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Weekends at Al Hosn will feature traditional performances and demonstrations, a souq focused on retail and F&B inspired by the 1980s and 90s, screenings of documentary films in association with Image Nation, camel rides, live Emirati cooking stations and roaming vendors – between January and April 2020, with the first edition on 24 – 25 January.


The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has just launched a brand new family-focused event at the iconic Al Hosn site, located in the historic heart of the UAE capital.

Weekends at Al Hosn will feature a wide range of social and cultural programmes and activities, alongside a souq evoking the lifestyles and trends of the 1980s and 90s. The events will take place on seven alternating weekends between January and April 2020, with the first edition on 24 – 25 January.


The programme includes various activities and entertainment suitable for all family members:

• Traditional Performances and Demonstrations
• Abu Dhabi’s Old Souq
• Screening the Past in collaboration with IMAGENATION
• A Living Museum
• The Heritage of Abu Dhabi, by its Storytellers


“This exciting new series of events has been specifically designed to complement the already impressive offerings at the Al Hosn site,” said Salama Al Shamsi, Qasr Al Hosn Director at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“Visitors will be able to enjoy a diverse and immersive programme of nostalgic cultural activations across these seven weekends, with the participation of some of Abu Dhabi’s longest-running restaurants and stores that have great cultural significance to the various communities living in the capital. Weekends at Al Hosn will offer a festive, family-friendly atmosphere with traditional performances, artisanal demonstrations, and fascinating documentary film screenings that will take visitors on a journey back through the history of the UAE. The event reflects DCT Abu Dhabi’s strong commitment to preserving and promoting our culture and history as well as the modern heritage of the emirate.”


The ‘Screening the Past’ Programme

The ‘Screening the Past’ programme will see a five-part documentary series titled History of the Emirates screened for visitors. The series showcases the UAE’s history and heritage and will be presented in cooperation with Image Nation Abu Dhabi, the leading media and entertainment company.

The Traditional Souq

The traditional souq will include fish and vegetable stalls, a carpet shop, spice vendors and trading stores. There will also be books, music and stationery stores and bakeries including Al Sultan Bakeries, Corniche Bakeries, Arlequin, Ceasar Pastries and Seaside Patisserie.


Also featured will be textile outlets, perfumeries, tailors and restaurants such as Al Shater Hasan, Al Dhafra Restaurant, Foodlands, GAD, Abu Shakra, Quwaider Sweets, Seashells Cafeteria, Al Aqsa Sweets, Maroosh and Dairy Queen. All these retailers and restaurants were established in Abu Dhabi before the turn of the millennium, and have since become integral to the capital’s urban identity.

Additionally, visitors will feel as if they have gone back in time, as they experience the nostalgia of roaming vendors offering candy floss, roasted peanuts, balloons, newspapers and magazines and ice cream.

Dates for the Weekends at Al Hosn programme are:

  • 24-25 January 2020
  • 7-8 February 2020
  • 21-22 February 2020
  • 6-7 March 2020
  • 20-21 March 2020
  • 3-4 April 2020
  • and 17-18 April 2020

For more information, please visit www.qasralhosn.ae.

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