Abu Dhabi’s Al Hosn Festival from December 12

By DG Staff

ABU DHABI 16 November 2019: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is launching the Al Hosn Festival, set to activate Al Hosn cultural site in downtown Abu Dhabi from 12 to 19 December 2019.

A new cultural experience that reflects and reimagines Abu Dhabi’s heritage, Al Hosn Festival will be an important annual addition to the capital’s cultural calendar, offering a dynamic programme for all ages with innovative performances, art, traditional crafts, and design.

The first edition of this event offers a conceptual journey across the landscape of Al Hosn, bringing together historic traditions, creative initiatives, and inspiring artistic perspectives. Over eight days, this multidimensional experience will present a new perspective on culture in Abu Dhabi, providing a platform for stimulating cultural conversations and artistic possibilities.

Al Hosn is the original urban block of the city and comprises the historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, the Cultural Foundation, the National Consultative Council building and the House of Artisans. Al Hosn is emblematic of the proud cultural heritage of the UAE, bringing to life the rich fabric of its history, people and traditions and highlighting the city’s future ambition.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi said, “We are very pleased to announce the addition of this new flagship festival to Abu Dhabi’s year-round calendar of entertainment and cultural events. Al Hosn Festival will showcase Abu Dhabi’s vibrant heritage and contemporary creativity, offering the community and visitors to the emirate an enriching experience that reflects the diversity of our cultural scene.

“The festival has been designed with a creative programme that will activate all the elements of Al Hosn site, across the different moments of our history, reflecting on the traditions of the past, the creative present and our innovative ambitions. Al Hosn Festival will offer inspiring moments for each of our visitors across a varied range of activities, and we look forward to the Abu Dhabi community creating lasting memories with family and friends.”

Presenting art, design and performances alongside traditional Emirati crafts, plus culinary and retail activations, Al Hosn Festival celebrates the lineages of inspiration which link all of Abu Dhabi’s creative communities.

Al Hosn Festival will narrate a series of moments across the site’s landmark buildings and outdoor areas. The Qasr Al Hosn area will celebrate Emirati heritage across storytelling, intangible heritage and artisanal crafts. Qasr Al Hosn itself will transform into a living museum, with re-enactments of the daily lives of the women, men and children who lived and worked in the palace in the last century. The House of Artisans will host a wide range of workshops around Emirati handicrafts such as burqa design, dyeing natural fibres and tote printmaking, amongst others. Visitors can also enjoy and learn about traditional Emirati performances such as Al Ayyala, Al Razfa, and Al Naham, and participate in crafts and Emirati culinary competitions.

The open communal area situated between the two landmark buildings of Qasr Al Hosn and the Cultural Foundation will be activated with immersive art pavilions, music performances, design, retail, and culinary offerings. During the festival, three new site-specific art commissions will be revealed in Al Hosn’s outdoor areas. The Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem’s Directions, ‘From Place to Place’; Korean artist Jeongmoon Choi’s Drawing in Space; and The Bean Bag by artist collective XPOZE will be welcoming visitors through immersive art experiences.

This outdoor area will be home to open-air film screenings throughout the days of the festival, programmed by Cinema Akil x Chaiwala, as well as live demonstrations and activations in the oasis and water feature areas reflecting on Abu Dhabi’s diverse desert and coast traditions. Pavilions dotting the landscape will offer a retail experience with goods by UAE and international designers and brands.

There will also be special activities dedicated to young visitors, with an outdoor children’s courtyard offering a week-long programme of interactive activities and workshops for families and kids.

The Festival will extend to the Cultural Foundation, which will be hosting performing arts, visual art exhibitions, art workshops, and children’s activities in its Abu Dhabi Children’s Library. A series of events in the Cultural Foundation Theatre and outdoor Amphitheatre include performances by the Jordanian Arabic rock band and music project JadaL, the Argentinian dance company Che Malambo and the music duo Maywa Denk; plus events for children, including screenings of a number of classic kids’ films and performances by Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic co-production of the American TV series Sesame Street.

During the festival, Abu Dhabi Children’s Library will host its regular programme of child and family-oriented workshops and activities, and its continuing exhibition Step into a Story.

The exhibition Najat Makki: Luminescence will be on display at the Cultural Foundation alongside the community show Tribute: A Dedication to Najat Makki. Bait Al Khatt and Al Marsam Al Hor will continue to offer a number of workshops and classes during the days of the festival.

Al Hosn Festival will take place from 12 December to 19 December. The entry fees are Dh15 for children ages 5 to 12 and Dh30 for adults.