An oasis of palm in the heart of Al Ain

An oasis of palm in the heart of Al Ain

 over 7,000 years, eight oases of Al Ain have attracted thousands of traders, passers-by and settlers, making it a centre for agriculture and focus point for travellers.

Once abundant fresh water allowed people to make a living out of date palm farming in the oasis that is now culturally famous for its archaeological sites.

The traditional falaj system – ancient underground irrigation system – would irrigate one oasis at a time. The water came from atop the mountain, up to 30km away, where a series of wells were dug. A network of tunnels was then created to channel the water to the plantations. Each date palm orchard was provided with water for a set amount of time before its channel was “dammed” most likely with stones, metal or clothes, and the water was diverted elsewhere.

Until today, the dates of Al Ain remain among the best in the region. The UAE’s blessed tree played a major role in influencing the Emirati architecture.

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