Rainfall has brought back to the deserts of Abu Dhabi a sight common thousands of years ago lakes at the edge of the Empty Quarter.

Adias members near the edge of the large and shallow freshwater lake at Kharimat Khor Al Manahil.

According to a team from Abu Dhabi Islands Archaeological Survey (Adias), which carried out a survey of the desert, the sight of large lakes in the middle of the sand dunes on the edge of the Empty Quarter were extremely rare.

Thanks to the recent rainfall, however, people can see how these landscapes looked thousands of years ago.

A team of archaeologists from Adias and Germany's University of Tubingen visiting the Umm Al Zamul area, south of Al Ain, on Friday found a huge lake.

They were amazed to find a large and shallow freshwater lake covering much of a limestone plain at Kharimat Khor Al Manahil.

During the Neolithic period, about 6,000 to 7,500 years ago, there was much more rainfall in the emirates than there is today, and some of the earliest inhabitants of the UAE used to camp around the shores of such lakes.

Now, however, with less rainfall, such sights are unusual. "We had always believed there must have been lakes on these plains at the time," Dr Mark Beech, senior resident archaeologist of Adias, said.