Go back in time… 

You may already have your weekend plans sorted, but you may have to juggle your schedule a bit as the Al Hosn has returned to Abu Dhabi. 

The annual celebration of Emirati heritage will run from Friday, January 19 to 28. The 10-day festival takes place at one of Abu Dhabi’s oldest heritage sites, Qasr Al Hosn.

Al Hosn Festival’s strategic placement, among the bustling Abu Dhabi city centre, and amidst the glittering skyscrapers makes it a perfect spot to celebrate the UAE’s history. From the second you enter the picturesque birthplace of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene, you’re time-travelling as far back as 1795.

What can you expect at the festival?


Visitors will be able to explore Abu Dhabi’s historic traditions and its connections to contemporary and newly emerging cultures.

In past editions, residents and visitors to the capital have enjoyed live performances, family workshops, food and beverage stalls, art and cultural exhibitions, immersive trails and much more.

For those looking to take a piece of UAE history away with them, there’s a bazaar where you can shop an array of artisans with handcrafted thoughtful souvenirs that make for a lasting memento. Fashionistas can also find local retailers showcasing beautiful Emirati fashion.


There have also been competitions featuring Emirati culinary mastery. In 2023, the competition centred on Qahwa (Arabic coffee), but we will have to wait to see what is in store for 2024.

The entire line-up of events and timings will be announced via Al Hosn Festival’s social media channels, so be sure to turn on your alerts and keep your eyes peeled.

Tickets to the Al Hosn Festival can be booked here. Tickets per child ages five to 11 will cost you Dhs15, and for adults it’s Dhs30.

About Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn

This celebrated heritage site is worth a visit any day of the year, even if you are unable to attend the festival.

It comprises two major iconic buildings: the Inner Fort, originally constructed in 1795 and the Outer Palace, built from 1939 to 1945. After 11 years of conservation and restoration, the site reopened to the public as a museum in 2018, showcasing the development of Abu Dhabi from a settlement dependent on fishing and pearling back in the 18th century to the buzzing metropolis it is now. Expect to see artefacts and materials dating back as far as 6,000 B.C.

Al Hosn Festival, Qasr Al Hosn, Al Hisn, Abu Dhabi, 4pm to 11pm from Jan 19 to 28 , children ages 5-11 Dhs15, adults Dhs30, @alhosnfestival

Images: Supplied