material such as clay and plaster stones. Palm tree leaves were used for ceiling, doors, windows and roofing rooms. All of these ancient building materials have been preserved in the museum.
The first thing you will notice before entering the palace is the distinct internal gate. It has been decorated with verses of the Holy Quran. This gate opens up to private rooms which were used by guests and official delegations. This section of the Al Ain Palace has rooms where official councils met to issue directives on public services.
Over the main entrance is the upper majlis also known as Albarzah. The outdoor yard has a coffee room and this section is where the official businesses took place.
The Al Ain Palace Museum has another section where the erstwhile royal family residences have been preserved. There were two floors in this section. On the ground floor, visiting women used to stay. On the upper floor, His Highness Sheikh Zayed and his family spent their time. There are also rooms where their children used to study. Interestingly, the original tables and blackboards are present to date.
Abu Dhabi’s culture is firmly rooted in Arab and Islamic traditions. So another really special place in the Al Ain Palace Museum is a dedicated room to teach the Holy Quran and Hadith. It’s a beautifully lit room with the calligraphy of Quran and Hadiths, i.e. sayings of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) placed around including inscriptions on the ceiling.
When the Al Ain Palace was renovated and converted into a museum, two more buildings were added.
One building displays the gifts bestowed upon the royal family by the local community. The wide array of gifts reflects the very warm relationship the family had with locals.
The other building displays a family tree of the Al Nahyan family. So visitors have the chance to learn a great deal about the ruling family’s lineage.
Both new buildings were designed keeping in consideration the style of the original palace. It is a credit to the engineers that they were able to replicate the traditional model. Moreover, particular attention was paid to make the interiors reflect styles popular during that period.
A Land Rover is also placed in the Palace, which is similar to the cars used by Sheikh Zayed in his life.
Things you may want to know about Al Ain Palace Museum
What are the Al Ain Palace Museum opening hours?
The Al Ain Palace Museum opening hours are as follows:
- Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday: 08:30 am to 07:30 pm
- Friday: 03:00 pm to 07:30 pm
*The palace remains closed on Mondays.
What is the Al Ain Palace Museum location?
Al Ain Palace Museum location is Al Jahili area, Hessa bint Mohammed Street next to Al Ain Oasis.
What is the Al Ain Palace Museum entrance fee?
The entry is free.
How can I contact the Al Ain Museum Palace?
If you have any questions, please call at +971-3-711-8388. The staff will provide all the information about Al Ain Palace Museum.
Walking through the palace’s courtyards will take you back to a historical period. In these very buildings, decisions were made which shaped the lives of millions and laid the foundation of a modern and thriving UAE. Furthermore, it gives a peek into the lifestyle of the royal family. You are likely to learn a great deal about the history of the country and how it was run.
Abu Dhabi is an ideal destination for the entire family and the Al Ain Palace Museum is just one of the many tourist spots in the UAE capital. You can get a glimpse of the local art and culture scene at the Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi and architecture lovers would enjoy a visit to the truly delightful Emirates Palace. For those who have a taste for art, culture and history, museums in Abu Dhabi are an excellent option.