Art, history and architecture all showcased at Abu Dhabi Qasr Al Hosn Festival

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The Qasr Al Hosn Festival opens today (Wednesday) in the centre of Abu Dhabi highlighting a mixture of architecture, art and Emirati culture.

As well as the opening up of a fort which also served as a home for the royal family the event will feature concerts, storytelling, sand-art and a wide range of traditional activities – from sampling coffee to making toys.

A major feature of the event is also to raise awareness on the importance of conserving Abu Dhabi’s heritage.

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The Cultural Foundation Building will also be home to a series of performances in its open air Amphitheatre, as well as a number of arts and crafts workshops.

Visitors will go on a journey through the past, present and future of Emirati modern heritage. Besides its importance as an architectural landmark that combines modern and Islamic styles, the exhibition will highlight the vital role that the Cultural Foundation has played in the development of Abu Dhabi’s cultural scene.

The Cultural Foundation Building will also be home to the  “Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates” in its homecoming from la Biennale di Venezia where it featured at the International Architecture Exhibition in the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates.

This exhibition, commissioned by the Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, showcases the findings of a larger initiative “Lest We Forget” that seeks to archive the history of architectural and urban development in the UAE over the past century, and is one of the pioneering programmes dedicated to the definition and conservation of Emirati modern heritage.

Visitors will be invited to share their memories of buildings in the city in order to contribute a greater awareness of the importance of architecture in the development of the country.

Architect Mark Powell Kyffin said: “We want to include the thoughts and feelings of as many people as possible in order to fully understand the history and heritage of Abu Dhabi.”

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