UAE: Al Hosn Festival returns to Abu Dhabi with inspiring programme

The festival will showcase chronological and thematic programmes across Al Hosn’s iconic buildings and outdoor areas.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Thu 4 Nov 2021, 12:47 PM

Abu Dhabi’s annual Al Hosn Festival is set to make a spectacular return this year, with the culturally-rich, 10-day programme taking place from November 25 to December 4 at the renowned Al Hosn site.

Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the festival will feature an engaging programme of performances, art installations, film screenings, culinary experiences, crafts and design.

A key component of the UAE’s cultural calendar, the Al Hosn Festival celebrates the country’s heritage and craftsmanship and connects them with the contemporary art practices of the emirate. It also aligns with the vision and mandate of DCT Abu Dhabi to protect, preserve and promote the emirate’s heritage, as the event showcases its cultural scene and also provides a platform for artistic experimentation and public engagement.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Al Hosn is a symbol of the emirate’s rich history and a source of enormous pride for our people. This annual festival serves as the ideal platform for celebrating both our vibrant Emirati heritage and creative, innovative contemporary art scene. We invite the community to come and experience a stimulating programme of cultural activities for all ages, which allow them to reconnect with the past, understand where we have come from, and look forward to the future.”

The festival will showcase chronological and thematic programmes across Al Hosn’s iconic buildings and outdoor areas. A series of activities centred around Emirati heritage, storytelling and artisanal crafts will take place around Qasr Al Hosn and House of Artisans. Visitors will be able to experience the daily life at Qasr Al Hosn during the 1950s and 1960s with ‘A Day in The Palace’ exhibition, which will showcase pictures, audio testimonials and interactive elements to depict its traditional life and portray quotidian scenes from the fort.

Elements of Abu Dhabi’s intangible heritage will also be celebrated at House of Artisans through demonstrations of Emirati craftsmanship and artisanal techniques. Visitors will be able to engage in immersive experiences ranging from sensory tours to creative stations for photography.

The journey will continue through the ‘makers village’, which will feature artists and designers from local and regional concept stores, fashion designers, trendy brands, as well as culinary outlets. Open-air film screenings will take place throughout the festival, programmed by ImageNation Abu Dhabi, as well as the much-anticipated second edition of the Gahwa Championships. Visitors of all ages will also be able to enjoy creative workshops including a coral sculpture session and an Arabic calligraphy masterclass from the Bait Al Khatt centre.

Building on the success of the Classic Cars Exhibition, which took place at its first edition in 2019, the 2021 Al Hosn Festival will open with a parade of 50 classic cars, in celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the UAE.

The entry fee is Dh15 for children aged 5 to 12, and Dh30 for adults. The ticket includes a site pass with access to workshops and family courtyards; it excludes separately ticketed performances at the Cultural Foundation.

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