Monday July 22nd, 2024
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Books, Banquets and a Bygone Era at Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Watan

A vast library, a presidential banquet zone, and a famous chandelier – Qasr Al Watan is one of the region’s most breathtaking structures.

Layan Adham Ismail

A working presidential palace, a majestic cultural landmark, and the primary venue for some of the world’s most opulent banquets – Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Watan, which was impressively designed and constructed in just seven years, was intended to exclusively host foreign dignitaries and leaders until the decision was made to open it to the public in 2019.

With over one million square metres of intricate stonework and 22,000 cubic metres of Mughal-era adornments the palace stands as a lasting tribute to Arabian heritage and a unique testament to the spirit of the United Arab Emirates, its people and, of course, its leaders.

Offering insight into the formation of the UAE and its governing values, Qasr Al Watan – or the ‘Palace of the Nation’ – houses a vast 50,000-book Library, as well as the House of Knowledge, an exhibition showcasing several valuable artefacts and manuscripts written by Arabian scholars across various fields.

Elsewhere within the grand palace’s halls, you’ll find The Presidential Banquet zone, where you’ll be able to get a glimpse of how the UAE hosts world-leaders – from the customs and cuisine to the crystal and china. Right across, The Presidential Gifts & Souvenirs zone awaits, providing visitors with a peek at some one-of-a-king gifts the UAE has received from other countries over the years.

Finally, you can head on over to the most recognizable structure in the palace, The Power of Words by Mattar Bin Lahej, a golden calligraphy art piece that features the words of the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – “Wealth is not money or oil; wealth lies in people and it is worthless if not dedicated to serve the people.”


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