16 June 2024

Viewed this cute little Fort recently renovated but keeping a narrative of the original building.

Dhafeer Fort, sometimes also known as Al Hamily Tower, lies in the area known as the Liwa oasis, in the emirate of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The Liwa oasis is in fact made up of several small oases forming an arch, stretched out over some 110 kilometers, on the northern edge of the Empty Quarter (the Rub’ Al Khali Desert). The water of these oases was always a valuable commodity, so around the mid-19th and early 20th century CE, the local Bani Yas tribes started to built forts and watch towers to protect their wells and to provide shelter from nomadic tribes roaming the desert.

There is no known history of Dhafeer Fort other than that it was probably built somewhere during the 19th century.

The walls of the fort were built out of mud bricks and cob, palm tree trunks were used for ceilings and gypsum for details. It is a small fort with a somewhat oval-shaped enclosure and a rectangular tower incorporated into its western wall. Although it is nowadays called a fort, it is also thought that it was more probably the fortified house of a family by the name of Al Hamily.

At present there are, besides Dhafeer Fort, 8 other forts and towers still existing. Six of them have, just like Dhafeer Fort, completely been restored in recent years. These are Maria Al Gharbiyah Fort, Qutuf Fort, Muqib Tower, Mezairaa Fort, Attab Fort and Al Jabbana Fort. Al Hayla Tower and Umm Hosn Fort are still in ruins. Although a new reconstruction of Umm Hosn Fort has been built next to it. All fortifications are situated north of the Hameem-Arrada Road (the E90) that connects all the Liwa oases.

At present Dhafeer Fort is freely accessible. The fort however is not signposted, nor is there any information at the fort and its interior spaces are bare. A very nice fort, worth the visit.

(Please click on any thumbnail above to enlarge the whole gallery for full size sliding photos)

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