Inside the Spirit of Collaboration room: the seat of summits in Abu Dhabi

The Qasr Al Watan space hosts groups such as the Federal Supreme Council and much more besides

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Shades of blue, white and gold shine through the patterned dome in the Spirit of Collaboration room at Qasr Al Watan in Abu Dhabi.

The space, which hosts bodies such as the Federal Supreme Council, the Arab League and the Gulf Co-operation Council, has now reopened for tours to the public.

The room is one of eight zones that can be visited at Qasr Al Watan, or Palace of the Nation, which offers tours seven days a week, from 11am to 6.30pm.

The design of the room is inspired by the philosophy of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, to reflect collaboration and unity for a successful UAE.

Golden doors and handrails and a navy blue walkway lead to a table in the middle of the conference room, with seating for participants equidistant from one another.

This is to show that no specific leader is more important than others, which explains the circular design as well.

Projections on the vast walls show the UAE's leaders over the years.

During meetings, the space can seat up to 800 people depending on how the room is configured.

Another architectural marvel is the striking chandelier, which is one of the world's biggest. It was built with 350,000 crystals and weighs 12 tonnes. It is illuminated only on special occasions.

Qasr Al Watan opened to the public in 2019. The decision to create the cultural landmark came from former president Sheikh Khalifa to boost cultural understanding of the UAE.

The emblem of the country, a golden falcon with a UAE flag disc and seven stars representing the seven emirates, is also on the walls of the room.

Visitors can roam around Qasr Al Watan on their own or take part in a group or private tour.

Group tours are offered in English, Arabic, Russian and Chinese and cost Dh20 a person and last 30 minutes, while private tours are offered in English or Arabic, priced at Dh600, and last one hour.

The tours typically run between 11.30am to 4.30pm.

There are also self-guided tours that are available in English, Arabic, German, Russian and Chinese and come with a multimedia guide and headset at the palace's ticketing booth.

Updated: August 05, 2022, 6:01 PM
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