The Department of Culture and Tourism recently announced that the much-anticipated grand opening of Al Hosn, a new cultural destination located in the heart of downtown Abu Dhabi, will take place on December 7, 2018.
Al Hosn is the city's original urban block and will comprise four interrelated components: the historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the Cultural Foundation, the National Consultative Council building, and the House of Artisans. The official launch will be a celebration of Abu Dhabi's rich history and culture, with days of public programming to mark the occasion.
Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant heritage site in Abu Dhabi city, encompassing two iconic buildings: The Inner Fort, which goes back to around 1795 and the Outer Palace, which was 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 museum following several years of rigorous and ambitious conservation works, Qasr Al Hosn is a national monument that traces the city's development from a settlement reliant on fishing and pearling in the 18th century, to a modern, global metropolis, with the fort now surrounded by Abu Dhabi's skyscrapers and a dynamic downtown area.
The newly renovated premises of the cultural foundation will host a diverse visual and performing arts programme, alongside the opening of the first Children's Library of its kind. To mark the occasion of its reopening in December, the Foundation's Visual Arts Centre will present a landmark exhibition which will focus on the building's history as a beacon for local artists. Cultural Foundation will re-open in phases, allowing access to the Visual Arts Centre, which will feature exhibition halls and art studios. The two remaining components — a theatre and the Children's Library – will open in 2019.