Qasr Al Watan is a working Presidential palace and a majestic cultural landmark that invites the world to discover the rich legacy of knowledge and tradition that has shaped the UAE's journey. Boosting cultural understanding of the nation and emphasising its incredible history, this is more than just a traditional palace. Qasr Al Watan is an exquisitely crafted tribute to Arabian heritage and artistry, with its architecture and design echoing the significance and function of the impressive exhibits and iconic rooms housed within its halls.
One of the palace's most impressive and unmissable attractions is the family-friendly Palace In Motion event, a spectacular light and sound show that celebrates the UAE's journey in three breathtaking acts that unfold in front of the main palace every 30 minutes after sundown, with the final entry taken 30 minutes before showtime. Timings are subject to change.
Aside from this magnificent show, the palace places a strong emphasis on learning and knowledge sharing. Here, visitors can expect to learn about the formation of the UAE, as well as the country's governing traditions and values, with this unique palace highlighting Arab contributions to various fields of knowledge and giving guests access to halls typically reserved for official summits.
The palace houses the Qasr Al Watan Library and House of Knowledge where history and culture buffs, as well as scholars, can explore a vast collection of books, manuscripts and other resources about the UAE, and learn about the nation's progressive journey.
Other zones within the palace include A Memory of the Palace, where you can capture a commemorative photo in the palace's media room, as well as The Great Hall, an exquisitely crafted photo-worthy space boasting a central dome, archways, mosaic patterns and mirrored cubes. The Spirit of Collaboration area, meanwhile, sees entities such as the Federal Supreme Council, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council coming together to express ambitions, set agendas, and map the way forward. Visitors can learn about diplomacy and protocol as they admire the room's iconic chandelier and circular layout, which symbolises the UAE's commitment to illumination and equality.
The Presidential Banquet, meanwhile, reveals how UAE hosts the world, with this immaculately set banqueting hall welcoming VIP officials from around the globe and treating them to warm Emirati hospitality. Visitors to The Presidential Banquet enjoy an in-depth introduction to the customs, protocols and cuisine served here, as well as insights into the unique collections of silver, crystal and chinaware.
The palace also celebrates Abu Dhabi's achievements. On December 15th 2018, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, declared 2019 as the Year of Tolerance.
A Celebration of Acceptance, a theme touched upon throughout the palace, highlights the UAE as a bridge of communication between cultures and a nation that expands opportunities for dialogue, while also showing the positive impact of tolerance on society.
If you are coming to the palace by car, go to the Visitor Centre to find the Visitor Centre car park. There is ample parking space available and there is no charge to park there. Valet parking is available at the Visitor Centre car park at a charge ofAED 80. Parking is open from 9:30am to 9:30pm, seven days a week.