Qasr al Hosn Festival
The Foundation has also supported the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority to organize the celebration of an iconic building central to the history of Abu Dhabi, the Qasr Al Hosn. The city’s oldest building, the fort was originally built as a watchtower to guard precious water sources. Over the years, the building has expanded to be become the Emirate’s most significant historical landmark. In February of 2013, over 30,000 visitors came together to celebrate the commemoration of 250 years of the Qasr. Our Chair, Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed Al Nahyan chaired a committee of stakeholder partners which is responsible for planning and executing the festival – a ten- day celebration that featured a memorable showcase of unique Emirati traditions and storytelling of unforgettable tales about the past to the visitors. The 2013 Qasr Al Hosn Festival included:
The Story of a Fort, Legacy of a Nation
For the first time in the Middle East, the director Franco Dragone, co-creator of the Cirque de Soleil created a show that celebrated Emirati culture and told the story of the iconic Fort.
Qasr Al Hosn Exhibition
As part of the festival, the public enjoyed an exhibition that showcase the historical significance of the Fort. The exhibition features a collection of video memories and artifacts from the Fort. It also included, the Digital Sadu – a traditional form of weaving practiced by Bedouin women using wool. Using the technology of digital weaving, the visitors of the exhibition had the chance to weave their own personal story on the Qasr Al Hosn.
Muntada Qasr Al Hosn
For three days during the festival, the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation hosted Muntada, our public forum series this time focused on the Qasr Al Hosn. Speakers included: Dr. Abdullah El Reyes, Director General of the National Center for Documentation and Research , HE Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh Cultural Advisor in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Mark Powell Kyffin, a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The Qasr Al Hosn Festival 2014 included:
- Cavalia at Qasr al Hosn:- The show was specially adapted for the Qasr al Hosn Festival audience involving 50 horses and featuring 50 riders, aerialists, acrobats, performers and musicians from all over the world in a celebration of equestrian arts, a centuries-old tradition in the Emirates. The show was created by Normand Latourelle, one of the co-founders of famed Cirque du Soleil
- Interactive workshops:- With the aim of expanding visitors’ knowledge of Emirati culture and history, the 2014 festival included various sessions on art and culture, demonstrations of traditional Emirati skills, guided historical tours and exhibitions, and a special tour of the of Qasr Al Hosn fort
The dates for the 2015 festival are 11-21 February