Qasr al-Hosn

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Qasr al-Hosn
First Tower, Qasr al-Hosn, Abu Dhabi.jpg
The first tower (1761) seen from the gate
Location Sheikh Zayed the First Street
Coordinates 24°28′57″N 54°21′17″E / 24.48239°N 54.35482°E / 24.48239; 54.35482
Built 1761
Type Historical fort
Designated 1976
Country  United Arab Emirates
Emirate Abu Dhabi
Qasr al-Hosn is located in United Arab Emirates
Qasr al-Hosn
Location of Qasr al-Hosn in United Arab Emirates

The Qasr al-Hosn (Arabic: قصر الحصن‎) is the oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.[1]


It is located along the First Street[2] and houses the Cultural Foundation within its grounds.[3]


Qasr al-Hosn, also known as the White Fort (originally not white in colour but painted bright white during 1976–1983 renovations) or Old Fort,[4] was constructed in 1761 as a conical watchtower to defend the only freshwater well in Abu Dhabi island.[1] The tower was later expanded into a small fort in 1793 by the then ruler, Shakhbut bin Dhiyab Al Nahyan, and became the permanent residence of the ruling Sheikh.[1] The tower took its present shape after a major extension in the late 1930s, aided by revenues received for granting the first oil license in Abu Dhabi.[5] It remained the emir's palace (hence the name Qasr al-Hosn, meaning Palace fort) and seat of government until 1966.[1] The fort has been developed several times and is now partially open to the public.[6][7]

Current use[edit]

The Qasr al-Hosn is currently the subject of extensive historical, archaeological, and architectural research.[3][8] The fort houses a museum displaying artifacts and pictures representing the history of the country.[4] It also has a range of weapons, used through the region's history, on display.[4]

Qasr al-Hosn festival[edit]

Qasr al-Hosn festival is an annual 11-day cultural event staged on the grounds of the fort.[9][10] The fort is open to the public during the festival, including some of the restricted areas[10] and features live music and dance performances showing the UAE's cultural heritage.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d "UAE museum: Qasr Al Hosn in Abu Dhabi". Gulf News. 2 November 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Cultural Foundation". Cultural Foundation. 2015. Archived from the original on April 30, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "National". National. 12 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "My destination". My destination. 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dubaifaqs". Dubaifaqs. 22 April 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  6. ^ "UAE Interact". UAE Interact. 29 July 2007. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "Khaleej Times". Khaleej Times. 12 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Muntada Qasr Al Hosn serves as key platform". Gulf News. 2 March 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Festival home". Qasr al Hosn Festival. 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Take a trip down memory lane at Qasr Al Hosn". Gulf News. 11 February 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 24°28′57″N 54°21′17″E / 24.48239°N 54.35482°E / 24.48239; 54.35482