Al Bithnah Fort is a traditional two-story rock, coral, and mud wall located in Wadi Ham, near the town of Al Bithnah in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates. The castle played an important role in the history of the Emirates, especially in the emergence of Fujairah as an independent emirate in the early 20th century. With a control position facing Wadi Ham, the fort took the place of the Iron Age fortress. Prior to the construction of a 1-meter-high road between Fujairah City and Masafi in the 1970s, coastal traffic from the coast into the village bed, controlled by Al Bitnah Fort, which had been contested for participation and would form the basis of Sharqiyin’s economy in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
Al Bithnah Fort is a rectangular structure with two circular towers. The rectangular guard room gives the exterior look of building a third tower. It is largely constructed of stone walls, lined with mud bricks and covered with mud. Wood joists and roof beams are made mainly of palm frames, although the use of solid wood has not been maintained. The entrance, on the east wall of the castle, leads to a 12-foot [3.3 m] corridor covered with solid wood. This small door leads to the basement and then down the stairs to the courtyard. The restoration work in 2008 revealed traces of this room used as a madbasa, a day storage room with subways to collect the juice of the day, or dhibs.
Al Bithnah is strategically located in Wadi Ham, which connects the East Coast port of Fujairah with the city center in Masafi and stands as one of the three major trade routes (some Wadi Jizzi and Wadi Hatta) to the ports in and west of the Southern Arabian Peninsula. of the region, at least between Qawasim of Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah and Na’im of Buraimi were opposed to Saidi Sultan of Muscat. In 1745, the Qawasim and Na’im clans tried to fight their way through Wadi Ham in order to take the east coast and its main prize, the port of Sohar. They met with Saudi forces in Bithnah and followed the Battle of Bithnah, a conflict that would set a new era in the region’s history: a war between Saidi Omani leader Ahmed bin Said Al Busaidi and Qawasim of Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah, and other West Coast and inland nations. The battle of Bithnah was won by the Qawasim when the forces of Ahmed bin Said left him.
The Qawasim found a new alliance against their traditional enemy in Oman while the Saudis established a presence in Buraimi, zealous for the new message of their Wahabi faith. Although there was a short-lived alliance between the two enemies, the split and power of Omani led to the Qawasim taking sides and supporting Omani Said, Badr bin Saif Al Busaidi. As a result, an important port east of Khor Fakkan fell into Qawasim, backed by Saudi forces. However, when Qawasim Sheikh, Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, opposed the Saudi regime and the pressure of navigation in the Gulf, he was removed from the power and control of the fortresses of Fujairah, Bithnah, and Khor Fakkan and placed in the hands of the Saudi-backed forces. By 1809, the Saudis had appointed walis, or nobles, throughout Qawasim. Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi escaped the Saudi captivity in Diriyah and fled to Mocha and then to Muscat, where he found his former enemy, Said bin Sultan Al Busaidi. His arrival coincided with the growing outrage of Oman’s British, British, and Raw Al Khaimah counterparts as well as their ongoing attacks on Oman and other shipping facilities in the region. Giving the British a casus belli, the Sultan’s discovery in Muscat helped promote the 1809 Persian Gulf Campaign against Qawasim in Ras Al Khaimah. The action, though punitive, would make decisions.
After more than a century of conflicting ownership of the east coast or Shamamaliyah, it was named after Qawasim as Sultan bin Saqr consolidated his empire. However, the Qawasim influence weakened following the death of Sultan bin Saqr in 1866, and his successor was killed in a single battle by Zayed the Great of Abu Dhabi. In the 1880s, Qawasim’s growing confidence in the threat of independence from Saqr bin Khalid Al Qasimi and Fujairah’s chief of staff, Sheikh Hamad bin Abdullah Al Sharqi, seized the opportunity to lead a revolt in Spring 1879 by attacking Sheikh Salim bin Sultan Al Qasimi of Sharjah, who had enslaved Sharjah. to manage Fujairah. After his team to Salim bin Sultan was rejected, Hamad bin Abdullah led a successful rally against Fujairah Fort, which led to the victory.
Saqr bin Khalid has chosen not to take action against the rebels, as indeed Sultan Turki bin Said of Muscat has chosen not to give them protection after they begged him to take over the kingdom over them. The British advice to the Sultan should not have gone into that which would ultimately lead to the inevitable conflict with Sharjah. Muscat stayed away from Saqr bin Khalid and failed to properly control the entire east coast of Al Qasimi, from Dibba to Kalba. The control of the coastal city and Khor Fakkan trading center, which could only be approached by land via Fujairah or Dibba at the time, was automatically reduced. The seizure of Al Bitnah Fort allowed Hamad bin Abdullah to reject the then Governor of Sharjah, Sheikh Saqr Bin Khalid Al Qasimi, to the point of sending help to the disgruntled Kalba chief. The event closed down the independence of Fujairah which was unknown to Britain until 1952.
The controversy in Kalba erupted and each side rallied its supporters. In April 1902, Saqr bin Khalid gathered 250 troops on Bedouin to attack Fujairah, and Hamad bin Abdullah called on Dubai and Ajman, and the Sultan of Muscat to help them. The British held their breath over the impending issue and intervened, warning Muscat and Dubai to stand on the ground. In an attempt to mediate the dispute in Sharjah, the British Residency Agent found both Saqr bin Khalid protesting that he could not control his Bedouin and Hamad bin Abdullah refused to accept safe passage to Sharjah as official.
In 1939, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Sharqi succeeded as Sheikh of Fujairah. He included the Sharqiyin sites in and around Fujairah and in 1950, conquered Dibba in the North, as well as the coastal areas of Bidayah and Sakamkam as well as the rural town of Al Bithnah and the well-known Al Bithnah Fort.
Al Bithnah’s fortress was allowed to collapse into a state of disarray during the reign of Mohammed bin Hamad, with both towers collapsing. Restored in 1974, it was allowed to return to a state of decay and, in 2006, was in excellent condition. Completely restored in 2008-2012.