The historical cultural site of Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi, has been re-launched after the completion of a reconstruction and renewal project conducted by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.
The site, opened by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, included four connected areas, which are the Al Hosn Palace, the National Consultative Council, the Cultural Foundation, and the House of Artisans, reported Emirates news agency Wam.
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi city, encompassing two iconic buildings: The Inner Fort, which was built around 1795, to protect the settlement of Abu Dhabi established on the island in the 1760s, and the Outer Palace, built in the 1940s. A witness to Abu Dhabi’s vibrant history, over the past two centuries, it has previously been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, the consultative council and the national archives.
Now transformed into a national monument following several years of rigorous and ambitious conservation works, Qasr Al Hosn traces the city’s development from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling in the 18th century, to a modern, global metropolis.
The Inner Fort exhibition traces the story of Qasr Al Hosn and the many historic events it has witnessed, exploring the settlement of Abu Dhabi island, everyday life in the fort and showing how this historic landmark was once both a ruling family home and a busy administrative centre.
The Outer Palace was constructed by Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 1940s. The rooms display the stories of the people who lived in the palace. Visitors will explore the personal quarters of Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan and part in the Ruler’s majlis. Films, interactive displays and oral histories bring these stories to life, together with original artefacts and treasures from the past.
Visitors may also visit the historic National Consultative Council building, site of the early discussions and negotiations on the unification of the Emirates.
The newly renovated premises of the Cultural Foundation will host a diverse programme in its new Visual Arts Centre, including a landmark inaugural exhibition focusing on the building’s history as a beacon for UAE artists. The two remaining components – a 900-seat theatre and the first children’s library of its kind – will open in 2019.
Located alongside Qasr Al Hosn and the Cultural Foundation, the House of Artisans is an initiative dedicated to the safeguarding and promotion of the UAE’s intangible heritage.