UAE: Parade of 50 classic cars to open Abu Dhabi’s Al Hosn Festival

10-day exhibition to feature museum programme, exhibitions, live performances showcasing Emirati culture


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 24 Nov 2021, 8:07 PM

Take a step back into history and relive the UAE’s glorious past as the Al Hosn Festival 2021 starts in Abu Dhabi from Thursday.

From 4pm to 1 pm till December 4, the 10-day Festival at the iconic Qasr Al Hosn – the historic heart of Abu Dhabi – will feature an action-packed live museum programme, exhibitions, Gahwa championship, live music shows and performances, artworks and installations, workshops and much more representing the rich and diverse culture and heritage of the UAE.

The ball is set rolling on the golden jubilee celebrations with a majestic parade of 50 classic cars on Thursday. It will be an opportunity to experience the motoring culture of past decades and imagine how life in the city looked when these vehicles last toured these streets.

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The Festival Arena will turn the volume up this Friday with a concert by Emirati artist Eida Al Menhali, and on December 2, Emirati artist Hamad Al Ameri will entertain the public. From December 1 to 4, Swiss artist Dan Archer will present Borealis Northern Lights experience featuring high-powered laser beams and colours conveying magical illusions.


During a media tour, Randa Bin Haidar, Director, Culture Festivals and Platforms, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said that the Festival is a must-visit for anyone who wishes to learn about the Emirati heritage.

“There are different sets of performances. You will have 120 Emirati performers, 80 artisans, 30 souqs with traditional products, 25 to 30 actors playing different themes: old schools with students, bride getting married, people buying and selling, barbeques by the beach, and a lot of activities. It is an opportunity to witness the Emirati heritage at its best,” she said.

Split into different zones, visitors can catch heavy-duty activities at Qasr Al Hosn with exhibitions, culinary programmes and workshops, whereas a treasure trove of authentic Emirati crafts is on display at the House of Artisans. At the Makers Village there are a variety of installations, shops and workshops by artists. The Cultural Foundation will have many visual and performing arts. There are workshops at the Children’s Library.

“Performances of heritage will take over half of the site. It will be like stepping back in time to what the community around Qasr Al Hosn used to be,” Randa added.

Another headline event is the Gahwa Championship with an overall prize money of Dh400,000 across three main categories. The championship will test the knowledge of competitors in areas like the heritage of Gahwa, bean selection and roasting, Gahwa preparation and serving. On December 1, there is a Gahwa Beverage competition where competitors have to create an innovative drink using Gahwa as its base.

Visitors need to show proof of vaccination, wear a face mask and have a negative PCR test result within 96 hours. Kids below 16 years need to show only green status on Al Hosn app.

The entry fee is Dh15 for kids aged 5 to 12, and Dh30 for adults. More information can be found on

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