If you haven’t heard yet, Qasr Al Hosn – regarded as the oldest stone building in Abu Dhabi – will reopen to the public on 7th December.
The iconic structure shut down in 2008 to undergo extensive preservation and renovation works.
The landmark will now feature four interconnected sections: the historic fort, the National Consultative building, the House of Artisans and the revived Cultural Foundation.
A series of cultural events and performances are expected take place in the venue in the coming days to celebrate its return.
The restored fort, meanwhile, will host a permanent exhibition documenting Qasr Al Hosn’s evolution and history through pictures and displays.
To celebrate this new milestone, we take a look at some cool facts surrounding the historic fort…
- Qasr Al Hosn was erected in 1761 upon the orders of Sheikh Dhiyab Bin Isa of the Bani Yas tribe from the Liwa Oasis.
- It was constructed as a watchtower to protect the only freshwater well in Abu Dhabi from intruders.
- Sheikh Shakhbut Bin Dhiyab, who ruled from 1795 to 1816, moved the seat of power from Liwa to Abu Dhabi. Qasr Al Hosn became his seat of power, military headquarters and official residence.
- The community around the fort developed during the rule of Sheikh Zayed Bin Khalifa, which was from 1855 to 1909.
- UAE founder, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ordered renovations and construction of additional structures around the fort including the office of Center for Documentation and Research, which is now called the National Archives.
The National Consultative Chamber was constructed outside the palace walls during Sheikh Zayed’s time. The building would serve as a venue for the meetings that would lead to the formation of the UAE.