Al Hili Towers

The Al Hili Towers lie in the city of Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The present twin cities of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates and Al Buraimi in Oman were originally a group of oases, separated by desert, centered in an area of some 24 km², just north of the Jebel Hafeet mountain. Originally the whole area was known as Al Buraimi Oasis. In the late 19th and early 20th century a large number of forts and towers were built to solidify Abu Dhabi's control over the western oases and to protect the settlements and oases from roaming bandits.

In 1952 Saudi Arabia sent raiders to capture the Abu Dhabi forts and incorporate the oasis into the Saudi kingdom. Forces from the Trucial Oman Scouts, as well as the army of Muscat-Oman, arrived to recapture the oasis. With British intervention, the Saudi forces surrendered.

After the independence of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, Abu Dhabi and Oman agreed on final borders, dividing the oases. The Abu Dhabi part was then known as Al Ain and the Oman part as Al Buraimi. From then on Al Ain experienced rapid growth, quickly becoming larger and more successful than Al Buraimi. Nowadays Al Ain is a bustling city while Al Buraimi is more like a quiet town.

The Al Hili Towers are 2 watch towers on earthen mounds, separated some 50 meters from each other. They protected the Al Hili Oasis, together with the nearby Al Hili Fort and Hili Tower.

The west tower, known as the Sheikh Zayed Murabba, was built in the early 20th century on the order of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It was used by his representative. It has a square ground plan.

The east tower, known as Seebat Khalifa bin Nahyan, was probably built before the west tower, so I guess in the late 19th century. This tower belonged to the Al Nahyan family, who in the old days resided at the feet of the mound, in houses made from palm tree leaves. This tower has a circular ground plan.

At present the Al Hili Towers can freely be visited. They can not be entered. A curious duo. Both towers were restored in recent years.


Gallery

Al Hili Towers

The Al Hili Towers lie in the city of Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The present twin cities of Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates and Al Buraimi in Oman were originally a group of oases, separated by desert, centered in an area of some 24 km², just north of the Jebel Hafeet mountain. Originally the whole area was known as Al Buraimi Oasis. In the late 19th and early 20th century a large number of forts and towers were built to solidify Abu Dhabi's control over the western oases and to protect the settlements and oases from roaming bandits.

In 1952 Saudi Arabia sent raiders to capture the Abu Dhabi forts and incorporate the oasis into the Saudi kingdom. Forces from the Trucial Oman Scouts, as well as the army of Muscat-Oman, arrived to recapture the oasis. With British intervention, the Saudi forces surrendered.

After the independence of the United Arab Emirates in 1971, Abu Dhabi and Oman agreed on final borders, dividing the oases. The Abu Dhabi part was then known as Al Ain and the Oman part as Al Buraimi. From then on Al Ain experienced rapid growth, quickly becoming larger and more successful than Al Buraimi. Nowadays Al Ain is a bustling city while Al Buraimi is more like a quiet town.

The Al Hili Towers are 2 watch towers on earthen mounds, separated some 50 meters from each other. They protected the Al Hili Oasis, together with the nearby Al Hili Fort and Hili Tower.

The west tower, known as the Sheikh Zayed Murabba, was built in the early 20th century on the order of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It was used by his representative. It has a square ground plan.

The east tower, known as Seebat Khalifa bin Nahyan, was probably built before the west tower, so I guess in the late 19th century. This tower belonged to the Al Nahyan family, who in the old days resided at the feet of the mound, in houses made from palm tree leaves. This tower has a circular ground plan.

At present the Al Hili Towers can freely be visited. They can not be entered. A curious duo. Both towers were restored in recent years.


Gallery