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.
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.
“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.