The majestic Al-Muwaiji Fort

On the final day of my stay in Abu Dhabi last week, we made the hour and a half drive to the city of Al Ain.
 
Al Ain is one of the world's oldest permanently inhabited settlements and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
 
This dusty, isolated city is full of cultural and historical landmarks. These include the Al Ain National Museum, Palace of H.H Sheikh Zayed -- the former president of the United Arab Emirates -- and Al Ain Oasis.
 
Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who is also the founder of the UAE, was born here and many come to visit to pay their respects and meditate on its historical importance.
 
The city has been inhabited for over 4,000 years. 

One of our most significant stops was at the Al-Muwaiji Fort. Here, we learned of Wilfred Thesiger, the English explorer and travel writer who visited Al Ain in the late 1940s during his travels across the Empty Quarter.
 
Thesiger is remembered for his Arabian expeditions, having been hired to search for locust breeding grounds in southern Arabia in 1945 by entomologist, O.B. Lean.
 
His expeditions were legendary and he captured tons of photos, many of which are on display at the Fort. After meeting Sheikh Zayed and staying with him right here at the Al-Muwaiji Fort, the two became lifelong friends.
 
A visit at the Al Ain National Museum revealed some interesting background on the rich history of the region. Several beautiful artifacts and ancient relics are on display here, including ancient weapons and day to day utensils.
 
After our journey we enjoyed an incredible meal at a restaurant nearby before driving up a winding road to the summit of a hill overlooking the beautiful countryside. 

I was thoroughly impressed.