Wednesday 23 September 2020

Introduction

There are many castles and forts in the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi for many reasons: such as the multiplicity of villages where Al Ain comprised of eight villages (oases) far from each other that included: Al Hili, Al Qattara, Al Muatarid, Al Muwaijie, Al Jahili, Al Masoudi, Maziya and Al Rumaila  and the distance between every village from the other ranges between thirteen kilometers and ten kilometers and they all lie on a circular depression with a radius of about nine kilometers and of which height from sea level is 275 . Early in the twentieth century, the population of the eight villages was estimated at 5500 persons and in 1966 at 7000 and in 1971 the number increased to 51000 .
 
Among the reasons of multiplicity of castles and forts in Al Ain is that it was the eastern gate of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and it is neighboring Al Buraimi Oasis that was the target of several of local powers and as such it was necessary to secure the Emirate from this side. Since Hafit Mountain represented a natural castle on the east, it was necessary to secure the Emirate from the south by series of castles. Therefore, there is a series of forts and castles in the form of bow to protect the Emirate and form a line of political borders for the influence of Al Nahyan and to determine the eastern borders of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
 
The natural sources of Al Ain and the abundant fresh water in it helped in providing the material ability needed to build such forts and castles and the availability of local raw materials also helped in building these forts and castles.
Forts and castles increase with the change of rulers from Al Nahyan where we see that every one of them builds a new castle as his quarters except the Late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan who built several castles and facilities because of the long term of his rule of the Eastern Region and his never ending efforts in building and his permanent keenness to strengthen the country and its borders, was all time building and giving.
 
Some castles are called in relation to the villages where they are built or to which they are close so it bears the name of the village such as the castles: Al Jahili, Muraijib, Mizyid, Al Rumaila and Al Muwaijie while some other castles are given the names of the persons who built them such “Sultan” Castle in relation to the Late Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In addition, some castles bear a name that expresses its geometrical shape such as the castle of: Al Murabbaa (the Square) in relation to its square shape.
 

 

The Castle of Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed

 
This castle was built in 1907 by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (1922-1926) (4)  but another source notes that the date of building the castle is 1910 but it is most probable that the first date is the correct one as supported by the verses of poetry written at the gate of the castle. (5)
 
Sometimes, the castle was called the eastern fort because it is located on the east of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (6). Its shape is square with the side’s length of 35 meter. It has one prominent entrance being an opening in the form of triangle arch above which there are three openings for the archers and four openings for rifles on its south side (7) . On the entrance of the castle the following is written:
 
(At the high horizon appeared the star of happiness; its glory remains despite obstacles; history brought the happy day; the ruling house is built by Sultan bin Zayed).
 
Above the entrance there are triangle balconies and there are three cylindrical towers on the castle and the diameter of the tower is 7 meters and its height is about 12 meters. Every tower comprises of two floors fitted with the Mazaghil openings and rifles openings and the towers are topped with triangle balconies like the entrance balconies but the walls of the castle are decorated with the same triangle balconies like the entrance and the towers and they are also fitted with the mazaghil and rifles openings. In addition, there is a prominent pathway inside the castle for soldiers’ movement along the walls of the castle to be used for defending the castle (8) .
 
Mazaghil and rifles openings. In addition, there is a prominent pathway inside the castle for soldiers’ movement along the walls of the castle to be used for defending the castle (8) .
 
As for the inside of the castle, in the middle there is a large yard in which center a well is dug to provide soldiers and residents with water. Soldiers are provided with water if the castle was under siege which gives the castle a strategic strength that enables it to hold. On the sides of the yard, there are several halls and rooms and entrances to the towers. In addition, there is a room used as a prison at the end of the northern wall of the castle.
 
Building Material
 
The castle is built with raw materials available in the area and it was mainly built with Al Sarouj, a traditional building material that was used in traditional building at that time and it is known for its resistance to heat and rain (9) . As for the roof, it is made from the palm tree trunks and also the water drainage openings. All raw materials used in building come from the local environment.
 
The Two Canons
 
At the door of the castle there are two canons that maybe were placed before on its towers that were prepared to hold the canon. The length of the first canon is 139 cm and the diameter of its nozzle is 11cm and the diameter of its base is 28 cm. The length of the other canon is 124 cm and the diameter of its base is 129 cm (10).
 
The National Museum
 
Considering the historical value of the castle, it was made the location of the first national museum in Abu Dhabi that was ordered to be built by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Bless his soul, as part of building the modern state. The reason behind this is that the castle is distinguished as it represents the model of castles of the Emirates early in the twentieth century. It was built in a regular geometrical shape and fitted with three circular towers. It was built by local raw materials appropriate for the environment and the area and the building’s beauty shows through the decorations dominated by simple geometrical triangles.
 
Duties of the Castle:
 
Administration Center
 
The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.
 
Trading Station
 
Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.
 
A Court
 
The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle (11) where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.
 
Security Center
 
The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.
 
The castle as summer resort:
 
In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.
 
A center to manage the agricultural activity
 
The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in Al Ain Region. The castle is located in the desert adjacent to Al Ain Oasis, the largest center of agricultural production where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.
 
A Relief Center 
 
The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.
 
The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.
 
The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.
 

 
4. Ahmad Rajab Mohammed Ali Rizk, Introduction to architectural and military heritage in the United Arab Emirates, 1st Edition, 2004; pp 19

5. Peter Shehan, In the Interest of General Peace – Architectural Development of Al Jahili Castle and its role within the policy of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa in Al Ain, Liwa Magazine, Fourth Year, Seventh Issue, July 2012, pp 45;
6. Yahya Mohammed Mahmoud (and others), Zayed in Al Ain, the Miracle of Desert Conqueror, Bin Ham, Al Ain, 2005, pp 84;
7. Dr. Ahmad Rajab Mohammed Ali Rizk, Styles of Military Buildings in Emirates area, annual issues of the Historical Research and Studies Center, Cairo University, January 2002, pp 21;
8. Ahmad Rajab Mohammed Ali Rizk, Introduction to the Architectural and Military Heritage in the United Arab Emirates, 1st Edition, 2004, pp 19;
9. Mohammed Midhat Jabir Al Khalil, Traditional Building in the United Arab Emirates, Zayed Heritage and History Center, 1st Edition, 2000, pp 173;
10. Dr. Hamad bin Siray, Old Canons in the United Arab Emirates, the Military Space, Abu Dhabi, 2004; pp33;
11. Dar Al Hilal, Abu Dhabi; D.T; pp 65; 

 

Al Jahili Castle



Al Jahili Castle was built by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa (Zayed the First), Ruler of Abu Dhabi (1855 – 1909) in 1898  and this can be learnt from the poetry verses written at its entrance as follow:

(The door of goodness is open at gate of highness, happiness flourished through the high tower, the greetings of invincibility called write for the history, Zayed bin Khalifa built the house of determination)

According to the foregoing sentences we conclude that the date of construction is 1316H correspondent to 1898 . This is supported by the notes made by Percy Cox during his visit to Al Ain in 1905 as he stated that he visited Al Jahili that was built six year earlier . In 1906, Lorimar stated that Al Jahili had developed under the rein of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa . The first photos of the castle were taken by Alfred Thesenger during his visit to Al Ain in 1948 although he did not refer to it in his famous book “The Arabic Sands”, but the photos are maintained in “Pete Rivers” Museum at Oxford University. The period 1955-1971 is considered the largest period during which there were photos of the old castle where it was the quarters of the Scouts Force of Oman Coast and the officers had taken many photos of the castle that existed during that period. In addition, the eastern annex of the castle was used as landing pad for helicopters and therefore there are some aerial photos of the castle taken by the officers and some of them were published . These photos show that the shape and location of the castle match with its components in that period.

The Exterior Yard

This yard is considered the largest area as it represents a square building with 70 meters side long and is total area is about 4900 square meter. The castle occupies the northern west corner of the area and the rest is an open space that was used as the location for erecting the tents of soldiers and stalls for horses and camels. The yard is surrounded by high wall with 5 meters high and topped with triangular balconies like the other structures in Al Ain and it contained openings for rifles. The yard has big entrance with two circular towers on its sides each of which diameter is about 3 meters at the bottom and two meters at the top. The diameter of the tower decreases as we go higher and it gets stronger in bearing. 

Every tower comprises of three floors the first of which is used as guards chamber but the function of the second and third floors is defensive as they are fitted with Mazaghil, openings for rifles and larger openings for the canons. In the middle of the gate there is the entrance opening topped by a lobed arch and fitted with a square gate of which side is 3 meters and it is supplied with Khokha (plum)  (small opening sufficient for the passage of one person). The gate opens upon the entry of horses and camels and the Khokha opens and closes to allow the entry and exit of persons and upon defending the castle it is closed completely.

The Castle

The castle is located at the northern quarter and it is a square shape castle with 35 long sides and its height is 8 meters. It has four facades topped by rifle openings and an array of triangular balconies. The castle has two identical circular towers each of which diameter is 5 meters and the height of 14 meters. Every tower comprises of three floors like the entrance towers but the third circular tower it is located at the eastern façade. As for the North West corner, there is a rectangular and not circular tower and it is the only rectangular tower of which length is 7 meters, width of 4 meters and a height of about 14 meters. It has two floors of the same formation of the castle towers and perhaps this tower is made rectangular so that it would be stronger that the other towers. In addition, the rectangular shape makes it possible to make benefit of the rooms as the same may be used as administration center.

The entrance of the castle is located in the southern wall where there is stairs to enter the castle. In the middle of the building there is an open space paved with stones indicating that it was used as storage for equipment or food at the time of need and all halls with different shapes and areas are open to it with openings some of which are arched with half circular arch and others are covered with curtains of wood with various geometrical ornaments. The halls that overlook the center yard are topped by triangular balconies, openings for rifles and gutters made of palm trunks to leak the storm water to prevent it from pooling on the roofs of the halls and all the halls of the castle have ceilings of palm trunks and gypsum.

Functions of the castle

Quarters for the Oman Coast Scouts Force

The castle was used as the quarters of the Oman Coast Scouts Force during the period 1955-1971 as it was the quarters of brigade (c) of the Oman Coast Scouts Force and so we see that the castle plays an important role in: maintaining the internal security in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and also had a big part in defending the eastern borders of the country. In addition, the castle played a major role in stopping arms dealing and illegal dealings of all kinds and it also played major role in protecting the foreign envoys that visited the area .

Airport

The area adjacent to Al Jahili Castle was used as an airport for helicopters that the Oman Coast Scouts Force was using and although such use was limited, it was restricted to Al Jahili Castle as we don’t find any reference to similar uses in other castles.

Administration Center

The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.

Trading Station

Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it played an important trading role when it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.

A Court

The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle  where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.

Security Center

The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.

The castle as summer resort

In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.

A center to manage the agricultural activity

The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in the Eastern Region where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.

A Relief Center 

The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.

The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.

The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.
 


78.Ali Mohammed Rashid, Forts and Castles in the United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Information Abu Dhabi, 1st Edition, 1992, pp 25;
79.Ali Mohammed Rashid, Forts and Castles in the United Arab Emirates, Ministry of Information Abu Dhabi, 1st Edition, 1992, pp 25;
80. Cox, 1925, pp 207;
81.Lorimar, 1906, pp 260-264;
82.Peter Shehan, ibid, pp 47;
83.Ahmad Rajab, ibid, pp 24;
84.For more information about the Oman Coast Scouts Force, please read: Peter Clayton, Two Alpha Lima, translated by: Nasser Al Humairi, Emirates Strategic Studies and Research, Abu Dhabi, 2008;
85.Dar Al Hilal, Abu Dhabi, D.T., pp 65;

 

Al Muwaijie Fort and Palace



Al Muwaijie Castle was built by Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa (Zayed the First), Ruler of Abu Dhabi (1855 – 1909) in 1898  and this can be learnt from the poetry verses written at its entrance as follow:

(The door of goodness is open at gate of highness, happiness flourished through the high tower, the greetings of invincibility called write for the history, Zayed bin Khalifa built the house of determination)

According to the foregoing sentences we conclude that the date of construction is 1316H correspondent to 1898 . This is supported by the notes made by Percy Cox during his visit to Al Ain in 1905 as he stated that he visited Al Jahili that was built six year earlier . In 1906, Lorimar stated that Al Jahili had developed under the rein of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa . The first photos of the castle were taken by Alfred Thesenger during his visit to Al Ain in 1948 although he did not refer to it in his famous book “The Arabic Sands”, but the photos are maintained in “Pete Rivers” Museum at Oxford University. The period 1955-1971 is considered the largest period during which there were photos of the old castle where it was the quarters of the Scouts Force of Oman Coast and the officers had taken many photos of the castle that existed during that period. In addition, the eastern annex of the castle was used as landing pad for helicopters and therefore there are some aerial photos of the castle taken by the officers and some of them were published . These photos show that the shape and location of the castle match with its components in that period.

The Exterior Yard

This yard is considered the largest area as it represents a square building with 70 meters side long and is total area is about 4900 square meter. The castle occupies the northern west corner of the area and the rest is an open space that was used as the location for erecting the tents of soldiers and stalls for horses and camels. The yard is surrounded by high wall with 5 meters high and topped with triangular balconies like the other structures in Al Ain and it contained openings for rifles. The yard has big entrance with two circular towers on its sides each of which diameter is about 3 meters at the bottom and two meters at the top. The diameter of the tower decreases as we go higher and it gets stronger in bearing.

Every tower comprises of three floors the first of which is used as guards’ chamber but the function of the second and third floors is defensive as they are fitted with Mazaghil, openings for rifles and larger openings for the canons. In the middle of the gate there is the entrance opening topped by a lobed arch and fitted with a square gate of which side is 3 meters and it is supplied with Khokha (plum)  (small opening sufficient for the passage of one person). The gate opens upon the entry of horses and camels and the Khokha opens and closes to allow the entry and exit of persons and upon defending the castle it is closed completely.

The Castle

The castle is located at the northern quarter and it is a square shape castle with 35 long sides and its height is 8 meters. It has four facades topped by rifle openings and an array of triangular balconies. The castle has two identical circular towers each of which diameter is 5 meters and the height of 14 meters. Every tower comprises of three floors like the entrance towers but the third circular tower it is located at the eastern façade. As for the North West corner, there is a rectangular and not circular tower and it is the only rectangular tower of which length is 7 meters, width of 4 meters and a height of about 14 meters. It has two floors of the same formation of the castle towers and perhaps this tower is made rectangular so that it would be stronger that the other towers. In addition, the rectangular shape makes it possible to make benefit of the rooms as the same may be used as administration center.

The entrance of the castle is located in the southern wall where there is stairs to enter the castle. In the middle of the building there is an open space paved with stones indicating that it was used as storage for equipment or food at the time of need and all halls with different shapes and areas are open to it with openings some of which are arched with half circular arch and others are covered with curtains of wood with various geometrical ornaments. The halls that overlook the center yard are topped by triangular balconies, openings for rifles and gutters made of palm trunks to leak the storm water to prevent it from pooling on the roofs of the halls and all the halls of the castle have ceilings of palm trunks and gypsum.

Functions of the castle

Quarters for the Oman Coast Scouts Force

The castle was used as the quarters of the Oman Coast Scouts Force during the period 1955-1971 as it was the quarters of brigade (c) of the Oman Coast Scouts Force and so we see that the castle plays an important role in: maintaining the internal security in the Eastern Region of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and also had a big part in defending the eastern borders of the country. In addition, the castle played a major role in stopping arms dealing and illegal dealings of all kinds and it also played major role in protecting the foreign envoys that visited the area .

Airport

The area adjacent to Al Jahili Castle was used as an airport for helicopters that the Oman Coast Scouts Force was using and although such use was limited, it was restricted to Al Jahili Castle as we don’t find any reference to similar uses in other castles.

Administration Center

The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.

Trading Station

Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it played an important trading role when it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.

A Court

The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle  where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.

Security Center

The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.

The castle as summer resort

In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.

A center to manage the agricultural activity

The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in the Eastern Region where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.

A Relief Center

The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.

The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.

The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.

Thesenger visited Al Muwaijie several times during the years 1948 and 1949 and took several photos of the fort and recorded for us what he saw in the Diwan (court) of sheikh Zayed and how he used to receive the people of the area to settle their disputes and how generosity overflowed from his Majlis. The guests would gather to have food at the palace, including Thesenger. In addition, Peter Clayton, the Captain in the Oman Coast Scouts Force took several photos of the fort in 1955 while he worked in Al Ain. In addition, the British Air Forces took a photo of the fort in 1968 and all these photos that are kept at the National Center of Documents Research show big similarity in building with the fort after the restoration carried out by Abu Dhabi Heritage and Culture Authority and relied on those photos when the fort was restored.

Mizyid Castle



Mizyid Castle is located on the north side of Mizyid Village and it is a rectangular castle with 50 meters length and 40 meters of width. Its building dates back to the Nineteenth Century and no specific date is known for its construction and also the person who built it is not known exactly.

The castle is similar to Al Jahili Castle in that it has three circular towers and one square tower in addition to two big gates and there is no writing at the top of the gates. It was customary for the constructors to write verses of poetry to recognize the constructor and the date of construction but here we do not find a date or a name and maybe, the verses had fallen with passage of time which makes it difficult to identify the date of its construction and its constructor as the regular evidence in such castles is not available. The castle is surrounded by huge walls with a height of about 4 meters and they are topped with triangular balconies like the other facilities of Al Nahyan and the facades are also fitted with Mazahil and rifles’ openings.

As for all the circular towers, they are completely identical as each one of them has cylindrical shape and the diameter of its base is about 9 meters and the diameter of its surface is about 7 meters, that is, it becomes narrower as we go up which increases its bearing strength like the similar contemporary castles in that area. As for the square tower it is a huge tower of which side is 10 meters and it is comprised of two floors and fitted with openings for Al Mazaghil and for rifles.

As for the doors of the castle they are prominent from the façade and lead to a large year in the middle of the castle on which halls from all sides are open and these are halls with different area and uses as some of them opens directly to the yard and others open toward each other. The roofs of the halls and chambers were used as passageway to the soldiers to move above the same behind the walls and balconies and the roofs of such halls are connected to the castle towers which facilitate the movement of soldiers above the roofs of rooms and towers .

Duties of the Castle

Administration Center

The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.

Trading Station

Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.

A Court

The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle  where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.

Security Center

The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.

The castle as summer resort

In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.

A center to manage the agricultural activity

The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in the Eastern Region. The castle is located in the desert adjacent to Al Ain Oasis, the largest center of agricultural production where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.

A Relief Center

The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.

The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.

The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.

Al Muraijib Castle



Al Muraijib Castle is considered the oldest castle in Al Ain. It was built in 1816 on the latter days of the era of Sheikh Shakhbout bin Dhiyab on the north east of Al Qattara . It is not a castle but a building compound comprising of a castle and two separate towers and as such it is like three castles and not one castle. As for the two separate towers, one of them is cylindrical and located at the south east part and it is used for defense and control and for this purpose it is fitted with openings for Al Mazaghil and shooting and made for military purposes. As for the other tower, it has square shape and located at the North West side and it is probable that it was used for the purposes of housing and residence or administrative quarter .

Duties of the Castle

Administration Center

The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.

Trading Station

Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.

A Court

The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle  where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.

Security Center

The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.

The castle as summer resort

In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.

A center to manage the agricultural activity

The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in the Eastern Region. The castle is located in the desert adjacent to Al Ain Oasis, the largest center of agricultural production where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.

A Relief Center

The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.

The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.

The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.

 

Al Rumaila Castle



Al Rumaila is one of the huge castles located in Al Ain and it is given this name in relevance to Al Rumaila Village where it is located. It is a square castle surrounded by high wall all around it and it is ornamented with triangular ornaments at the top of the exterior wall of the castle. The exterior wall is in a regulated geometrical shape comprising of nine sides and it is the only wall in this shape that exists. Usually, the walls are rectangular, square or circular but this castle is considered an exception as compared to other castles particularly that it is located in a leveled area and hence the topography of the location did not affect it and make the constructor resort to this shape. In addition, it is not surrounded with facilities that imposed this shape on the designer. All of this indicates that the shape is the choice of the designer of the castle. The square is located at the middle of this wall and it is fitted with wooden rectangular door that is not prominent unlike many castles located in the area. Above the door there are three openings for Al Mazaghil and shooting and the openings spread along the wall.

The openings, Al Mazaghil and triangles are located on the exterior wall but as the square in the Rumaila Castle, it has a rectangular door topped by a triangular opening. The castle comprises of two floors each of which is provided with openings for Al Mazaghil and shooting for defense and military purposes in addition to the existence of one large window at each side representing an opening for ventilation and lighting at one of the main halls of the square.

The art of building

The castle was built with local raw materials represented in Al Sarouj as the main raw material and the palm trunks available in the area were used to construct the ceilings and the water drainage (gutters). The use of Al Sarouj, a material that isolates heat resulted in making the climate moderate in the castle that is appropriate for the building in desert areas. As for the ornaments of the building, the castle is characterized with relying mainly on the use of triangles as the basic decorative element where the walls and doors are topped with triangles and therefore triangles were the main element in the decoration of the castle.

Duties of the Castle:

Administration Center

The castle represented the ruling quarters, it is the seat of the Ruler and next to him are the sheikhs of tribes and heads of clans and the employees of (Al Barza) including: the clerk, the secretary of the ruler, who was called Al Kaitoub and (Al Mazki), the treasurer, who handled the management of the finance of the Ruler. Therefore we see that the castle is fitted with large halls sufficient to accommodate large number of people.

Trading Station

Al Ain is located at the intersection of a network of internal trading roads as it is at the middle of the distance between Dubai, Sahar, Muscat, Mizyid, Al Shuwaib and Abu Dhabi. Therefore, it provided security for the trading convoys passing through those areas and facilitated transfer between the parts of the country and also provided safe stations for the rest of such convoys.

A Court

The role of the castle was not limited to being a fort but it also played the role of a court where settlement of cases was the competence of Rulers of Al Nahyan Sheikhs. Many European travelers tell us about the Majlis of the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the castle  where he used to listen carefully to the opponents and rule between them and such opponents would leave his Majlis fully satisfied. The Ruler used to derive his judgments from the Islamic Sharia, customs and traditions and the prevailing tribal customs in addition to his personal diligence concerning the cases presented to him.

Security Center

The castle played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such it provided national security for the residents.

The castle as summer resort

In general, Al Ain was used as the summer resort for the people of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the summer journey was called Al Badah, that is, the summer journey and after the summer season they return to Abu Dhabi in a journey called Al Hadara. The guests of the Ruler where the high class of the society who stay as guests in his castle and residence place. The (Ruler’s Barza), the guesthouse, was the meeting place of the high class and the spending of such summer visitors contributed to flourishing life in Al Ain City.

A center to manage the agricultural activity

The castle was the center of management of the agricultural activity in the Eastern Region. The castle is located in the desert adjacent to Al Ain Oasis, the largest center of agricultural production where the lands of Rulers, Sheikhs of Tribes and Pearl Traders are located. The planning of agricultural management was made in the castle. For example, the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan planned the digging of Al Sarouj Falaj at Al Muwaijie Castle and continued to personally supervise the digging for long time and followed it up from Al Muwaijie Castle. The planting was carried out by hired labors called Al Bayadir while the crops were stored in the castle and used for serving the people of the area and also to aid the needy or distributed according to the conditions every year.

A Relief Center

The castle was a center to distribute aids among the people and these were called (Al Sharhat), that is, financial aid for the needy. The castle used to be filled with needy people who make requests verbally and mostly were made in the form of poems of praise and complaint and the Sheikh would grant them (Al Sharhat) as he deems appropriate considering every person and his conditions. In addition, free meals were offered to the need as part of the Ruler’s permanent generosity all over the year.

The castle played an important role during the grand economic crisis in 1929 after recession dominated the world and Japan was able to plant pearls and marketed the same in the world markets and as such put an end to the main source of income and the Pearl Traders were bankrupt and the country was filled with the diving crews and ships seamen who were unemployed and the markets were closed for them. In Al Ain, the castles started to distribute aids in that year that was called by the people as the year of the card or the year of Al Fada.

The signs of financial development started in 1939 when Abu Dhabi signed an agreement with Britain allowing the landing and takeoff of airplanes from Abu Dhabi Airport against charges to be paid to the Emirate. That was the first cash income that entered the Emirate from abroad after its income from exporting pearls was cut off. After that the Emirate signed the first oil concession in 1939 with the Conciliated Coast Petroleum Company that provided that the company shall pay 300 Thousand Rupees after one month and 200 Thousand Rupees every year. The castle started to distribute aids among the people that were limited first and then expanded after the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan assumed power in the country and the castle’s administrative, economic and social role stopped after the establishment of the modern state by the Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan in 1971.

Al Murabaa Castle



It is called as such because of its square geometrical shape and it means the square shaped fort or Majlis or occasionally the rectangular shaped. It was known to the Arabs since long time . The uses of the castle are many as it is mostly used for military purposes, quarters for Rulers or control points fitted with defense means such as the openings for shooting and rifles .

There is only one Murabbaa in Al Ain and sometimes it is called Al Murabbaa Castle. The Late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan built it in 1948 and it was used as station for Al Ain Police and the quarters for the security administration in the City. Al Murabbaa was built for this purpose and it remained as police station in Al Ain City until the police moved to another place and it was transformed in a tourism destination in the middle of souk area.


Al Murabbaa comprises of three floors where the first floor is without windows but it is fitted with Al Mazaghil as a means to defend Al Murabbaa. The second floor is fitted with three windows and the third floor is fitted with four windows considering it height that makes it more fortified than the other two floors. The four corners of Al Murabbaa are fitted with four conic ornament structures that resemble minarets in shape as geometrical ornaments. The upper wall of Al Murabbaa is covered with triangles and it has openings for shooting and lots of Mazaghil while the third floor is free of such openings and thus shows the administrative nature of the same .

Duties of the Castle:

Security Center

Al Murabbaa played the role of police station as it provided national or general security for the residents in the area and the close areas where people would resort to it at times of danger and when they are under attack by others. This is why we see that the castle is provided with large space to harbor those who take refuge in it regardless of their number. In addition, the castle is provided with many chambers for storing crops and food sufficient to feed the refugees at times of danger. In addition the castle is always supplied with water and as such Al Murabbaa provided national security for the residents.

When the numbers of foreigners started to increase in Al Ain City and with the increase of population the security tasks of the castle increased and it started to play the role of the main police station in the city and continued to play this role until the modern security stations were introduced after 1971 when the role that Al Murabbaa was playing diminished.

Guesthouse

Al Murabbaa was used as accommodation for VIP guests in Al Ain. In 1953 it was the quarters of the Commander of the Oman Cost Scouts Force, Major Peter Macdonald and also, the same castle was used by Dr. David Harrison, the physician of Oman Coast Scouts Force and he recorded that in his memoires that was published later and who replaced Dr. John Marshall the physician whose service terminated in August 1953 . David Harrison used the third floor as laboratory for mummifying birds throughout his stay in Al Ain.

Al Anika Castle



Sheikh Saeed bin Tahnon, Ruler of Abu Dhabi (1845-1855) constructed Al Anika Castle that is located at a distance of 55 Km from Al Ain City toward Abu Dhabi in a location where there was an old well called Al Anika Well . The name Al Anika is an original Arabic name that has many linguistic meanings as it is derived from the name of the red sand surrounding the castle and as such it is the red sand castle and it also means that it conquers who tries to overcome it and that it disrupts the march of who is trying to reach it and if he does reach, he cannot survive it  and this is what actually happened at Al Anik battle took place and in which the people of Abu Dhabi defeated their enemies .

Architectural Description

The shape of the castle is rectangular with 20 meters of length, ten meters width and 12 meters of height. The building of the castle lies at a distance of 15 meters from the walls from all sides and located exactly in the middle. The entrance of the castle is at the southern side of the building and it is three meters wide . The castle comprises of two floors of which the ground floor is without windows but it is fitted with openings for ventilation and lighting and this is due to the castle’s nature as a defense castle in the first place. Every floor comprises of rectangular hall leading to two large rooms of rectangular shape. There are stairs at the North West side leading to the upper floor and continues to the roof of Al Murabbaa from where reconnaissance is possible over the area surrounding the castle. The guards may watch the road between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain from the roof as it represents an excellent control point that enables the soldiers defend Al Ain and Abu Dhabi as a front defense point for both of them that is a first line of defense for both cities.

The exterior wall of the castle is not high as its height is about 2.5 m only and maybe this is due to that the castle is on a highland in the first place and that it is a point of reconnaissance that allows vision for the soldiers from inside the castle and if the wall was higher it would block the view of the soldiers. The wall is fitted with Mazaghil for shooters and openings for rifles and it is topped by triangles like the other castles and forts in the Eastern Region. There is an entrance to the castle in the southern wall with 4 meters of width and five meters height and it includes a Khokha (opening for the entry of individuals) with one meter and a half width and three meters of height leading to the entrance. The existence of this opening allows closing the entrance and the entry and exit of individuals in a manner that increases the fortification of the castle. The gate of the castle is made of thick wood and it is enforced with iron beams which increases its strength.

The military role of the castle

The castle played important role in defending Al Ain and the best example of its military role is the victory in Al Anika Battle in 1848  when the forces of Abu Dhabi were able to defeat the invading forces in Al Anika. This is due to the rough nature of this place where the water rarely exists except for Al Anika well that was concealed when the castle was constructed so that no means for obtaining water in that place except for the people of Al Anika only. In addition to the fortification of the castle and its height from the ground overlooking the road, such strategic advantages enable Abu Dhabi forces to defend Al Ain and block the exterior danger. Accordingly Al Anika Castle is the only castle that plays the military role related to castles only and it had succeeded in performing this role since the middle of Nineteenth Century.