Calligraphy pens at Qasr Al Watan.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
This time, the focus is on Arabic language and Qasr Al Watan, the Palace of the Nation, in Abu Dhabi.
One visit to Qasr Al Watan is never enough to take it all in: the Palace of the Nation provides an enriching experience that takes visitors on a cultural journey to explore the wonders of Arabian culture and artistry, artefacts and Islamic art, allowing them to gain insights into the history, traditions and the national journey of the UAE.
While visits to the Palace have a start and a finish, visitors are encouraged to take a timeless piece of Qasr Al Watan – a souvenir – home, that will last forever.
Located at the end of the Qasr Al Watan tour, visitors can browse a gift shop filled with various well-crafted souvenirs that reflect the Palace’s intricate designs and the UAE’s rich heritage.
The Miniature of the Palace souvenir is a scaled-down replica of the Palace’s iconic façade, painted with the exact same colours that adorn the actual Palace.
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The replica outlines the details of the domes, including the main dome, which is one of the largest domes in the world, at a diameter of 37 meters. It also shows part of the remarkable Gardens that surround the Palace, which are filled with a colourful variety of flowers and fountains with the same astounding mosaic patterns and Islamic-based designs that are echoed throughout Qasr Al Watan.
Calligraphy pens are yet another souvenir that pay tribute to the striking Arabesque calligraphy swirls that can be seen throughout the Palace.
Arabian art and Islamic geometrical patterns have been infused as an integral aspect of the Palace’s design, permitting visitors to appreciate Arabian architectural craftsmanship.
The use of calligraphy can even be seen in the Palace’s logo that honours Arabian design and tradition. The calligraphy pens come in either glass or wood and are all handmade.
The Sand Art souvenir is unique in that it incorporates sand from all seven Emirates of the UAE in its captivating design, underlining the country’s unity.
It also showcases Qasr Al Watan while highlighting the calligraphy on the Palace’s domes and logo.
Qasr Al Watan is a cultural landmark housed within the Presidential Palace compound in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
There, visitors can walk through majestic hallways, as they embed into a world of fascinating exhibitions, artefacts and architecture. The Palace also houses the Qasr Al Watan Library, where visitors can explore a vast collection of books and resources on the UAE’s political, social and cultural history.
In 2021, Qasr Al Watan was named the ‘Middle East’s Leading Cultural Tourist Attraction’ by World Travel Awards for the second consecutive year.
In 2020, Qasr Al Watan was recognised by MENALAC as the ‘Best Unique Visitor Attraction’ and in 2019, the Palace was also named ‘Best Favorite Attraction’ by the Pride of Abu Dhabi Awards.
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, to go from souvenirs to language, part of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Germany’s Leipzig University to collaborate on research projects that focus on the Arabic language, as well as to work together to organise events and conferences that promote the language around the world.
The agreement was signed by Dr Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and Professor Dr Sebastian Maisel, Director of the Oriental Institute and Professor of Arabic Language and Translation at Leipzig University, in the presence of Hafsa Abdullah Mohammed Al Ulama, UAE Ambassador to Germany and Saeed Hamdan Al Tunaiji, Director of the Creative Content Department at the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre.
Dr bin Tamim said: “We take pride in our partnership with Leipzig University, one of Germany’s most prominent institutions that has incorporated the Arabic language into its faculties for decades.
“This collaboration is another important milestone in our mission of promoting the Arabic language globally as a language of knowledge, culture and creativity, enhancing its presence and use particularly in Germany and Europe.
“As we aim to advance the Arabic language across all fields, this strategic alliance will bolster its continued development through shared research, leveraging of expertise, and joint projects.”
The agreement aims to define the framework and principles of partnership between the two entities as they partner to develop Arabic language teaching and learning, collaborate on research, and organise conferences to expand the language’s reach.
Hafsa Abdullah Mohammed Al Ulama said: “The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre has a track record of forging meaningful strategic partnerships with prestigious local and international entities, and this agreement with Leipzig University comes to reaffirm the depth of the bilateral relations between the UAE and the Federal Republic of Germany – specifically in the field of cultural exchange. This partnership represents an important milestone and is reinforcing the presence of the Arabic language and culture in Germany and the European Union at large.”
Professor Dr Maisel said that “we are proud of this strategic partnership with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre – one of the most important organisations in the field of Arabic language development within the Arab region and globally.
“While this agreement is in line with our mandate and continuous work to promote and develop the Arabic language, we consider this MoU a new starting point for a set of truly distinct cultural, linguistic and academic initiatives, which we hope will make a significant contribution to this field.”
The partnership allows both parties to benefit from each other’s scientific, academic and practical expertise. They will be able to leverage their research and academic capabilities, with joint projects contributing to the creation of a fertile environment for the presence of the Arabic language among students and young researchers.