It was interesting to visit Abu Dhabi on a tour from Oman and walk around the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. While its exterior is a brilliant white –its interior, in contrast, is an equally brilliant poly-chrome . Almost overflowing with floral designs, the mosque sits opposite the old tower at Maqta which, some 50 years ago, guarded the ford to the island of Abu Dhabi .
Images of Maqta tower and the ford are included in an atmospheric galley in Al Jahili Fort Al Ain of photos by Wilfred Thesiger.
The visits he made to Oman’s deserts, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in the late 1940s were recorded with ‘black and white’ photography. His traveling guides and companions bin Kabina and bin Gabisha are a focus of the images in the galley along with Sheikh Zayed. The gallery, with its natural earth tones and simple design, reflect Thesiger’s own yearning for austerity and focuses the visitor’s attention on the evocative images of his travels.