Mohamed Bin Zayed Inaugurates Historical Qasr Al Hosn Site
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, today opened the historical cultural site of Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi.
The site was re-launched after the completion of a reconstruction and renewal project that was conducted by the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and included four connected areas, which are the Al Hosn Palace, the National Consultative Council, the Cultural Foundation, and the House of Artisans.
The Qasr Al Hosn, which is located in the centre of the city of Abu Dhabi, transformed from a centre of fishing and pearl fishing to one of the world’s modern international cities.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed said that the area showcases Abu Dhabi’s ancient history, as the fathers and grandfathers built the landmark with determination while pointing out that through their cohesion and solidarity, and due to their sacrifices, everyone is now living in a modern country that has a prestigious stature among nations.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed expressed his happiness and pride at the re-launch of the site, which is a historic landmark of the UAE’s ancient society and rich heritage. "We are inspired by the values of the grandfathers and founders, and we recall their inspiring stories and convey their heritage, culture, values and civilisation to future generations," he said.
The opening ceremony was attended by Dr. Amal Abdullah Al Qubaisi, Speaker of Federal National Council; H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; H.H. Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region; H.H. Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; H.H. Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council; H.H. Sheikh Issa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs; H.H. Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court; H.H. Sheikh Theyab bin Zayed Al Nahyan; H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Zayed Higher Organisation for Humanitarian Care & Special Needs, ZHO, and H.H. Sheikh Diab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Department of Transport.
During the ceremony, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed, Their Highnesses the Sheikhs, and the attendees toured the area and learnt from Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, about the reconstruction and renewal of the Qasr Al Hosn, which was transformed into a museum that showcases the history of Abu Dhabi.
They also visited an exhibition, titled, "Artists and the Cultural Foundation: Beginnings," which exhibits works by Emirati artists, as well as the "House of Artisans" that showcases traditional Emirati handicrafts.
The ceremony also included a storytelling light show on the walls of the palace, the Cultural Foundation, and the courtyard extending between the two sites.
The ceremony presented scenes about the country’s heritage and stories related to the palace, which symbolises the emirate’s ancient history. The audience then witnessed the story of how the people of the region moved from the desert to the coast, and how the Bani Yas tribe settled in Abu Dhabi Island and formed its first community.
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 is a monument that traces the city’s development from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling in the 18th Century, to a modern, global metropolis. Visitors may also visit the historic National Consultative Council building, site of the early discussions and negotiations on the unification of the Emirates.