Qasr Al Muwaiji opens its doors


Gulf News - - FRONT PAGE - By Sarvy Ger­an­payeh Staff Re­porter

Khal­ifa’s birth­place in Al Ain un­der­goes ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme to be­come a mu­seum

Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birth­place of Pres­i­dent His High­ness Shaikh Khal­ifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of­fi­cially opened its doors yes­ter­day as a mu­seum in Al Ain.

Shaikh Tah­noun Bin Mo­ham­mad Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the East­ern Re­gion, in­au­gu­rated the fort in a tra­di­tional cer­e­mony and was ac­com­pa­nied by dig­ni­taries be­fore tour­ing the his­toric fort and the lat­est per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion which cel­e­brates the Pres­i­dent’s life.

The fort un­der­went an ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme which orig­i­nally started in the late 1970s. In 2009 the work was ex­tended to in­clude ar­chae­o­log­i­cal ex­ca­va­tions, preser­va­tion mea­sures and restora­tion in­ter­ven­tions.

The ex­ca­va­tion has dis­cov­ered a num­ber of arte­facts that are now dis­played in the mu­seum, in­clud­ing coins dat­ing back to the six­teenth to eigh­teenth cen­turies which sug­gest proof of trade in Al Ain area at that time.

The re­stored site is a com­bi­na­tion of the orig­i­nal fort and a mod­ern glass build­ing which hosts the per­ma­nent ex­hi­bi­tion.

Ri­cardo Benn, project di­rec­tor from Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cul­ture Author­ity, told Gulf News, said “glass [was used] for a spe­cific rea­son, we wanted the con­tent to al­ways be read­able from ev­ery per­spec­tive. So, no mat­ter where you are stand­ing you al­ways have views into the fort and you can enjoy the con­tent too.”

A com­po­nent of the Unesco World Her­itage Site of Al Ain, the care­ful restora­tion has em­pha­sised its orig­i­nal ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures such as its free­stand­ing minaret.

Qasr Al Muwaiji

is a sig­nif­i­cant part of the UAE her­itage as it was home to gen­er­a­tions of the Al Nahyan fam­ily, and saw the birth of Shaikh Khal­ifa in 1948.

Myr­iad func­tions

The fort func­tioned not only as a home and an oa­sis in the desert but also as a place of rule and a fo­cus for the com­mu­nity.

The ex­hi­bi­tion show­cases a va­ri­ety of his­toric and tra­di­tional sto­ries as­so­ci­ated with the venue, in­clud­ing sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments of Shaikh Khal­ifa’s life from his early child­hood, lead­er­ship and vast na­tional achieve­ments.

It also pro­vides the pub­lic with an insight into the chronol­ogy of the mem­bers of Abu Dhabi rul­ing fam­ily as­so­ci­ated with Qasr Al Muwaiji and pro­gres­sion of the Al Nahyan fam­ily.

More in­for­ma­tion on the mu­seum can be found on qas­ral­

Atiq-ur-Rehman/Gulf News

His­toric land­mark Qasr Al Muwaiji un­der­went an ex­ten­sive con­ser­va­tion pro­gramme which started in the late 1970s.

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