The first tower (1761) seen from the gate
|Location||Sheikh Zayed the First Street|
|Country||United Arab Emirates|
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, was constructed in 1761 as a conical watchtower to defend the only freshwater well in Abu Dhabi island. 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. 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. It remained the emir's palace (hence the name Qasr al-Hosn, meaning Palace fort) and seat of government until 1966. The fort has been developed several times and is now partially open to the public.
The Qasr al-Hosn is currently the subject of extensive historical, archaeological, and architectural research. The fort houses a museum displaying artifacts and pictures representing the history of the country. It also has a range of weapons, used through the region's history, on display.
Qasr al-Hosn festival
Qasr al-Hosn festival is an annual 11-day cultural event staged on the grounds of the fort. The fort is open to the public during the festival, including some of the restricted areas and features live music and dance performances showing the UAE's cultural heritage.
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