In downtown Abu Dhabi, there is a large heritage area based on the original Qasr al Hosn fort, which includes even an inland sea, and which makes a fabulous weekend destination.
Particularly when the Qasr al Hosn Festival is on!
(February 20 to March 1, 2014; 4pm till 11pm each day)
And extra-particularly when the internationally-famed Cavalia show is on, too!!!
(February 22 to March 1, 2014)
On the festival grounds, you will find Emiratis living as they used to live – a real life re-enactment of a rich and proud heritage.
Now, please don’t be fooled into thinking a couple of worn-out tents, and nobody around… we were blown away by the professionalism and quality of the festival: we are talking world-class.
Don’t believe me – please see this document for details on the 4 festival areas: Desert, Oasis, Marine and Abu Dhabi Island, each with an array of interactive workshops and activities, traditional performances, demonstrations, and exhibitions.
I’m telling you: world-class.
You have Emiratis building boats…
And I counted another 80 activities, workshops, demonstrations, public talks, guided tours, and who knows what else.
And we haven’t even mentioned Cavalia, an amazing performance that puts a most graceful and powerful animal at its center: the horse!
On a custom-made stage, the horses and their handlers are stars.
I switched to black-and-white to try and capture the drama of the performance.
Enjoyed by over 4 million people across North America, Europe and Australia, Cavalia is a lavish production involving 50 horses and featuring 50 riders, aerialists, acrobats, performers and musicians from all over the world.
A show unlike any other, Cavalia celebrates the equestrian arts and the strong relationship between humans and horses.
In Cavalia, horses perform together with the many artists in front of a constantly changing digital background, drawing spectators into dream-like virtual environments.
Starring 11 different equestrian breeds including Arabian, Pure Spanish and Miniature Horses,, Cavalia’s audience face a single 50 metre-wide stage which allows the horses space to gallop at full speed, at times running completely free, unfettered by bridles or halters.
The tone of the show, embraced by the entire company, is one of mutual respect, kindness, patience, and trust. Audiences have found Cavalia exhilarating in scope, yet touching in the compassion shown by both horse and human.
For a weekend destination in Abu Dhabi, you really can’t find better than Qasr al Hosn Festival.
Qasr al Hosn Festival is easy to find: