Ancient fort stands tall for 2016 festival


Built in 1761, Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi. The structure was originally intended to protect the only freshwater well in the capital before housing the ruling Al Nahyan family.

Its storied past has inspired preservation, restoration and rehabilitation works that continue even today.

So important is this fort that it is the inspiration for and backdrop of a cultural festival, held every year at the site.

Next year’s installment of the Qasr Al Hosn Festival, to be held from 3rd to 13th February, will celebrate the fort’s status as a historical monument, community hub and testament of the UAE founders’ vision.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Cultural Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said, “Without exception, the Qasr Al Hosn Festival has grown to become a cultural highlight of the emirate’s scene. As the symbolic birthplace of Abu Dhabi and a valuable monument of traditional Emirati heritage, Qasr Al Hosn’s legacy is reflected through this annual festival and is an opportunity for the community and visitors to gather and celebrate national history. We are sure the inspiring interactive programme will emphasise the nation’s heritage and identity in a celebratory atmosphere.”

The festival’s popular Desert, Oasis, Marine and Island zones will give visitors an insight into the former way of life in each area with themed activities, workshops and demonstrations.

Further highlights of this year’s edition include a tour with narrative chronicling the on-going conservation process, background info on past dwellers and details of the Conservation Management Plan, which includes the fort, National Consultative Council and the Cultural Foundation building.

A series of educational exhibitions, a performing arts programme and family activities will add to the festival line-up. For more information, visit: 

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