It is said that a trip to Abu Dhabi would be incomplete without a tour of the Al-Hosn Palace. Considered the oldest building in the nation this stunning structure of pure white is also an iconic landmark in the country’s capital. Constructed in 1793 the structure is also known as the White Fort or Old Fort due to its distinct white facade and its position in the history of the Islamic nation. Famed as the royal home of the country’s ruling sovereign this ancient palace was first a circular watchtower safeguarding Abu Dhabi’s singular freshwater well as far back as 1761. The tower was later expanded to serve as a makeshift fort in 1793 when it was also taken over by the ruling sheik and the rest of the royal family as their permanent residence and thus named Qasr al-Hosn or the palace fort. The site remained the country’s seat of government and the home of the ruling monarch till 1966.
Renovated to maintain its grand stature and appearance the Al Hosn Palace is now occupied by the Centre for Documentation and Research of the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. Known as one of the county’s foremost institutions, the foundation and its departments exhaustively document the defining moments and elements of Abu Dhabi’s historic and cultural identity. Must-see points of interest when touring the ancient White Fort are found within both its exterior and interiors. Some of the highlights no doubt include the fort’s stunning architectural attributes which are displayed in its breathtaking courtyard. The intricate tile work that decorates the main northern gate of the Al Hosn Palace is equally captivating and is an attraction that draws many a visitor from across the globe.
Guests must also stop over at the Al Hosn Palace Museum which displays historic artefacts and other items such as photographs. Highlights within the museum include the desert wildlife exhibit which explores the diversity of Dubai’s desert dwelling flora and fauna. A weaponry showcase is also one of the prime attractions at the venue as it exhibits various weapons and military hardware that were used during the emergence of Abu Dhabi as a sovereign nation. Closed to the public on Fridays the Al Hosn Palace welcomes visitors between 7.30 am to 1.30 pm on all other days of the week.
Travellers on the lookout for stylish Abu Dhabi hotels in the Liwa Desert will be more than pleased with the captivating rest that is the Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara. Picturesquely situated in one of the largest and most secluded sand deserts on the globe this stunning resort is one of the best Abu Dhabi luxury hotels in the UAE capital.