In a city like Abu Dhabi, where things are constantly evolving, there are some parts where time almost stands still. Qasr Al Hosn is one of them. The city's oldest standing structure is a commanding figure surrounded by Abu Dhabi's glittering skyline, which, when you see it in person, is a beautiful juxtaposition of the past and present.
Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi was built in the 1790s and was once home to the ruling family. The building also housed the National Consultative Council, founded by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder of the UAE. Transformed into a museum in 2018 after a decade's worth of intensive conservation and very delicate restorative work, walking into the Al Hosn fort is like stepping into a time capsule.
On entering, the first iconic buildings that you will see are the Inner Fort, constructed in 1795, and the Outer Palace, built between 1939-45. Slowly, look up and lay your eyes on the original watchtower. When Abu Dhabi was a small fishing village, Qasr Al Hosn overlooked the coastal trade routes and protected the growing community on the island. Walking through every area of Qasr Al Hosn is a delightful experience that makes you want to linger longer. You can easily while away a few hours soaking up the fascinating history of the UAE capital or looking at artefacts and archival materials from 6,000 years ago. And as for children, exploring the nooks and crannies of this ancient structure is sure to give them a sense of adventure and excellent material for storytime!
Today, the Al Hosn palace has become the nation's living memorial of a time long gone and a visual reflection of Abu Dhabi's history.
Frequently asked questions about Qasr Al Hosn
What is the importance of Qasr Al Hosn?
As the oldest standing structure in Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn holds a lot of historical importance for the country. Ranging from architecture to art, the building has played different roles over the decades and was restored for public viewing.
What is inside Qasr Al Hosn?
Qasr Al Hosn displays age-old artefacts and materials from the past as well as real-time crafts created by Emiratis using traditional weaving methods.
What does Qasr Al Hosn mean in English?
Qasr Al Hosn translates to mean 'Palace Fort' in English.