I went with a friend and we visited two places:
1. The Al Ain Museum. Just, MAGNIFICIENT.
One of the best museums I’ve ever been so fortunate to walk into… We explored for hours…. its a rich heritage, lovingly collated. The glass on the front of each of the displays was perfectly polished; and the Emirate lady at front reception, a caring guide/hostess. And I was very happy to have spent such quality time poring over all the amazing array of treasures.
2. The Sheikh Zayed Palace Museum. Simply, marvelous.
The Sheik Zayed Palace Museum is a large compound with so many rooms – a veritable hive of coffee drinking rooms, very humble kitchen, many bedrooms, servants rooms and carefully manicured gardens to stroll in – a few lovely and secret places to sit quietly. I loved the absolute simplicity and settled peace of this building, with clean, beautifully displayed rooms. The building retains a real bygone magic – a very peaceful place – I could imagine the children playing there, adults entertaining and murmuring their secrets, sharing their mysteries, much noise and laughter, Arabic food delights, locally grown dates and the wide verandah’s a welcome respite from the very hot days (for they had no air conditioning !) — a mystery of many entwined lives from long ago.
“…anyone strolling through the home of the UAE’s founding father is quickly struck by the simplicity of its interiors.
All the rooms are basic, with the only source of entertainment an antique radio unit with two dials.
Built when air-conditioning was unknown, the palace was kept cool through broad square verandas that shaded the main rooms, and decorative perforated stone or wooden screens that allowed the breeze to pass through them.
“That was him, that was Sheikh Zayed: simple,” said Mohamed al Neyadi, the director of the department of historical environment at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach).
To walk where one of the greatest figures of local history once lived, ate, and slept may seem unlikely, if not for the fact that this home – including access to the private bedroom he shared with his wife, Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, and even the kitchen – is open to the public.” SOURCE
The afternoon was an absolutely fascinating insight into the past history of Al Ain – a very rich heritage, built on hard work, sheer determination; and… love – no doubt about it!