8 Historical Sites In Abu Dhabi You Need To Visit At Least Once

Mayar Ibrahim

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a treasure trove of historical sites that offer a glimpse into the region’s rich past. These places sites are essential because they serve as windows into the nation’s shared past, preserving the cultural, architectural, and societal achievements of previous generations. Additionally, they provide valuable insights, fostering a deeper understanding of the UAE’s heritage.

8. Al Ain Oasis is one of the UAE’s most important historical sites

It’s found at the heart of Al Ain and homes more than 147,000 date palm trees. Moreover, it is one of the UAE’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the largest of the 6 Al Ain Oases. Other than the palm trees, visitors can learn all about the ancient falaj system which supplies the oasis with water from Al Ain’s mountains.

Where? Al Ain

When? 9am – 5:30pm, open daily

Price? Free entry!

Historical Sites - Al Ain Oasis

7. Another must visit site in Al Ain is the Al Jahili Fort

Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa the First built the Al Jahili Fort in 1980 for the protection of palm farmers. Also, he used the fort as his summer residence in the late 19th century. In 2008, the fort underwent rehabilitation and transformation. It now stands as a cultural centre, houses a temporary exhibition gallery and a permanent exhibition devoted to Photographer Sir Wilfred Thesiger.

Where? Mohammed Bin Khalifa Al Nahyan St, Al Jahili, Abu Dhabi

When? 9am – 7pm, open daily

Price? Free entry

Historical Sites - Al Jahili Fort

6. Heritage Village is one of the historical sites in Abu Dhabi where you can learn about the culture and traditions of the UAE

This space is a family-friendly spot to experience the traditional way of life in the desert. The village is an immersive time capsule, with an old-world souk (market), mosque and camp modelled on life in pre-modern UAE.

Where? Near Marina Mall – Abu Dhabi Theatre Rd, Corniche, Breakwater Rd, Abu Dhabi

When? Saturday – Thursday from 9am – 4pm & Friday from 7:30am – 12pm and 3pm – 9pm

Price? Free entry

Read More: 22 Reasons You Need To Visit Abu Dhabi At Least Once Before You Die

Historial Sites - Heritage Village

5. Don’t miss out on the city’s OLDEST building – Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn holds the title of the city’s first permanent structure; the watchtower. Built in the 1790s, the structure overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing settlement established in Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, Qasr Al Hosn comprises of two major iconic buildings: the Inner Fort (originally constructed in 1795) and the Outer Palace (1939-45). Over the centuries, it housed the ruling family, the seat of government, a consultative council and a national archive. Now, it stands as the nation’s living memorial and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history.

Where? Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum St, Al Hisn, Abu Dhabi

When? Saturday – Thursday from 9am – 8pm & Friday from 2pm – 8pm

Price? AED30

Historical Sites - Qasr Al Hosn

4. Abu Dhabi is home to many important historical sites and Qasr Al Muwaiji is another must visit

Qasr Al Muwaiji, constructed during the era of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, also known as Zayed the First (reign 1855–1909), and his son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, subsequently served as the residence and administrative hub for the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE. This transition occurred in 1946, when he assumed the role of the Ruler’s Representative in the Al Ain Region.

Where? Khalifa Bin Zayed St – Al Muwaij’i – Abu Dhabi

When? 9am – 7pm, open daily

Price? Free entry

Historical Sites - Qasr Al Muwaiji

3. Explore the home of the late Founding Father as you discover the UAE’s heritage in the Al Ain Palace

H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan resided with his family in the Al Ain Palace until the late 1960s. Today, this palace stands as one of the most meticulously restored museums in Abu Dhabi, holding significant historical importance as a prominent site in the UAE’s heritage.

Where? Hessa Bint Mohamed St, Central District, Al Mutawaa, Abu Dhabi

When? 9am – 7pm, open daily

Price? Free entry

Historical Sites - Al Ain Palace

2. Bidaa Bint Saud is a treasure for archaeological enthusiasts!

The historical caravan site showcases a unique Iron Age structure, ancient irrigation systems, and Bronze Age tombs dating back 5,000 years. Within this region, Gharn bint Saud, a towering 40-meter rock formation, presides over the landscape, housing numerous ancient stone tombs at its summit. Additionally, archaeological investigations have yielded an array of artifacts, including pottery, stone vessels, dagger blades, bronze arrowheads, and various types of beads.

In 2011, as an integral component of the Al Ain World Heritage Site, Bidaa Bint Saud earned the prestigious UNESCO heritage site designation.

Where? Bad’ Bint Sa’oud, Abu Dhabi

When? Open daily for 24 hours

Price? Free entry

Historical Sites - Bidaa Bin Saud

1. Al Qattara Arts Centre is a jewel in Abu Dhabi’s list of historical sites

It occupies a distinctive role within Al Ain’s artistic and cultural landscape, serving not only as an art showcase but also as a creative hub. Established in 2011, this center is dedicated to the study, practice, and advancement of culture and the creative arts. Also, it encompasses a permanent space for archaeological and heritage exhibitions, art studios for instructional purposes, and an on-site art gallery featuring the works of both expatriate and Emirati artists.

Where? 24th St – Al Qattarah – Abu Dhabi

When? 9am – 8pm, open daily

Price? Free Entry

Historical Sites - Al Qattara Arts Centre

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