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Al Muraba’a Fort

Al Murabba Fort lies in the city of Al Ain, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

History of Al Muraba’a Fort

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 numerous 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.

Al Murabba Fort was built in 1948 by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan. By then it was just the rectangular tower without the defensive wall. It first served as a watch tower and quarter for the guards. Later it also housed the local administration of Al Ain. In the 1950s the tower became a police post and was locally known as Murabbat Zayed. By the late 1960s the tower had been enclosed by the defensive wall, forming a large rectangular courtyard.

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