Al Hosn Festival 2024 in Abu Dhabi
Preparing Arabic coffee the traditional way in social gatherings is part of Emirati culture Image Credit: Afra Al Nofeli/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Set in the heart of Abu Dhabi, surrounded by high-rises, a bastion of Emirati culture has sprung up to offer a heritage experience.

From food to fashion, history to architecture, the 10-day Al Hosn Festival is being held till January 28 at one of Abu Dhabi’s oldest heritage sites, Qasr Al Hosn, whose fort was built in 1795.

Visitors are exploring the UAE capital’s historic traditions and its connections to contemporary and newly emerging cultures. On offer are folk performances, family workshops, food stalls, art and cultural exhibitions, immersive trails and much more. There is also a bazaar of souvenirs and fashion from local artisans.


Tickets to the Al Hosn Festival can be booked online. Tickets per child (ages five to 11) cost Dh15; for adults it’s Dh30 per head.

In this year’s Heritage zone, visitors can ride camels and learn about the traditions which surround them, join the social practices of welcoming a new baby and explore a bustling souk filled with the fashion and adornments beloved to Emirati women.

This heritage site is worth a visit any day of the year. Image Credit: Supplied

Moving into the Craft zone, on show is the culture of henna (dye used on hands) and the design of an Emirati home, bringing together antiques sellers, designers and new studios from across the UAE.

Meanwhile the Community zone hosts live performances and boutique retailers.

About Qasr Al Hosn

This heritage site is worth a visit any day of the year. It comprises two iconic buildings - the Inner Fort, originally constructed in 1795, and the Outer Palace, built in phases from 1939 to 1945. After 11 years of conservation and restoration, the site reopened to the public as a museum in 2018, showcasing the development of Abu Dhabi from a settlement dependent on fishing and pearling back in the 18th century to the buzzing metropolis it is now. Expect to see artefacts and materials dating back as far as 6,000BC.