Relive history at Qasr Al Hosn, UAE's royal ancestral house
Ashwani Kumar/Abu Dhabi
Once you walk through the gates of Qasr Al Hosn, you leave the city's hubbub behind and enter a royal site steeped in glorious history.
Qasr Al Hosn is the ancestral home of the Al Nahyan family. The place showcases the legacy and heritage of Abu Dhabi and the country.
Carlos Rocamora, a visitor from Spain, said he has always loved to learn about the culture and history of a new place and was going to spread the word about Qasr Al Hosn far and wide. "This is the place where it all began, and you can find, know and learn about the Emirati culture here. This is a great treasure," Rocamora said.
There are many like Rocamora who curiously absorb the information posted at various sections inside the cultural site. Once visitors enter the palace fort, they start the remarkable journey from Liwa - the ancestral home of the Bani Yas. They get a glimpse of the life in oases with manyur (wooden pulley used to draw water from a well), habool harness (used to pick dates) and many other traditional things.
The next section gives you a slice of the desert life with Al Sadu camel trappings and acha (coffee bag), among others, kept in a neat order.
The place highlights the days of pearling and coastal activities. It tracks ancient communities and the first human activity in Abu Dhabi.
For those who do not know the legend of the gazelle leading the Bani Yas to water, Qasr Al Hosn has the answer and all other stories.
There are many videos enlightening visitors about the days of early settlement. The earliest photograph of Qasr Al Hosn dated February 1904, where Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is seen hosting the first Majlis, is a treasure to behold.
While walking from one section to another, there are open spaces with glass walls where one can take a look at the modern day skyscrapers and towers. The palace tower charts Abu Dhabi's transformation into a world-class city.
Once done with the tour, visitors can explore the outer palace where there are plenty of blocks covering little details like wedding festivities, events to mark birth, craftsmanship, food, hospitality and also the modern flag of Abu Dhabi, which was introduced in 1958.
Qasr Al Hosn has been reopened after more than a decade of restoration by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi. There are week-long programmes, workshops and performances planned for the visitors to mark its reopening.
WHAT VISITORS MUST Not MISS at AL HOSN
House of artisans
Visitors can witness talli, a traditional form of decorative embroidery done by women, and the making of Al Sadu patterns, which represent symbols of daily life. There is also a three-screen mini-theatre describing the traditional form of weaving practised by Bedouin women.
Check out the Invisible Giant, Fight for a Chair, paintings depicting the early years and more. A theatre and a library are opening soon.
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