Abu Dhabi’s historic heart set to reopen with events and exhibits

Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism is set to open the newly restored Qasr Al Hosn historic area to the public on Dec. 7. (Photo courtesy: Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi)
Updated 05 December 2018
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Abu Dhabi’s historic heart set to reopen with events and exhibits

DUBAI: Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism is set to open the newly restored Qasr Al Hosn historic area to the public on Dec. 7.

Al Hosn is Abu Dhabi’s original urban block, comprised of four interrelated components: The historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the National Consultative Council building, the Cultural Foundation and the House of Artisans. The inner fort was built around 1795 to protect the settlement of Abu Dhabi, established on the island in the 1760s, while the outer palace was built in the 1940s.

(Photo courtesy: Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi)



The official launch will be a celebration of the capital’s history and culture, with a week of public events to mark the occasion from Dec. 7-15. Free tours, events and musical performances will bring the site’s history to life, with activities including everything from traditional Talli embroidery, rope-making and khoos weaving lessons to learning about how the first fishing nets were cast and made.

The inner fort exhibition traces the story of Qasr Al Hosn and the historic events it has witnessed, while the outer palace rooms will display the stories of the people who lived in the palace and their everyday lives.
Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak shared his excitement about the opening in a released statement.

(Photo courtesy: Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi)



“Qasr Al Hosn embodies the heritage of Abu Dhabi, and (is) a poignant witness to the historic and fundamental milestones in the development of our country. At the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, we are proud to re-introduce this cultural monument after it has been preserved, restored and renovated to become part of Al Hosn, an unparalleled cultural destination in the heart of the city.”
The renovated Cultural Foundation will host a series of events in its new Visual Arts Center, including an exhibition focusing on UAE artists called “Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years.” The show will feature more than 100 works by artists active in the institution’s early days in the 1980s and 90s. Curated by Maya Allison, chief curator and executive director of NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, with Alia Zaal Lootah, senior curatorial assistant of Louvre Abu Dhabi, the exhibition will reflect on the building’s history as a convener of artists and creatives and its role in nurturing a cultural scene in the UAE.


Abu Dhabi Festival reveals exciting 2019 lineup

Updated 10 December 2018
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Abu Dhabi Festival reveals exciting 2019 lineup

  •  Dubbed ADF19, the festival will feature more than 100 events across 25 venues in Abu Dhabi, including 18 productions, two co-productions and two commissioned artworks
  • The festival will also shed light on artists with disabilities, with the central theme announced as “Culture of Determination”

The month-long Abu Dhabi Festival, set to be held in March 2019, announced its art-and-culture filled lineup in a press conference at the Emirates Palace hotel on Monday, with the packed itinerary set to entertain culture vultures in the capital in what will be the festival’s 16th edition.

Dubbed ADF19, the festival will feature more than 100 events across 25 venues in Abu Dhabi, including 18 productions, two co-productions and two commissioned artworks. If that isn’t enough, the festival will also feature more than 500 artists from 17 different countries.

The festival’s headline program includes performances by the Korean National Ballet — set to perform “Giselle,” a romantic ballet about a peasant girl with a passion for dance — and the Korean Symphony Orchestra. Korea has been singled out as ASF19’s “Country of Honor” and organizers are focusing on sharing its classical talent with audiences in the Middle East.

“Abu Dhabi Festival… has been contributing enormously to the region’s intercultural competence, so I’m very happy that Korea could be a part of the wonderful celebration,” the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to the UAE Kang-ho Park told the press via video link on Monday.  

The festival will also shed light on artists with disabilities, with the central theme announced as “Culture of Determination.”

Festival founder Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo took to the stage alongside Peter Wheeler, CEO of the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi, to sign a cooperation agreement at Monday’s press conference and a March 16 concert titled “Stand Up For Inclusion” was announced as one of the main events during next year’s festival.

The festival will also host an exhibition called “Distant Prospects,” presenting the history of European landscape painting through renowned pieces by key figures in the Late Renaissance and Baroque eras.

Other highlights include a performance by award-winning US jazz pianist Justin Kauflin on March 11, a dance show by the Sara Baras Flamenco Ballet Company on March 21 and a full-length, three-act plotless performance by the Paris Opera Ballet, backed by the Pasdeloup Orchestra — the oldest symphony orchestra in France — on March 29 and 30.