8 Treasured Historic Sites In the UAE Resonating With Middle Eastern History

Whether history buff or curious explorer, Dubai's historical sites promise rich discoveries for all

by Priyanka Fernandes
8 Treasured Historic Sites In the UAE Resonating With Middle Eastern History

UAE’s cultural richness extends beyond its modern skyline, with a tapestry of historical landmarks and sites. From ancient forts to vibrant souks, the city offers a diverse array of experiences that delve into its storied past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply curious about Dubai’s heritage, these historical sites promise to transport you back in time, offering a glimpse into the city’s fascinating history and culture.

1. Al Bithnah Fort In Fujairah

Al Bithnah Fort Fujairah- Historical Site In UAE
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Bithnah Fort in Fujairah, UAE, is a historic double-story fortress constructed from rock, coral, and mudbrick. Dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries, this historical site played a crucial role in controlling traffic between the coast and interior before the construction of metalled roads in the 1970s, serving as a strategic location in the region’s history.

When: Sunday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: 56PQ+H45 – Al Bithnah – Fujairah
Cost: No Entry Fee

2. Heritage Village In Dubai

Heritage village dxb-
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

The Heritage Village in Dubai was created in 1997 to showcase traditional Emirati life and culture. Visitors can experience the country’s unique customs, including architecture, handicrafts, and patterns of daily life. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority oversees the village’s operations, holding ownership of the historic site in UAE.

When: Sunday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
Where: 3110233, Al Khaleej St – Dubai
Cost: No Entry Fee (But Individual Attractions Are Charged)

Also Read: 8 Things To Do In Abu Dhabi, Your Ultimate Guide For Thrilling Activities And Cultural Marvels

3. Al Jazeera Al Hamra In Ras Al Khaimah

Al jazeera al hamra- Ras Al Khaimah- Historical Site In UAE
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

The UAE’s coastal geography, particularly in Ras Al Khaimah, led to the establishment of coastal villages. Al Jazeera Al Hamra, nicknamed the Red Island, is among these areas, boasting a wealth of historic forts, mosques, traditional schools, and souqs that embody the traditional Emirati way of life. Al Jazeera Al Hamra stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and resilience of the Emirati people throughout history.

When: No Timings Given
Where: Al Jazeera Al Hamra, Ras Al Khaimah- UAE
Cost: No Entry Fee 

4. Umm Al Quwain Museum In Umm Al Quwain

Umm Al Quwain National Museum- Historical Site In UAE
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

The Umm Al Quwain Museum, founded by Sheikh Rashid bin Majid Al Mualla, is located in the historic Madeena Al Qadeema Souq area of Umm Al Quwain. Housed in a renovated old fort once belonging to the ruling family, it showcases artefacts, including relics from the ancient coastal city of Al Dur, dating from 200 BCE to the third century CE.

When: Saturday to Thursday from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Fridays from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm & 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Theater, In Old Umm Al Quwain
Cost: AED4 for adults. And free for kids under 15.

5. Qasr Al Muwaiji In Abu Dhabi

Qasr Al Hosn - Abu Dhabi-
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

A cornerstone of UAE history lies in the birthplace of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, meticulously preserved by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority. Beyond its historical significance, this historic site in the UAE offers a glimpse into the everyday life of ordinary citizens before the nation’s transformation into its current state.

When: Sunday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Where: Khalifa Bin Zayed St, Al Muwaij’i – Abu Dhabi
Cost: Fort is free to enter ( you can pay for a guide)

6. Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization In Sharjah

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization- Historical Site In UAE
Image Credits: Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization/ Website

Inaugurated in the Heritage Area on November 6, 1996, the Islamic Museum is a treasure trove of timeless artefacts celebrating Islam’s achievements over the years. The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization houses vast historical collections that vividly portray various facets of Islamic faith, science, art, and culture.

When: Saturday to Thursday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm and on Fridays from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Al Majarra, Al Sharq – Sharjah
Cost: AED10 per person, AED5 for kids from 2 to 12 years, and kids under two can enter for free.

7. Al Ain Oasis In Abu Dhabi

Al ain oasis- abu dhabi-
Image Credits: Canva Stock Images

Al Ain Oasis, in the UAE the largest among Al Ain’s seven oases, gained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011. Delve into the rich history of the region’s inhabitants, who started cultivating the desert 4,000 years ago, at this family-friendly destination. Amidst its verdant trees and functional falaj irrigation system, emblematic of local farming practices, the oasis presents countless captivating photo opportunities.

When:  Sunday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm
Where: Al Tuhaf St, Central District in Abu Dhabi
Cost: No Entry Free To Visit

Also Read: Now You Can Visit The Sheikh Zayed Mosque In Abu Dhabi Whenever You Want As It Opens For 24 Hours

8. The Hili Archaeological Park 

Hili Archaeological Park- Abu Dhabi- Historical Site In UAE
Image Credits: Hili Archaeological Park- Abu Dhabi/ Website

History enthusiasts will find intrigue in Hili Oasis, neighbouring Fossil Valley, where ancient fossils harken back to the region’s submerged past. The adjacent Hili Archaeological Park unveils the earliest evidence of agricultural life in the UAE, boasting Bronze Age and Iron Age villages, burial sites, forts, and agricultural infrastructure. Meanwhile, Jebel Hafit Desert Park in Al Ain showcases remarkable Bronze Age beehive-shaped tombs dating between 3200 BCE and 2700 BCE, offering insights into ancient trade routes with Mesopotamia, Iran, and the Indus Valley.

When:  Sunday to Saturday from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm
Where: Hili – Abu Dhabi
Cost: No Entry Free To Visit

From ancient forts and traditional villages to museums and archaeological parks, each site tells a unique story, inviting visitors to explore and appreciate the depth of the UAE’s historical significance. Whether you’re fascinated by ancient civilizations, intrigued by Islamic culture, or simply seeking to immerse yourself in the past, these sites offer a rewarding experience that resonates with the heart of the Middle East.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva Stock Images

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