Abu Dhabi Presidential Palace opens its doors to visitors for first time

(CNN) — Abu Dhabi’s “Palace of the Nation” has just opened its doors to the public, and it’s every bit as impressive as you’d expect.

Based inside the Presidential Palace complex in the UAE capital, Qasr Al Watan pays homage to Arabian heritage and design.

Complete with huge white domes, lush gardens and dramatic chandeliers, the new landmark aims to give visitors a stronger understanding of the UAE’s governing traditions and values.

Cultural landmark

Qasr Al Watan

Abu Dhabi’s new attraction Qasr Al Watan is housed within the Presidential Palace compound.

Courtesy Qasr Al Watan

Once inside, guests can explore exhibitions celebrating Arabic customs as well as experience a spectacular night show, which is held every evening.

The interior, which is decorated using white, yellow and blue to signify the landscape of the region, consists of a number of grand areas including the grand Great Hall as well as a room filled with items gifted to the UAE president by various countries around the world.

It also houses the Qasr Al Watan Library, which boasts a collection of over 50,000 books and resources.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council described Qasr Al Watan as an important symbol of the UAE’s progressive journey during its inauguration ceremony earlier this month.

Knowledge base

Qasr Al Watan

The interior of the structure is decorated using white, yellow and blue to signify the landscape of the region.

Courtesy Qasr Al Watan

“In line with the UAE President’s vision, I have given directives to allocate a building in the Presidential Palace compound, called Qasr Al Watan, ‘Palace of the Nation’,” he tweeted shortly before the opening.

“Visitor tours of the palace will serve as a knowledge base and boost cultural understanding of the UAE.”

The ceremony was led by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, while deputy rulers from the seven emirates were also in attendance.

Qasr Al Watan’s opening comes after the proclaimed success of Louvre Abu Dhabi, which launched in late 2017 and attracted one million visitors in its first year.

The entire Presidential Palace compound, which houses the formal offices of the President, the Vice President and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, had previously been closed to visitors.

Qasr Al Watan is open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This article originally appeared here