Abu Dhabi is home to a fascinating array of cultural artefacts, and one of the most celebrated in the Qasr al-Hosn, an impressive white tower that has served as the royal residence of the ruling Sheiks during the emirate’s impressive history. Gilded interiors also grace the fine selection of Abu Dhabi hotels dotting the desert landscape, and you’ll discover this amidst warm hospitality and fine attention to detail at a stellar Abu Dhabi city hotel such as the elegant Millennium Hotel Abu Dhabi. Constructed in 1761, the Qasr al-Hosn is the oldest building in Abu Dhabi, and it has witnessed the rise of one of the most iconic cities in the Middle East. Initially built as a watch tower to guard a water well discovered by Sheikh Dhiyab Bin Isa, who was leader of the Bedouin Bani Yas tribe, the tower was later accompanied by the fort, which then became the royal residence, signified by the name of the structure that translates to “palace-fort”. During the time of its establishment, Qasr al-Hosn conveyed an image of fortified strength and become an architectural marvel to the local residents who were inspired by its presence, and it served as a point of protection for the local community from roaming tribes. Today, it still retains its eighteenth century grandeur and is regarded by native Abu Dhabians to be a cultural landmark that conveys the might of the ruling family and the culture that developed around the country’s first Sheikh. The fort itself is an impressive architectural marvel as it features an ingenious mixture of crushed seashells, sand and limestone. The sun’s rays reflected off the wall made it sparkle, which rendered the structure an important navigational tool for the area’s many shipping merchants.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and intends to visit them all someday.