At just over an hour from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and nestled in between Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah is the emirate of Umm Al Quwain. The name Um Al Quwain originates from the Arabic of Umm Al Quwatain which means mother of two powers. The modern history of the emirate dates back two centuries and recent archaeological discoveries have unearthed a plethora of artefacts detailing Umm Al Quwain’s rich heritage. Umm Al Quwain hosts a number of important attractions which have prompted an increase in visitors in recent years.
The site of Ed Dur was first discovered in 1973 and early digging began 1974 before a larger scale expedition began in 1989. Archaeologists’ unearthed evidence of human settlements spanning the Ubeid Period, Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age and Pre-Islamic period. Around 500 tombs were discovered containing drinking sets, Roman glass, weapons, pottery, jewellery and ivory beautifully crafted items. Between 1989 and 1995 over 1400 items were found. More recently, in 2019, an additional 15 tombs, bronze statues, settlement remains, more jewellery and pottery dating from the 1st century CE turned up. The immense collection is currently housed at the Umm Al Quwain Museum and Fort.
The Umm Al Quwain Fort also known as the Al Ali Fort was built in 1768 by the founder of the modern Al Mualla dynasty, Sheikh Rashid Bin Majid Al Mualla. The Fort served as the seat of all rulers of the emirate and the centre of local government as recently as 1969. It was then converted to a fully operational police station before being restored and opened to the public in 2000. Located in the Madeena Al Qadeema , the oldest part of the city Umm Al Quwain Fort is home to the Um Al Quwain Museum which houses a vast array of artefacts and displays all of which chronicle the emirate’s history.
The Dhow Building Yard offers a unique opportunity to visitors to delve into the fine art of Dhow making as they watch skilled craftsmen assemble these traditional boats as they have done for centuries. The Dhow Yard is stone’s throw away from the Umm Al Quwain Museum and Fort.
The Seven Islands of Umm Al Quwain are visible from the old town and provide an excellent opportunity for picnics and excursions. The islands are surrounded by lush mangrove forests and are separated by a series of picturesque creeks. The Barracuda Beach Resort organizes fishing trips and visits to the islands.
Umm Al Quwain is home to Dreamland, the world’s largest aquapark and is easily accessible from the Umm Al Quwain highway.