Abu Dhabi audio tour: The Historical Heart of Abu Dhabi: An Architecture Tour Around Al Hosn Site

The Historical Heart of Abu Dhabi: An Architecture Tour Around Al Hosn Site

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

Discover the beating historical heart of Abu Dhabi with this walking tour of the Al Hosn site, starting with Qasr Al Hosn, the city’s oldest stone building.

While you walk, you’ll learn how Qasr Al Hosn played a key role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s fascinating history. See where the first tentative steps towards nationhood were taken, the city’s first permanent structure, and the palatial home built around an impenetrable fortress. You’ll also get to explore the city’s cultural and artistic hub, the Cultural Foundation, as well as the House of Artisans. Finally, you can take a relaxing stroll around the site’s impressive water feature, with a stop off at its Musallah.

Along the way, you’ll hear about:

• How a legendary gazelle led to the first settlement in the area
• How the granting of the first oil concessions paved the way for Abu Dhabi’s dramatic transformation
• The various architectural techniques visible on the site
• The importance of Qasr Al Hosn to the city’s heritage
• The lives of the women in the palace

End the tour with a traditional Arabic coffee. You’ll even hear tips on how to participate in the local rituals of coffee-making.


Lee Rosevere – Start the Day
Lee Rosevere – Here's the Thing
Desert City by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license

Tour Producer


Visit Abu Dhabi

With three diverse destinations in just one Emirate, Abu Dhabi is a truly unique destination, where respect for the past informs the present and shapes the future.

This is a diverse emirate with desertscapes, oases, mountain heights, fabulous beaches, warm, clear waters, desert islands, an ancient heritage city and a modern, cosmopolitan capital city. It’s a destination of historic buildings, thrilling headline attractions, engaging tours and a packed calendar of headline events covering the arts, culture, sports, concerts and trade shows.

Abu Dhabi is a destination that will exceed your expectations!

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Major Landmarks

  • Qasr Al Hosn

  • Cultural Foundation

Directions to Starting Point

Al Hosn has two parking spots on its north and south sides. If you are taking Al Hisn Street, the North car park will be easy for you to spot and park (since, it’s exactly opposite Marks & Spencer). If you are coming from Corniche Road, you will find the south car park easily (it’s opposite the Al Muhairi Centre). Qasr Al Hosn can conveniently be reached via bus, taxi, bike or scooter.

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Places to stop along the way

Mirzam café, The Espresso lab, Wild & the Moon Cafe, The Souk at World Trade Center Abu Dhabi, Al Muhairi Centre

Best time of day

Qasr Al Hosn can be enjoyed throughout the year, since there are indoor exhibitions that can also be experienced.


Make sure you have your ticket ready for seamless entry. The region is known for its hot weather, and therefore we recommend taking a few precautions: bring along a bottle of water, a hat and sunblock, and wear good walking shoes. Take care in crossing the street, making sure to use only dedicated pedestrian crossings. Please be respectful of regional dress codes.


The Historical Heart of Abu Dhabi: An Architecture Tour Around Al Hosn Site