Abu Dhabi: For its 250th anniversary Qasr Al Hosn will be commemorated in a huge festival starting on February 28 including a unique show from the director of nearly all of the Cirque du Soleil shows, the Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA-AD) Abu Dhabi announced on Tuesday.
“Forty-five activities will take place in four venues surrounding the fort to embody the two-and-a-half centuries of history behind this ancient monument,” said Fatima Al Beloushi, senior event management executive for TCA-AD.
Firstly, the Qasr Al Hosn festival’s outdoor space will be dedicated to 60 traditional souqs where visitors can converse with craftsmen and women and learn about the nation’s past. An exhibition will showcase artefacts, videos and pictures displaying significant moments about the fort’s past. Moreover, as part of the Muntada, a forum by the Shaikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, experts will be speaking to guests in Arabic and English about issues surrounding the fort’s past and how the capital’s history is expected to shape its future.
Finally, ‘The Story of a Fort, Legacy of a Nation’ by Franco Dragone, a leading international art director, will showcase a 70-member show of dancers, acrobats and gymnasts including several Emirati performers who will turn written history into a visual reality. This daily event will be held in a 2,500 square-metre tent during the festival’s 10-day period.
“We were able to feel the heartbeat of the nation which is necessary to create a beautiful story about the fort’s roots, and the nation’s origins and its many values while showing Abu Dhabi’s poetic side. People will say that this show is real but it looks like imagination,” Robert Juarez, chief marketing officer of the Franco Dragone Entertainment Group told Gulf News.
Having only nine months to prepare since the creation of the idea in March of 2012, the TCA-AD put together a festival aimed at putting the fort on the map in more than one way. “We saw that the best way to truly celebrate Qasr Al Hosn’s 250-year legacy was to engage the public in a forum that allows them to expand their mere geographical knowledge of the monument into something more comprehensive and historical,” said Faisal Al Shaikh, director of Qasr Al Hosn Festival and events manager at the Authority.