His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said that the new archaeological discoveries in Al Ain emphasise the richness of the history, civilisation and culture of this region, which contribute to the recognition of the nature of its inhabitants.
He made his remarks during a visit to the site of the oldest mosque in the country, which dates back to Islam’s Early Golden Age of the Abbasid Caliphate, 1,000 years ago.
Sheikh Mohamed was briefed by Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), Saif Saeed Ghobash, DCT Under-Secretary, and Archaeologist Dr. Peter Magee, Head of Archaeology at DCT, on the historical and social significance of this discovery, which has shed light on the region and the lives of its inhabitants during that period.
His Highness said that these discoveries in Al Ain reflect the city's status as a cultural centre since the early Islamic period. He also stressed the importance of monuments and heritage in linking the past with the present and the future, noting the importance of historical evidence of urban heritage as a link between civilisations.
He pointed out that the status of monuments and their social importance lies in the role they play in forming the citizens' identity, and their understanding of the history, civilisation and the life of their ancestors, which strengthen their sense of belonging to their country.
Accompanying Sheikh Mohamed were Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Executive Director of the Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; Dr. Ahmed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, Secretary-General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office; and Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei; Under-Secretary of the Crown Prince Court of Abu Dhabi.
In September 2018, DCT Abu Dhabi archaeologists discovered close to the construction site of the new Sheikh Khalifa mosque in Al Ain - several aflaj, - subterranean irrigation channels - the remains of at least three buildings and the foundations of a mosque which is the earliest yet discovered in the UAE.