Heritage and cultural sites



Burj Bani Hilal

This tower is located to the south of Al Jimi area in the city of Al Ain. It is 14 meters high and has a wide circular base.

As mentioned in the book, ‘Forts and Castles of the United Arab Emirates’, Ali Mohammad Rashid, 1st Edition, 1992, Ministry of Information and Culture.

It is located in the Khurais area in the city of Al Ain. Some parts of it were destroyed, which the Department of Tourism and Antiquities in Al Ain is now rebuilding.

In an interview I conducted with Mr. Shabib bin Mohammad bin Ahmed bin Hilal Al Dhaheri in his office in Al Sinaiyah in Al Ain on Thursday 26/2/2015 at 10:30 a.m., he stated the following regarding the tower:

This tower was built prior the fort. I do not remember the exact year in which it was built. It was built by the late Ahmed bin Hilal Al Dhaheri. A two meters high wall was constructed around Khurais Alley in which the tower is located.

The purpose of building the tower was to protect and defend the area. It was constructed on a high hill, making surveillance easier. Greenish-coloured mud of excellent quality, procured from the Mreijeb area, was used in its construction.

The builders were locals, and the structure was made of clay mixed with water and placed in special wooden mouldsshaped like bricks. They would pour the mixture into these moulds and let them dry in the sunlight, then they would remove the wooden mould, and use the bricks for construction. These bricks did not containany gravel. They were only comprised ofclay and mud.

As for the exterior, they would mix the mud with tabn (now known as plaster) as an outer coatingfor the fence and on the tower to maintain its strength against rain and future cracks.

Over time, part of it was destroyed, and the Department of Tourism and Antiquities restored it over twenty years ago, while also preserving its original structureThere is a stairway within the tower leading to the top where there are slots for rifles that were used by well-trained guards in defending the tower. This tower now represents a heritage and historical landmark of significance to the relevant departments in the United Arab Emirates.


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