It’s the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi…

Abu Dhabi is about to get an exciting new attraction, with the restored Qasr Al Hosn Fort set to hold its grand opening on December 7.

The historic landmark will be the centrepiece of the new Al Hosn cultural destination, located in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi.

What is Qasr Al Hosn? It’s the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi. The site is made up of two buildings – the inner fort, which dates back to 1795, and the outer palace, which was built in the 1940s.

Here’s an aerial view of Qasr Al Hosn, taken in the 1960s:

Over the past 200 years, Qasr Al Hosn been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, the consultative council, and the national archives.

After several years of conservation works, the fort has been transformed into a museum that traces the city’s development from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling to a modern metropolis.

Here’s a render of what the new Al Hosn site will look like:

Qasr Al Hosn will also play host to archaeology and architectural tours, re-enactments of aspects of daily life and rituals, and a programme that will introduce visitors to the history and significance of the majlis.

What else will you find there?

The Al Hosn cultural site will be made up of four components: Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the Cultural Foundation, the National Consultive Council building, and the House of Artisans.

Founded by Sheikh Zayed in 1981, the Cultural Foundation was the region’s first dedicated non-profit cultural centre. It embodied Sheikh Zayed’s desire to nurture the cultural consciousness and identity of all citizens in the UAE.

The Cultural Foundation has also undergone extensive refurbishment, with major upgrades including the introduction of a children’s library, visual arts centre, indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces, a 900-seat theatre and outdoor amphitheatre, as well as learning and workshop facilities.

The visual arts centre will be ready to open on December 7, hosting a landmark exhibition with UAE artists reflecting on the building’s history. The children’s library and theatre will open in 2019.

ALSO READ: Abu Dhabi is getting a huge new children’s library

Meanwhile, House of Artisans will serve as a focal point for the promotion and preservation of the UAE’s intangible heritage. The house was founded after UNESCO listed Al Sadu (weaving) on its List of Intangible Cultural Elements for Urgent Safeguarding back in 2011, in a bid to protect and support other traditional Emirati crafts.

House of Artisans will also offer training courses and public workshops in these crafts, ensuring their future survival for generations to come.

What is happening for the grand opening?

Qasr Al Hosn is set to host a week of festivities as part of its grand opening on December 7. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more details – or you can find out more on the website.

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