Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra

Collection of publications on Al Dhafra History in the United Arab Emirates

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Castles in Al Dhafra

The castles and towers located in Al Dhafra are all in Liwa’s villages, between Al Batana and Al Bateen, except for one castle located on the coast. The urbanites named it ‘Al Dhafra Fort’. There are no other castles found in the remaining areas of Al Dhafra.

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

History and events

Due to its strategic location in the eastern parts of the Arabian Peninsula, many significant events took place in Al Dhafra, including the battles of Hosn, Hosn Al Qareeb in Khnoor village, and Batna, whose people retreated to Al Tarq tower.

Al Dhafra in the Memorandum of the British Government Representative in 1963 (2022) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Al Dhafra was ruled by numerous Al Nahyan family members, who protected it and supplied its men with weapons so that they could defend against invaders. 

This continued until the rule of Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who launched a modern renaissance that made it one of the most important areas in the country.

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra

Castles and towers represent the military advancements in Al Dhafra, serving as proof of the residents’ strength and love for their land. It is the historic story of man’s struggle with his brother to ensure survival and the story of building forts for security and safety

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Hassan Castle

Hassan Castle, which was located in Hassan village in Liwa, no longer exists. There is no precise location, though it is known to have been one of the oldest castles in the area.

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Al Dhafra Fort

Al Dhafra Fort, located in the coastal area of Al Sarra, was built on a wide gravel plain. Historic events lead us to believe that it existed as far back as the 17th century.

Shaikh Saeed bin Shakhboot bin Theyab Al Nahyan shared rulership of the Abu Dhabi emirate with his brother, Shaikh Mohammed bin Shakhboot. He lived in this fort from time to time.

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Muzair’a Castle

A large castle in Liwa known as Muzair’a Castle was built by men from the Al Qubaisat tribe on wide gravel land. It is surrounded by palm tree farms and is over 200 years old.

Castles and Towers in Al Dhafra (2018) by Ali Ahmad Ali Al Kindi Al MurrThe National Library and Archives of the United Arab Emirates

Al Jabbana Castle

This castle was built between 1850 and 1870, when Al Jabbana village’s residents were invaded by bandits who would come from the Empty Quarter and wander Liwa’s villages. Al Bal Shi’r from Al Manasir defended their lands against the bandits.

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