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A Visit to the Al Ain Palace Museum

02 Al Ain Palace Museum (6)

The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum (a.k.a. the Al Ain Palace Museum), is located in the oasis city of Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.  The museum is located in the home/family palace of former U.A.E. President, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1918–2004).  The palace was built in 1937 and Sheikh Zayed lived here until 1966.  As you would expect, local building materials were used including adobe, clay, stones and palm trees.  It features rooms for the royal family, official meeting chambers, and quarters for visitors. 

The palace was converted to a museum in 1998, opening to the public in 2001.  The museum does a good job of creating an atmosphere as existed here when the Sheikh called it home.

Al Ain is an oasis city known for it’s date palm groves, one of which adjoins the palace.  Apparently there is a path you can take from the Palace Museum to the Al Ain National Museum, although I didn’t spot it. 

Date Palm Oasis at the Al Ain Palace Museum

I enjoyed my visit to this museum, which I thought one of the most interesting and attractive “older” buildings I’d seen on my travels in the U.A.E.  You can stroll the pleasant shaded grounds of the palace, enjoy its lovely landscaping, and visit its many courtyards and see some of artifacts like wells and ladders.  Or visit some of the rooms, which includes art galleries, exhibits, and a royal family genealogy.

I especially enjoyed the old Land Rover within one of the courtyards, similar to the one driven by Sheikh Zayed when he visited Bedouin communities in the desert.

If you visit:

Admission is free of charge. 

Hours are:  Saturdays to Thursdays: 8.30 am – 7.30 pm
          Fridays: 3.00 pm – 7.30 pm (closed Mondays)

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