Al Ain Oasis
Al Ain Tombs
Once a vital green oasis on the caravan route from UAE to Oman, Al Ain (meaning ‘The Spring’ in Arabic) is the emirate’s heritage heartland, one of the world’s oldest continually inhabited settlements, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Classified by UNESCO as a ‘cultural sites’, Al Ain world heritage locations include its six oases and the archaeological sites of Bida bint Saud, Hafeet and Hili, all testimonies of sedentary human occupation of a desert region since the Neolithic period, with vestiges of many prehistoric cultures.
The ‘remarkable vestiges’ cited by UNESCO include circular stone tombs (dating circa 2500 B.C.), wells and a wide range of adobe constructions: residential buildings, towers, palaces and administrative buildings. Hili moreover features one of the oldest examples of the sophisticated falaj irrigation system which dates back to the Iron Age. Al Ain vestiges provide important testimony to the transition of cultures in the region from hunting and gathering to sedentarisation.
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