Traditional architectural techniques and methods of earthen architecture worldwide are featured in the Building with Earth exhibition at Al Jahili Fort. The exhibition is open until December 21st, 2022.
The Building with Earth exhibition tells about the history of earthen building in Abu Dhabi as well as the restoration projects that Al Jahili Fort has undergone, obtaining the TERRA Award for the ‘Best Earthen Architecture’ category in 2016.
One of the most original and powerful expressions of our ability to create a built environment with readily available resources, earthen architecture includes a great variety of structures. They range from mosques, palaces and granaries, to historic city centres, cultural landscapes and archaeological sites. Its cultural importance around the world is clear and has led to its consideration as a common heritage of humankind, which deserves protection and conservation by the international community.
The ancient Al Jahili Fort is a unique architectural structure, which is one of the largest fortifications in the United Arab Emirates. It impresses with the grandeur and beauty of its architectural appearance.
The fort was built by Sheikh Zayed I and served both as a defensive structure and as the summer residence of the ruler. The construction of this large-scale eastern fortress lasted for 7 years, and the choice of a place for its construction was due to the presence of fertile lands and water sources in these parts. During sieges, the fort served as an excellent fortification to protect the locals, and after the death of the sheikh, his eldest son and his family lived in the fort. The original fort consisted of a square fortified enclosure and a distinctive four-storey circular tower.
Now the fortress of Al Jahili has become a national monument, its image can be seen on the banknote of 50 dirhams. After reconstruction at the beginning of the 20th century, the fort was opened for visitors.
If you’re interested in learning more about the Arab culture, you may also like visiting Miraj Islamic Art Centre.