Monday 20 May 2019

Abu Dhabi to open Al Hosn heritage block

ABU DHABI, December 4, 2018

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will open Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi's original urban block, to the public on December 7.
Al Hosn comprises four interrelated components: the historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the National Consultative Council building, the Cultural Foundation, and the House of Artisans. 
The official launch will be a celebration of the emirate’s rich history and culture, with a week of public events and programmes to mark the occasion. 
Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “Qasr Al Hosn embodies the heritage of Abu Dhabi, and 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. 
"It reflects the UAE’s ambitious vision, which is being consolidated by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, that is to enhance the value of the people throughout its development, based on its history, heritage and culture as manifested in Al Hosn—a place which not only encapsulates the evolution of Abu Dhabi and its eventful and fascinating memory, but also sets our vision for our country’s creative future,” he said.
Saif Saeed Ghobash, undersecretary of Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said: “With the opening of Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi adds a unique destination to its range of cultural offering it has and achieves two important milestones: preserving our history and culture for future generations and developing an attractive cultural destination combining history, heritage and contemporary art experiences to inspire all visitors of Abu Dhabi. Al Hosn reflects the richness and diversity of our Emirati cultural and historical treasures. Its opening represents a new phase in Abu Dhabi’s cultural plans which reflect  the unique cultural features that characterise our society and drive our people towards greater creativity.”
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 he 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 conservation works, Qasr Al Hosn 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 tour the historic National Consultative Council building, site of the early discussions and negotiations on the unification of the emirates. 
The Inner Fort exhibition traces the story of Qasr Al Hosn and the many historic events it has witnessed, exploring the settlement of Abu Dhabi island, everyday life in the Fort and showing how this historic landmark was once both a ruling family home and a busy administrative centre. The Outer Palace was constructed by Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan in the 1940s. The rooms display the stories of the people who lived in the Palace and their everyday lives. Visitors will explore the personal quarters of Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, or part in the Ruler’s Majlis. Films, interactive displays and oral histories bring these stories to life, together with original artefacts and treasures from the past.
THE CULTURAL FOUNDATION: The newly renovated premises of the Cultural Foundation will host a diverse programme in its new Visual Arts Centre, including a landmark inaugural exhibition focusing on the building’s history as a beacon for UAE artists. The Cultural Foundation will re-open in phases from December 7, initially allowing access to the Visual Arts Centre, which in addition to the exhibition halls will feature workshops and art studios. 
The two remaining components – a 900-seat theatre and the first Children’s Library of its kind – will open in 2019. 
HOUSE OF ARTISANS: Located on Al Hosn alongside Qasr Al Hosn and the Cultural Foundation, the House of Artisans is an initiative dedicated to the safeguarding and promotion of the UAE’s intangible heritage. Exhibitions, workshops and training courses focusing on traditional Emirati handicrafts such as Al-Sadu (weaving), Khoos (palm frond braiding) and Talli (embroidery) will enable the all-important transmission of knowledge and skills around these crafts, ensuring their future survival.
OPENING WEEK PROGRAMMING: The opening of Al Hosn site will be marked with a week-long celebration from Decmebr 7 to 15. Free tours, events and musical performances will bring the site’s history to life and offer visitors a glimpse into the story of Abu Dhabi and its people. The opening week programming will include activities exploring Emirati history and culture, from traditional Talli embroidery, rope-making and khoos weaving to learning about how the first fishing nets were cast and made, fish salted, and oysters opened.  - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: abu dhabi | Heritage | Al Hosn |

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