Friday, 22 March 2019

Qasr Al Watan

Last Monday a new landmark opened its doors here in the capital, Qasr Al Watan 'Palace of the Nation', inside the Presidential Palace complex.

Yesterday I finally had a free morning so I brought my friend Ulrika and went to visit. I had high expectations of something extraordinary, and I sure wasn't disappointed! Once they opened the huge doors to the entrance, my jaw literally dropped... what an amazing building!

The interior is nothing but exquisite, decorated using white, yellow and blue to signify the landscape of our region. You are welcome to wander around the magnificent Great Hall, the heart of the building, which is nothing else than breathtaking; as well as explore the east and west wings. There is also a room filled with a selection of various diplomatic gifted to the UAE president, displayed for the first time.

In the west wing you can learn more about the formation of the UAE and its governance, and you get access to halls typically reserved for state visits, state dinners and the meetings of global leaders.

In the east wing, also called the House of Knowledge, there are on display a vast collection of artifacts and rare manuscripts highlighting the Arab world's contribution to fields including arts, literature and humanities. I spent quite some time here as you might understand, a lot of useful information here that I can incorporate in my tours.

At Al Barza, we got to see a multimedia show, which introduced the role of the traditional majlis.

My favourite part was this sculpure by Mattar bin Lahej. The artist let himself get inspired by a famous quote by the late Sheikh Zayed: "Wealth is not money and oil. Wealth lies in the people, and it is worthless if not dedicated to serve the people."

You are also allowed to go for a walk and enjoy the palace gardens outside. We didn't have much time left at this stage, so we only had a brief look around, but such a stunning, stunning place..!

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