Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

New cultural festival to electrify historic heart of Abu Dhabi

Al Hosn Festival — set around Abu Dhabi's oldest fort — will run from December 12 to 19

The neighbourhood around Qasr Al Hosn is the venue for a big cultural festival. Christopher Pike / Bloomberg
The neighbourhood around Qasr Al Hosn is the venue for a big cultural festival. Christopher Pike / Bloomberg

A new festival centred around Abu Dhabi's oldest building will be held next month, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi announced on Wednesday.

Live performances, film screenings and an exhibition of the UAE's heritage will run in the Al Hosn neighbourhood from December 12 to 19.

Jordanian rock, Argentinian dance and Japanese offbeat techno are just some of the sounds people can expect.

Al Hosn is the original urban block of the city and comprises the historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the Cultural Foundation, the National Consultative Council building and the House of Artisans.

The film screenings will be run by Dubai's pioneering Cinema Akil, while people can also expect a display of traditional Emirati crafts.

Qasr Al Hosn, which dates to the 18th Century, reopened last December after a careful restoration. It previously hosted an annual heritage festival and December's event will greatly expand on this.

"We are very pleased to announce the addition of this new flagship festival to Abu Dhabi’s year-round calendar of entertainment and cultural events," said Mohamed Al Mubarak, DCT chairman.

"Al Hosn Festival will showcase Abu Dhabi's vibrant heritage and contemporary creativity, offering the community and visitors to the emirate an enriching experience that reflects the diversity of our cultural scene."

The Qasr Al Hosn area will celebrate Emirati heritage across storytelling, heritage and artisanal crafts. The fort will transform into a museum, with re-enactments of the daily lives of the women, men and children who lived and worked in the palace in the last century. The House of Artisans, meanwhile, will host a wide range of workshops around Emirati handicrafts. Visitors can also learn about traditional Emirati dances Al Ayyala and Al Razfa.

Between Qasr Al Hosn and the Cultural Foundation will be immersive art pavilions, music performances and food and beverage areas. New art from Emirati Mohammed Kazem, South Korea's Jeongmoon Choi and collective Xpoze will be revealed.

There will also be an outdoor children’s courtyard offering a programme of interactive activities and workshops for families and children.

A series of events in the Cultural Foundation Theatre and outdoor Amphitheatre, meanwhile, will include performances by the Jordanian Arabic rock band Jada, the Argentinian dance company Che Malambo and the music duo Maywa Denk.

Children will also be entertained by film screenings and performances by Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic co-production of the American TV series Sesame Street.

Al Hosn Festival takes place from December 12 to 19. Entry fees are Dh15 for children ages 5 to 12 and Dh30 for adults. For more information visit the Al Hosn website.

Updated: November 13, 2019 06:58 PM

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