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  • Conservation progress at QASR AL HOSN to be unveiled at annual festival in the cultural heart of ABU DHABI
Conservation progress at QASR AL HOSN to be unveiled at annual festival in the cultural heart of ABU DHABI
Running from February 3rd to 13th 2016 the festival will celebrate the site’s historic and cultural significance and reveal progress on year-round conservation project

Qasr Al Hosn, which has actually stood as the symbolic birth place of Abu Dhabi and the home of the ruling Al Nahyan household, continues to undergo an extensive conservation programme of conservation, restoration and rehab for the gratitude of future generations. The 2016 Qasr Al Hosn Festival will commemorate the site's draw as a neighborhood hub, the Fort's status as a historic monument, the Cultural Foundation Building as modern-day heritage, whilst honouring the UAE's founders and their visionary management.

Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the Qasr Al Hosn Festival, which ranges from February 3 to 13, shows the long-lasting heritage of Emirati heritage and identity, and showcases the on-going conservation of Qasr Al Hosn and the Cultural Foundation which are necessary to renewing Qasr Al Hosn as the cultural heart of Abu Dhabi.

Visitors to this year's Qasr Al Hosn Festival will be rewarded with a different glance into the careful on-going preservation works that are revealing the structure's rich and detailed history.

Mark Kyffin, Head of Architecture for TCA Abu Dhabi, stated: "Significant preservation works are currently being undertaken by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. This year, visitors will see significant modifications to the look of Qasr Al Hosn: as more of the 1980s render on the Outer Palace is eliminated, visitors will be able to appreciate more of the exposed authentic historic fabric and view the restoration of the façades underway. The aim is to stabilize traditional products and modern technologies to renew the 1939 to 1945 appearance of the Palace.".

In parallel, renovation works are likewise being carried out to the Cultural Foundation Building.

Amel Chabbi, Building Conservator, TCA Abu Dhabi's Historic Environment Department, stated: "The old mechanical and electrical devices is being carefully eliminated together with other outdated structure services to modernise the Cultural Foundation building's function whilst retaining its beauty and character. These works are in line with the just recently completed conservation management plan.".

A hard-hat guided trip will afford this year's celebration visitors a glance of the structure under restoration and celebration visitors will have the ability to embark on an immersive Fort experience accompanied by a detailed narrative chronicling the Fort's ongoing conservation procedure.

"The experience will lead visitors to the Qasr Al Hosn Centre where they can visit the just recently updated exhibition," said Arwa Al Nuaimi, Project Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi. "This exhibit will supply understanding on daily life in historic Abu Dhabi as well as discuss the significance of Qasr Al Hosn through the centuries to the present. The experience will then show how the historic context of Qasr Al Hosn remains essential to the location's future master plan.".

The celebration's popular Desert, Oasis, Marine and Abu Dhabi Island zones return with a full range of interactive activations, re-enactments and workshops, in addition to the freshly presented Qasr Al Hosn zone which showcases traditional Emirati architecture and archaeology through workshops and live activities. An Arena Zone will house a series of performances and household oriented activities dedicated to styles which show the cultural significance of the website on the development of the Emirate and its people.

The Gahwa experience, commemorating the art and custom of coffee, which was just recently engraved on UNESCO's list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, will go back to the Cultural Foundation Building. In addition, parts of the Cultural Foundation Building will once again available to the general public throughout the Festival days and will host a series of educational activities and informative exhibits.

The festival will likewise include a dynamic center of visual and performing arts programs, standard workshops, cultural and interactive learning experiences led by the world's best curators, artisans and experts.

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