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01 December 2023

Abu Dhabi road closures as 'Qasr Al Hosn' Festival begins

Safety and Traffic Solutions Committee (STSC) Abu Dhabi has warned of road closures on Wednesday from 1.30pm until 6pm. (Supplied)

By Bindu Rai

As citizens and residents ring in the celebrations to mark the start of the 10-day Qasr Al Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi today, daily commuters are also being warned of temporary road closures that could affect the afternoon and evening rush hour drive in the capital.

The Safety and Traffic Solutions Committee (STSC) Abu Dhabi has warned of road closures on Wednesday from 1.30pm until 6pm across several arteries in the downtown district of the capital, adjacent to the Cultural Foundation Building that sits on the cross section of Al Nasr Street and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street.

Safety and Traffic Solutions Committee (STSC) Abu Dhabi has warned of road closures on Wednesday from 1.30pm until 6pm. (Supplied)

The STSC Abu Dhabi has marked the following closures for Wednesday: Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street (from Al Falah Street to Zayed The First Street); Al Nasr Street (from Khalid bin Al Walid Street to Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street); Khalid Bin Al Walid Street (from Zayed The First Street to Al Nasr Street); 21 st Street (from Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street to Mubarak bin Mohammed Street); and Zayed The First Street (from Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Street to Khalid bin Al Walid Street).

Commuters are being warned to plan their journey accordingly and allow extra drive time keeping possible traffic in mind, especially around popular areas such as the Khalidiya Mall and Al Wahda Mall.

Culture capital

Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and spearheaded by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) the annual festival celebrates the UAE’s tangible and intangible heritage through a rich, diverse programme featuring guided tours of the Fort, inspiring activities and live performances in the Cultural Foundation Building, in addition to public programmes held on festival grounds reflecting various elements of its local culture.

For this year’s edition of the festival, the cultural programme is inspired by two themes: Abu Dhabi’s traditional heritage epitomised by the iconic Qasr Al Hosn Fort and its surrounding areas, and the importance of modern heritage showcased in the Cultural Foundation Building through a variety of activities.

The 2015 festival will present the history of Qasr Al Hosn to the visitors through a series of curated programmes that includes a special curated exhibition that will explore the development of Abu Dhabi as a city, as well as the lives of people in the capital over time, and recent efforts to conserve the building.

Also included are special fort tours where visitors will have the opportunity to follow the trail around and within the fort with several key stops along the way that will provide unique insight into the history and the work being undertaken to conserve Qasr Al Hosn, as well as being given access for the first time to the living quarters.

A poetry recital accompanied by the oababa and the oud will be set within the inner Fort.

Visitors will also have a chance to access the National Consultative Council Chamber, which was the home of both the Abu Dhabi National Consultative Council and the UAE’s Federal National Council and witness first-hand the place that played a pivotal role in the formation of the country.

A larger area of the Cultural Foundation Building will also be opened this year, hosting a series of interactive activities celebrating its collective memory and invite the public to participate in activities designed to bring the building back to life.

These include ‘Experiencing the Cultural Foundation Building’, along with the ‘Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the UAE’ exhibition commissioned by Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, this exhibition seeks to archive the history of architectural and urban development in the UAE over the past century.

There will also be performances at the reopened amphitheatre including: the revival of Emirati folk songs; ‘Cinema Emaratiya’ hosting a portfolio of short films that have been produced by Twofour54; and, a sand art performance accompanied by Emirati Rababa live music.