Looking to take a trip to the Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi? MyBayut is here to give you a sneak peek into everything it has to offer. Read on to discover all the amazing sights and exhibits at the Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi, which was recently opened up to the public. Take a closer look at our review of Qasr Al Watan for more information on Abu Dhabi’s presidential palace.
What’s inside Qasr Al Watan Abu Dhabi
The Qasr Al Watan Palace which is now open to the public is the newest addition to Abu Dhabi’s list of major attractions. It is a part of Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace grounds that has been converted to a public space for visitors to explore, with exhibits that represent and preserves the Arab intellectual legacy, as well as, the cultural heritage. If you plan to visit, here are nine spectacular things you will see at the Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.
1. The Great Hall
As soon as you enter the through the massive archways of the palace, you will be welcomed into the breathtaking Great Hall. Ornate with complex gold and earth-toned architectural details that are sprawled over the interiors, The Great Hall itself is one of the most amazing things to see at Qasr Al Watan. But the grandeur of the great hall doesn’t end there; there is a massive 37 metres diameter dome that features intricate patterns, that you could stare at all day.
2. The ‘POWER OF WORDS’ Art Installation
Just as you’re exploring The Great Hall, you will stumble upon a beautiful gold structure called the ‘Power Of Words’. Designed by local artist Mattar Bin Lahej, this installation features interlaced words from an Arabic quote by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayan that says “Wealth is not money or oil, wealth lies in people and it is worthless if not dedicated to serve the people.”
The ornate presentation of the great founding father is one of the four art installations in The Great Hall. A perfect Insta-friendly spot, you can even go into the installation and get a shot of yourself inside it.
3. Over 50,000 books at the Qasr Al Watan Abu Dhabi Library
Once you finish exploring the grandeur of The Great Hall, the next spot you’ll want to head to is the Qasr Al Watan Library. The library features an extensive collection of 50,000 titles ranging from disciplines like science to literature about the UAE. There are other literary resources such as dissertations, research articles, newspapers and magazines, as well as e-books, audio and visual content at the Qasr Al Watan Library. This is a unique addition to the list of public libraries in Abu Dhabi and is a great place for bibliophiles to read to their heart’s content.
4. Diplomatic Gifts to the UAE
One of the major exhibits at Qasr Al Watan is the room on the east wing which hosts diplomatic gifts that were exchanged with the UAE as a symbol of good relations with other nations. Some of the items you will find here include vases, daggers, swords and even the piece of the cloth that drapes the Holy Kaaba which was gifted to UAE by Saudi Arabia.
5. The “Spirit of Collaboration” room
Next on the list of exhibits at the Qasr Al Watan Palace is the “Spirit of Collaboration” room on the west wing. This room is the official meeting place for the Cabinet and Federal Supreme Council of the UAE. It is also used to host official summits such as the Arab League, the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. One of the most notable items you can get to see in this room is a mammoth chandelier ornate with over 25,000 crystals. It is so big that it actually has a staircase which can fit one person if any maintenance is required.
6. The Setup of Tables at the Presidential Banquet Hall
The Qasr Al Watan also gives a glimpse look into the famed Emirati hospitality through the banquet hall. You get to find out about the types of dishes served in traditional banquet as well as the sets of unique pieces of silver, crystal and china that are used.
7. The Magnificant Majlis
The Majlis called the Al Barza is another must see if you visit this section of the presidential palace. When you’re here, make sure to carefully examine the details of all the interiors because each symbol and design represents a significant aspect of the UAE. The symbols on the ceiling represent interwoven hands and the high columns were inspired by the waves lapping at the shores of the UAE.
8. Ancient Manuscripts in The House Of Knowledge
‘The House Of Knowledge’ is another one of the rooms in Qasr Al Watan where visitors get the chance to see some of the rarest books and manuscripts as well as historic works of calligraphy that are dated centuries back.
9. THE PALACE LIGHT SHOW
After you’ve explored all the fascinating rooms in Qasr Al Watan, make sure to wait for the ‘The Palace In Motion’ light show that takes place at 7:30 pm. The 14-minute show features a three-act story of the UAE’s past, present and future using a dazzling array of audio and visual elements.
More Information On The Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace
If you plan to visit the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi, here is some more information that can help you effectively plan your tip.
- Qasr Al Watan provides wheelchairs for people of determination and elderly visitors.
- Photography on mobile phones and DSLR cameras is allowed but for non-commercial use only.
- No outside food and beverages, except water and baby food, is allowed into the palace.
- Prayer rooms for both men and women are available.
- You can also find souvenir shops and restaurants in Qasr Al Watan, located in the Mail Hall area.
Getting there: Qasr Al Watan Location
The Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi is located adjacent to the Emirates Palace and can easily be identified on Google Maps. If you are travelling from Dubai, the Qasr Al Watan location is approximately a one and a half hour drive via the E11. For those travelling from anywhere within Abu Dhabi, expect a 20-30 minute drive.
Once you arrive, you will need to park at the visitors parking and head to the ticketing counter. From there a shuttle bus will take you to the palace grounds. Valet parking at Qasr Al Watan is also available at AED 80 per car from 09:30 am to 09:30 pm.
Qasr Al Watan Tickets
There are three types of tickets for the Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace:
- General admission,
- Garden access only
- Guided tours
The general admission tickets for the Qasr Al Watan gives you access all the public spaces within the Palace and Gardens. If you plan to visit with a guided tour, the prices are in conjunction with the entry ticket.
Tickets can be purchased on-site directly at the ticketing booth. However, since visiting the palace is becoming one of the most popular things to do in Abu Dhabi, we recommend that you purchase your ticket online to avoid any long queues. The ticket prices for the presidential palace in Abu Dhabi are as follows:
- Palace and Garden Ticket: AED 60 (Adults), AED 30 (Children below 17 years and Senior Citizens)
- Garden Only Ticket: AED 60 (Adults), AED 30 (Children below 17 years and Senior Citizens)
- Standard Guided Tour English/Arabic: AED 30 (1 to 20 visitors)
- Private Guided Tour English/Arabic: AED 600 (1 to 20 visitors)
- People of determination receive complimentary access plus one companion.
Qasr Al Watan Timings and Contact
The Qasr Al Watan timings are from 10:00 am to 08:00 pm, from Sunday to Thursday. However, the ticket counter is open from 10:00 am to 07:00 pm. Tickets are not issued after 07:00 pm so make sure to arrive there before that so that you have enough time to explore the entire palace
For any further queries, you can contact Qasr Al Watan Abu Dhabi via their contact centre on +971-600-544-442 or email on firstname.lastname@example.org.
That concludes this guide and review of the Qasr Al Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi. If you’d like so explore similar attractions in Abu Dhabi that are architecturally and culturally inspiring, check out the exhibits at Louvre Abu Dhabi.
For all those looking to live in the capital city, make sure to check out Bayut’s listing for rental properties in Abu Dhabi. As for those looking to invest here, we’ve got the best properties for sale in Abu Dhabi too.