In this page, the very first cultural sites reopening in Abu Dhabi City and in Al Ain after the COVID-19 lockdown:
In Abu Dhabi, Louvre, Qasr Al Hosn and Cultural Foundation are the very first reopening sites.
👉 Booking in advance the visit is required for Louvre and Qasr Al Hosn.
👉 Visitors under 18 years of age enter for free.
Louvre Abu Dhabi
It must be said that during the lock-down, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi maintained its consistent online presence, offering virtual tours, creative activities for children, playlists combined with works of art, a selection of themed eBooks and experimental events such as the cinematic podcast “We are not alone”.
“ Proud to be a mindful museum “, the Louvre reopens its galleries where the tale of “ See humanity in a new light “, will certainly offer food for new thought. The entire architectural structure of the museum is also accessible, and itself is worth the visit. From July 1st, the Louvre will host the temporary exhibition dedicated to the Chivalry “ Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry between East and West “.
The guidelines for visitors, in accordance with the security provisions, require to book in advance the visit, to use personal earphones for the audio guide, and to pay through “contactless” methods.
The Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi e Qasr Al Hosn
Cultural Foundation is located in the historic site of Al Hosn.
Built in 1981 as an aggregation centre for the community of Abu Dhabi, Cultural Foundation housed a library, a theatre and an event room.
In 2009, the foundation was closed for renovations and reopened about ten years later, in 2019, with a new 900-seat theatre, a huge children’s library, spaces for exhibitions and events, artistic studios, workshops and a calendar rich of initiatives for visitors. For the reopening, Cultural Foundation’s exhibitions and Artists in Residence studios can be visited.
Al Hosn site, where Cultural Foundation is located, is the ancient fortress of Qasr Al Hosn, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi that dates back to the second half of the 1700s.
The complex encloses the iconic watchtower, the first documented structure in Abu Dhabi.
QASR AL HOSN INFOS
⏰ Qasr Al Hosn: from 10am to 7pm; Friday: from 2pm to 7 pm
⏰ Cultural Foundation: from 10am to 7pm; Friday: from 2pm to 7 pm
📞 +971 2 697 6400
📌 Cultural Foundation and Qasr Al Hosn on Google Maps
Al Ain is called the “garden city”, due to the presence of oasis, and green roundabouts full of colorful flowers. The height of the building does not exceed four floors, and this detail contributes to the relaxing effect of the first visual impact.
Located on the border with Oman, between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, to which it is connected by an ideal triangle, Al Ain is also the city of the United Arab Emirates where, compared to the others, more locals live. In fact, it has always been a holiday resort beloved by the Emirates for the climate which, despite reaching record temperatures in summer, is still more pleasant because it is “mitigated” by the dry desert air.
The cultural sites of Al Ain have been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 2011, and include oasis areas, with interesting evidence of human settlements in deserted regions, and prehistoric archaeological sites from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age.
Al Ain is also the place where Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founder of the United Arab Emirates, spent most of his life and, according to some sources, his hometown.
From June 24th, in Al Ain, you can visit some of the most interesting cultural attractions of the city.
Al Ain Oasis
Al Ain Oasis, a UNESCO heritage site since 2011, covers over 1200 hectares, houses 147,000 date palms and over 100 different species of vegetation.
The sophisticated irrigation system of the oasis (aflaj), documents the ancient tradition dating back to the Iron Age.
In Al Ain Oasis there is an educational Eco-Centre, with multimedia installations for further information on the natural characteristics and history of the oasis.
It is suggested to start the visit from the main entrance at the West Gate.
AL AIN OASIS INFOS
⏰(outdoor areas): from 10 am to 6 pm. Friday: from 2 pm to 6 pm.
📞 +971 37 11 8251
📌 Al Ain Oasis on Google Maps
Al Ain Palace Museum
Al Ain Palace Museum, or Qasr-al-Ain is one of the best preserved fortresses of the United Arab Emirates, in its characteristic Bedouin-style architecture dating back to 1937. At Al Ain Palace, the family of Sheikh Zayed lived until 1966 and the museum, documenting its daily life, also reveals the lifestyle inside a fortress.
AL AIN PALACE MUSEUM INFOS
⏰ from 10 am to 6 pm. Friday: from 2 pm to 6 pm.
📞 +971 37 11 8388
📌 Al Ain Palace Museum on Google Maps
Al Jahili Fort
Al Jahili Fort is one of the largest fortress in the United Arab Emirates.
Founded in 1890 around the oasis, Al Jahili Fort was a strategic observatory to control the borders with Oman and the summer residence of the Al Nahyan family until the death of Zayed the First (grandfather of the nation’s founder), which occurred in 1909.
In the early 1950s, British forces in Al Ain used Al Jahili Fort as a military base, incorporating the fortress into a larger complex that also included a small hospital and barracks. The tower was used for military purposes until 1970.
Al Jahili Fort was first restored in the mid-1980s by the Department of Antiquity and Museum in Al Ain, and later between 2007 and 2008 by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage.
Surrounded by a beautiful park, today Al Jahili Fort is a cultural centre that hosts events and a permanent exhibition dedicated to the fascinating figure of Sir Wilfred Thesiger. Explorer, travel writer and photographer, Thesiger twice crossed the desert of the Empty Quarter and, returning from the second exploration, in Al Ain he met Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, at that time thirty years old, who encouraged and supported him.
In 2016, Al Jahili Fort obtained the recognition of Best Earthen Architecture in the world from the Terra Award.
AL JAHILI FORT INFOS
⏰ from 10 am to 6 pm. Friday from 2 pm alle 6 pm.
📞 +971 3711 8311
📌 Al Jahili Fort on Google Maps
Qasr Al Muwaiji
The fortress of Qasr Al Muwaiji was built at the time of Sheikh Zayed bin Khalifa the First by his son, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Khalifa.
Residence of the Al Nahyan family for generations, the fortress of Qasr Al Muwaiji has long represented the reference point for the life of the local community, for the political administration and as an aggregation centre for prayer and celebrations.
In 1966, when Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan became ruler of Abu Dhabi, the royal family moved to the capital and, since 1970, the fort was restored several times.
Today, Qasr Al Muwaiji as well as being an interesting example of local architecture, hosts a permanent exhibition in the hall that tells visitors the history of the community, and the strong link with the environment, highlighting the importance of the presence of the oases and the water in the life of Al Ain.
In the vicinity of Qasr Al Muwaiji is the Muwaiji oasis, the smallest in Al Ain.
QASR AL MUVAIJI INFOS
⏰ from 10 am to 6 pm. Friday from 2 pm to 6 pm.
📞 +971 3767 4444
📌 Qasr Al Muwaiji on Google Maps