Al Maqta Tower, Witnessing History

The 200 year old tower, sitting in the water is first visible when approaching Al Maqta Bridge linking Abu Dhabi Island with the mainland.

Al Maqta Tower, sometimes also spelled Maqtaa or Maqta’a, A watchtower fort lies in Al Maqta creek. on a little islet between the Abu Dhabi island and its mainland.

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1950: Guards walk over the causeway linking the mainland to Abu Dhabi island, heading towards the old guard tower in the middle of the channel. In 1967, the Maqta Bridge was built to facilitate the crossing and was later expanded. In 2010, the Shaikh Zayed Bridge was built alongside it. Image Credit: BP archive

Al Maqta Tower is said to have been built in the early 19th century. It guarded the then small fishing village of Abu Dhabi, situated on an elongated island only separated from the mainland by a shallow canal, known as the Khor Al Maqta. The tower stands in the middle of that canal on an inaccessible islet. On the mainland shore of that canal also stands a fort; Al Maqta Fort.

At present Al Maqta Tower is not accessible. A very nice tower. Although very heavily, and not truthfully restored if you compare its present appearance with the beautiful old b/w picture, made by the English explorer W. Thesiger in the 1940’s.

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