Arts & Culture

Al Hosn Festival showcases Emirati heritage and culture

The ten-day festival includes fun-filled, family-friendly events.

It’s time to celebrate Emirati culture. Al Hosn Festival is currently underway in Abu Dhabi and runs until 22 January. Taking place at the historical Al Hosn site, it showcases an exciting range of family-friendly events. The festival includes zones and activities such as art installations, concerts, creative workshops, film screenings, pop-up restaurants and traditional souqs. 

Al Hosn Festival gives you a rare chance to immerse yourself in traditional Emirati culture. The Insta-opportunities range from dressing up in Emirati clothing to participating in an Emirati wedding. The wedding experience showcases customs such as a bridal shower and a wedding feast. 

Al Hosn Festival

Al Freej turns back the clock, as it recreates an old village and souk. The activities include burga making, fishnet making, palm weaving, pottery making and textile dyeing. Other workshops cover dhow making, and thobe as well as jalabeya designing.

If you want to pick up a unique souvenir, head to the pop-up shops. The shops include 421, Glem Jewelry, Laggar and J Swair. Plus, the female-only Majlis Al Zain boasts the Darb El Zein fashion trail.

Guests can enjoy daily concerts from 5.30pm on The Falaj Stage. The line-up includes Boom.Diwan, DJ Sotusura, Ghaliaa, Majaz, Majed Zane, Nejma, NOON and Sam Abdullah & The Band. Plus, guests are welcome to show off their skills at Al Razfa, which combine dance, music and poetry. 

Al Hosn Festival

After all that culture, you’ll work up an appetite. In the kitchen zone, guests can experience Emirati hospitality and watch chefs in action, as they cook in traditional pots. Sample local dishes including harees, tanoor, thareed, dry and salted fish with rice. Plus, the pop-up restaurants include Aptitude, Caliber, Food/Shed and Khemeer & Chehab. 

Qasr Al Hosn is an 18th-century former fort. Today, it is home to a museum and cultural centre, which brings to life Emirati history. Al Hosn Festival runs daily from 4pm to 11pm. Go on, step back in time. 

GO: Visit for more information.

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Kohinoor Sahota - Deputy Editor
A sucker for a good story, if you invite Kohinoor to a gallery, comedy night, new restaurant, hiking trip, cycle ride, pool day or just about any activity, preferably with the promise of wine, she’ll probably say yes – that is if she isn’t busy planning her next adventure.

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