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Qasr al-Hosn

Qasr al-Hosn
The first tower (1761) seen from the gate
Location Sheikh Zayed the First Street
Built 1761
Type Historical fort
Designated 1976
Country  United Arab Emirates
Emirate Abu Dhabi
Qasr al-Hosn is located in United Arab Emirates
Location of Qasr al-Hosn in United Arab Emirates

The Qasr al-Hosn (Arabic: قصر الحصن‎) is the oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.[1]


  • Location 1
  • History 2
  • Current research 3
  • Qasr al-Hosn festival 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


It is located along Sheikh Zayed the First Street[2] and houses the Cultural Foundation within its grounds.[3]


Qasr al-Hosn, also known as the White Fort (originally not in white colour but painted bright white during 1976–1983 renovations) or Old Fort,[4] was constructed in 1761 as a conical watchtower to defend the only freshwater well in Abu Dhabi island.[1] The tower was later expanded into a small fort in 1793 by the then ruler, Shakhbut bin Dhiyab Al Nahyan, and became the permanent residence of the ruling Sheikh.[1] The tower took its present shape after a major extension in the late 1930s, aided by revenues received for granting the first oil license in Abu Dhabi.[5] It remained the emir's palace (hence the name Qasr al-Hosn, meaning Palace fort) and seat of government until 1966.[1] The fort has been developed several times and is now partially open to public.[6][7]

Current research

The Qasr al-Hosn is currently the subject of extensive historical, archaeological, and architectural research.[3][8] The fort houses a museum displaying artifacts and pictures representing the history of the country.[4] It also has a range of weapons, used through the region's history, on display.[4]

Qasr al-Hosn festival

Qasr al-Hosn festival is an annual 11 day cultural event staged on the grounds of the fort.[9][10] The fort is open to public during the festival, including some of the restricted areas[10] and features live music and dance performances showing UAE's cultural heritage.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "UAE museum: Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi". Gulf News. 2 November 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Cultural Foundation". Cultural Foundation. 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "National". National. 12 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "My destination". My destination. 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dubaifaqs". Dubaifaqs. 22 April 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ "UAE Interact". UAE Interact. 29 July 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Khaleej Times". Khaleej Times. 12 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Muntada Qasr Al Hosn serves as key platform". Gulf News. 2 March 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Festival home". Qasr al Hosn Festival. 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Take a trip down memory lane at Qasr Al Hosn". Gulf News. 11 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 

External links

  • Frauke Heard-Bey (2004). From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates. Motivate Publishing. p. 540.  
  • Reem El Mutwalli (1995). Qasr al Husn, An Architectural Survey. Royal Publishing House. 
  • Jayanti Maitra (2001). Qasr al Hosn: The History of the Rulers of Abu Dhabi 1793–1966. National Center for Documentation and Research. p. 262.  

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