The new Presidential Palace in Abu Dhabi, as viewed from the Etihad Towers. Image Credit: Ahmed Kutty/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Part of the Presidential Palace compound in Abu Dhabi will be opened to public from March 11, it was announced on Monday.

The decision was made by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in order to celebrate local heritage.

The building that will be opened to the public has been dubbed Qasr Al Watan ‘Palace of the Nation’ and is the current meeting place for the UAE Cabinet and Federal Supreme Council — the highest constitutional authority in the UAE — where official state visits and global leaders are hosted.

Deeper understanding

When it opens to the public, visitors will have the opportunity to gain deeper understanding of the UAE’s values and traditions, and will be able to explore a well-preserved legacy of knowledge.

The Palace will also house the Qasr Al Watan Library where scholars will be able to explore a vast collection of books and resources on the UAE’s political, social and cultural history and learn about the nation’s progressive journey.

The opening of Qasr Al Watan to the public is in line with the UAE’s ambition to become a knowledge-based economy as part of Vision 2021, which aims to put the UAE up among the world’s best countries by its 50th anniversary in 2021.

Tribute Arabian heritage

Qasr Al Watan is an exquisitely crafted tribute to the region’s Arabian heritage and artistry, and the architectural and interior design is echoed by the significance of the exhibits housed within its walls.

In the west wing, visitors will learn about the formation of the UAE and its system of governance, and have access to halls typically reserved for official summits.

Within the House of Knowledge in the east wing, visitors can also explore a vast collection of artefacts and rare manuscripts that highlight the Arab world’s contributions to various intellectual fields including science, arts, humanities and literature.

In the evening, visitors can also enjoy a magnificent light and sound show, which will be projected onto the facade of the iconic building.

A story told in three acts, the show draws a link between the aspirations of Qasr Al Watan and the vision of the nation, reflecting the UAE’s journey of the past, present and future.

How to visit

Entry fee: Entrance to the Palace and Garden costs Dh60 for adults and Dh30 for ‘juniors’ aged between 4-17 years-old. Children under the age of three enter free. Access to just the Garden costs Dh25 for adults and Dh12 for juniors.

Visiting hours: From 10am until 8pm daily, but on the opening day of March 11, public will only be allowed in after midday.

Where is it: Qasr Al Watan is part of the Presidential Palace, located at the end of Corniche Road in Abu Dhabi past Emirates Palace Hotel.

More details: Visit www.qasralwatan.ae or call 00971 600-544-442 or email contact@qasralwatan.ae.