Under the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and the instructions of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, the Presidential Palace complex in the capital Abu Dhabi will house ‘Qasr Al Watan’ – a new cultural landmark that will open its doors to the public on Monday, 11th March.
Today, the Palace is the official meeting place for the UAE Cabinet and the Federal Supreme Council – the highest constitutional authority in the UAE, and is where official state visits and global leaders are hosted. When it opens to the public, visitors will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the UAE’s governing traditions and values, and will be able to explore a well-preserved legacy of knowledge and tradition.
The Palace will also house Qasr Al Watan Library where scholars will be able to explore a vast collection of books and resources about the UAE’s political, social and cultural history and learn about the nation’s progressive journey.
The opening of Qasr Al Watan to the public comes in line with the UAE’s ambition to transition towards a knowledge-based economy as part of the Vision 2021 National Agenda, which aims to place the UAE among the best countries in the world by the Golden Jubilee of the Union in the year 2021.
More than a traditional palace, Qasr Al Watan is an exquisitely crafted tribute to the region’s Arabian heritage and artistry, and the architectural and interior design echo the significance of the exhibits housed within its walls and the function of its most ionic rooms.
Visitors will appreciate the enriching experience throughout their tour at the Palace. In the west wing, they will learn about the formation of the UAE and its system of governance, and have access to halls typically reserved for official summits. Within the House of Knowledge in the east wing, visitors can explore a vast collection of artefacts and rare manuscripts that highlight the Arab world’s contributions to various intellectual fields including science, arts, humanities and literature.
In the evening, visitors will enjoy a magnificent light and sound show which will be projected onto the facade of the iconic building. A story told in three acts, the show draws a link between the aspirations of Qasr Al Watan and the vision of the nation, reflecting on the UAE’s journey of the past, present and future.