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Hili Oasis

Grass growing wild, natural running water, palm trees left to grow any which way, dates hanging, nearly ready for harvest, where could it be?!!?

Certainly not Dubai, the grass would be all the same length, the palm trees would be perfectly tall and straight. :-)

Drive out of Al AIn towards Dubai and Hili Oasis is the last Oasis you will see in the garden city on your right – it is located north east of downtown Al Ain. Starting from Bin Rayeh al Darmaki Tower (Rumailah Tower) on Mohammed bin Khalifa Street between Bani Yas and Al Athar Streets. Just last week Unesco has named Al Ain as a world heritage site because of its oases, its traditional falaj irrigation system and its historical and archaeological importance. The National Council for Tourism and Antiquities (NCTA) and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), have announced the registration of Al Ain as the first Emirati site on the World Heritage List. Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, Director-General of ADACH, said work is underway to preserve several fortresses and historical places, including the Jahili mosque and fortress, and Bin Hadi House in the Hili Oasis, along with dozens of other archaeological sites and historical buildings. He said work is also underway to revive the original use of the buildings and to re-dedicate them to their original purposes (such as the old traditional market in Al Qattarah). Al Mazroui underlined that Al Ain residents maintain old social customs and examples of these include the wedding celebrations, Bedouin hospitality, falconry and camel races. ”The rapid development of this nation does not prevent the preservation of its heritage,” the ADACH director-general said.

Water has shaped the oasis culture of the Hili Oasis and allowed the civilisation around it to thrive for millennia. Through a vast and complex water management system, large extensions of land were farmed, larger populations were sustained, and surplus crops were traded, thus establishing Al Ain as a major crossing point in trade routes between Persia, Arabia, Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

Hili is the second largest oasis in Al Ain covering a surface area of about 62 hectares. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Hili region has been inhabited and farmed since the Iron Age (1200 BCE). Not only were palm trees grown but also vegetables, fruits, and cereals. The oasis and its falaj system were of such importance to the families living there that they built two defensive watchtowers for protection. A number of historic mud brick buildings also survive within the oasis.

Sit for a while in Hili Oasis, under a date palm tree. I honestly think it is one of the most peaceful and beautiful places i have ever visited in the Emirates.
No road noise, no buildings, nobody!

Beware though, your peace may be interrupted, by a date dropping on your head! ;-)

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