November at Al Hosn: Experience events across Abu Dhabi's downtown cultural centre

Qasr Al Hosn to host weekly performances, discussion panels and special exhibitions

November at Al Hosn: Experience events across Abu Dhabi's downtown cultural centre
  • House of Artisans is launching a new collaboration with Comité Colbert, pairing local artisans with French luxury designers to create an interactive programme
  • The Cultural Foundation to offer a thrilling range of events including theatre, dance and musical performances alongside workshops and visual art exhibitions

Abu Dhabi: This November the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will continue to host a plethora of events across Al Hosn, a major centre for culture in downtown Abu Dhabi. The original urban block of the city, Al Hosn comprises the Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the Cultural Foundation, the National Consultative Council building and the House of Artisans. Al Hosn is emblematic of the proud cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi and the wider United Arab Emirates and brings to life the rich fabric of its history, people, traditions and contemporary creativity.

Next month will see Qasr Al Hosn relating riveting stories of diplomacy and history through a programme aiming to promote and nurture the intangible heritage of the UAE through special exhibitions, music, poetry and traditional handicrafts. The House of Artisans, in collaboration with the French luxury goods trade association Comité Colbert, will present Savoir-faire Conversations, showcasing film screenings, cross-cultural craft demonstrations, workshops and talks that pair French luxury designers with Emirati artisans. Meanwhile, the Cultural Foundation will continue to host various performances, workshops and exhibitions including theatre, dance, music and visual arts related events.

Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, and includes the city’s first permanent structure, a coral and sea stone watchtower built to protect the first permanent settlement established on Abu Dhabi Island in the 1760s. It also incorporates two major iconic buildings: the Inner Fort (built around 1795) and the Outer Palace (built between 1939-41). Over the centuries, Qasr Al Hosn has been home to the ruling family, the seat of government, a consultative council and a national archive. Today it stands as the nation’s living archive and the narrator of Abu Dhabi’s history.

This November, Qasr Al Hosn will host two special exhibitions. On view from 13 November to 30 December, Lest We Forget at Qasr Al Hosn will showcase the central role of women in Emirati culture with a presentation of burqas and traditional garments. The exhibition is based on the previous Lest We Forget: Emirati Adornment at Warehouse421, which was popular with visitors.

The second show of the season, running from 29 November to 30 December, will be Ruhool (transportation for Bedouins), telling the story of Abu Dhabi’s history through displays of classic cars dating from the 1950s and 1960s. The exhibition’s opening day will also see a classic car parade take place.

Al Hosn will also host the screening of a five-part documentary series titled History of the Emirates. Created by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, a leading media and entertainment company, the series showcases the UAE's rich history and heritage. The first screenings will be held on 29 and 30 November.

Specialist tours and meetups will also take place once a month beginning in November. These tours will be based around a different theme each month, including Abu Dhabi historians (elders that once lived or witnessed life at Qasr Al Hosn), architecture, archaeology, photography and sketching.

In addition to these special exhibitions and events in November, Qasr Al Hosn will continue its weekly programming of performances, demonstrations and re-enactments that educate audiences about Emirati traditions and life at the Fort. These include music, poetry, spoken word and traditional handicrafts. Moment of the Past invites visitors to take a photo onsite using an old camera, creating a historic souvenir to share with friends and family. Twice a week, re-enactments in the Fort depict daily activities that occurred during each decade of Qasr Al Hosn’s history. Other programmes include Guard Activations, Marine Traditions Demonstrations, Falconry Demonstrations and Majlis Activations.

For the full Qasr Al Hosn programme, visit:

Cultural Foundation

In November, the Cultural Foundation will host an exciting range of performances. On 12 November, Ras Al Khaimah National Theatre will present the Emirati play Talaya Al-Layl. The play addresses several contemporary issues including technology and its impact on children and their lives. On 21 November, electro Arabic Dabke group 47SOUL will engage the audience with their energising Arabic folk and dance music, while on 22 November, Plaza Francia Orchestra will take the audience through a journey of musical exploration inspired by Argentinian tango orchestras.

The Cultural Foundation will also host a talk with Emirati author Noura Al Khoory at the Abu Dhabi Children’s Library on 21 November, in addition to the library’s ongoing programming and workshops for kids and families.

The year-round workshops and classes at the Foundation include Art Workshop with Saggaf Al Hashmi, Art Resin with Bwader Basheer and Perfume Creations with Mona Al Haddad, and ongoing visual art exhibitions in November feature the work of celebrated UAE artist Najat Makki alongside other established and emerging artists.

For the Cultural Foundation’s full programme, visit:

House of Artisans

The continuing cross-cultural dialogue between the UAE and France is evident through the latest collaboration between Abu Dhabi and the French luxury goods trade association

Comité Colbert. Running from 12 – 28 November, Savoir-faire Conversations will offer film screenings, cross-cultural craft demonstrations, workshops and talks with skilled Emirati and French luxury artisans. Experts from French luxury brands including Chanel and Dior will give deeper insights into their crafts, while Emirati artisans will discuss their traditional techniques.

Savoir-faire Conversations will launch on 12 November with a series of participatory workshops and demonstrations highlighting these French and Emirati pairings, including the Lady Dior Bag and the art of gargoor fishing baskets, Louis Vuitton painting and fine calligraphy, Lesage embroidery and Al-Sadu (the traditional Emirati weaving technique) and Van Cleef & Arpels’ famous gem-setting method, The Mystery Set, and Royal Bisht, a traditional garment worn by UAE rulers.    

For the full House of Artisans programme, visit: 


For press enquiries, please contact:

Sana Yamlikha
Brunswick Arts
Tel: +971 50 554 7349


The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction, which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The organisation manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. DCT - Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage.  A key role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

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