Qasr Al Hosn Festival unfolds captivating programmes to celebrate Emirati culture

Shaily Kalra

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Feb. 19, 2015:   People peruse the exhibitions and enjoy festival offerings while they tour the activities at the Qasr al Hosn Festival 2015 on Thursday Feb. 19, 2015. (Photo / Silvia Razgova)

Photo / Silvia Razgova

Dubai: The grand Qasr Al Hosn Festival which returned to Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital earlier this week and will continue till February 13 has become an instant hit with the visitors.

 

Nearly 120,000 people were taken on a journey of Abu Dhabi’s cultural heart when they made their way to the Qasr Al Hosn Festival last year.

Qasr Al Hosn Festival is an annual event. It is held on the grounds of Qasr Al Hosn that celebrates the history of the fort and many centuries of Emirati culture and tradition.

Visitors to this year’s Qasr Al Hosn Festival will be presented with an inspiring programme through an array of numerous performances and activities, fascinating workshops, interactive learning experiences reflecting Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES, Feb. 19, 2015:   People peruse the exhibitions and enjoy festival offerings while they tour the activities at the Qasr al Hosn Festival 2015 on Thursday Feb. 19, 2015. (Photo / Silvia Razgova)

Photo / Silvia Razgova

The festival comprises a wide range of historic and cultural themed exhibitions, workshops performances and activities. The UAE community and visitors will experience both the tangible and intangible heritage of the Emirate through a wide range of activities at the grounds of Qasr Al Hosn.

Qasr Al Hosn is the symbolic birthplace of the capital of the UAE. It is the first permanent structure built in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and one that housed its Al Nahyan Ruling Family for generations.

Since its inception, Qasr Al Hosn was named “Hosn Abu Dhabi” which literally translates “Abu Dhabi fort”, and over the years, it has functioned as a fort, palace and administrative headquarters. Only those who controlled the fort could assert their right to rule.

The Father of the Nation, the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan (1966-2004), transformed Qasr Al Hosn into the palace we know today. Under his reign, several buildings within the fort were renovated. After Sheikh Zayed became the Ruler of Abu Dhabi in 1966, one of the villas served as his office, while the other one housed the newly-established Center for Documentation and Research in 1968, now known as the (National Archives), which, after completion of the final restoration during the 1970s-1980s, occupied all parts and wings of the fort. Qasr Al Hosn was no longer used as the royal residence but instead housed a museum and repository of collections relating to Abu Dhabi and the Arabian Gulf.

This year’s inaugural event organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism and cultural authority was marked by the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi along with them there were National Security Adviser and Vice-Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council, besides other Shaikhs and senior officials.

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