Qasr Al Hosn exhibit opens to public

Visitors to the Qasr Al Hosn exhibition will be able to walk through an animated presentation showing the fort's past 450 years and its future.

A glazed jar and bells at the launch of the Qasr Al Hosn 2018 master plan for the development of the fort. Mona Al Marzooqi / The National
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ABU DHABI // The original wooden gate to Qasr Al Hosn is among the treasured items and put on display at an exhibition that opened to the public on Wednesday.

Officials had announced this week that the historic fort, considered Abu Dhabi’s symbolic birthplace, would open to the public next year after the latest phase of renovation work was complete.

The heavy gate has rows of spikes and a small door that one would have to bend and jump through to pass.

Visitors to the exhibition can also walk through an animated presentation that shows the history of the fort and Abu Dhabi, going back 450 years, and plans for the fort area’s future.

They can see artefacts, models and displays of what the Qasr Al Hosn site will look like after it opens its doors next year.

A private collection on loan from the Al Nahyan family is also on display.

It includes Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan’s personal belongings, such as his bisht (traditional cloak), which was made of very delicate material, as well as an Omega pocket watch from the 1960s and a radio.

“We know him as a very educated man, so he used to listen to the radio to know everything going on,” said Randa Haidar, head of cultural programmes at the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

A collection of pearl jewellery and other items are on display to demonstrate the peak of the pearling industry.

While the annual Qasr Al Hosn Festival will not take place this year, families and children can still enjoy activities around the exterior of the site.

These will include artisan weavers creating masterpieces using metallic strings, and 3-D renderings of the future site.

The exhibition is open to the public from 9am to 8pm.