Al Hosn Festival
We've been having Fridays as our library day in our little homeschool. Our last visit was before the New Year and it was time to return the books that we borrowed so we decided to go to the Children's Library last week, though I knew that the Al Hosn Festival was ongoing.
The festival, which is held annually, was celebrated last January 13th to 22nd this year. It celebrates the heritage and culture of the United Arab Emirates and is a must-see event for anyone visiting (or living in) the country.
The festival was held at the Qasr Al Hosn palace, which is a historic palace that was once the residence of the ruling family of Abu Dhabi. It was filled with a variety of cultural activities, including traditional music and dance performances, as well as art and craft displays. The final three days featured the Al Fursan Air Show, which featured the United Arab Emirates Air Force's aerobatic team, the Al Fursan.
I thought, "we could just go and return the books and perhaps get a chance to see the air show."
We reached at 2:00pm, as we usually do, but then we were informed that the gates would open only at 4:00pm for the festival and that the parking would be paid! And oh, we had to also purchase the festival tickets if we would like to enter the library (free entry on normal days). The plan was just to return the books, so we ended up not entering the Qasr Al Hosn but we were not not to experience the Al Fursan Air Show.
Al Fursan Air Show At The Park
The Al Hosn may be closed for non-ticket holders, but the sky was open for every one. 😉 So we instead went to The Lake Park to wait for the spectacle to begin. We got hungry so we bought a few snacks from the nearby convenience store.
I knew the Air Show was scheduled at 4:45pm, but we were still taken aback when the first set of aircrafts started to dash in the sky, err, above our heads, literally.
As the planes flew overhead, I couldn't help but feel like I was watching a live version of Top Gun (Maverick) which we just finished watching a few days prior. LOL. The Al Fursan pilots were just as skilled and precise as the characters in the movie, and their aircrafts were just as impressive.
These skilled pilots put on a truly awe-inspiring performance, flying their aircrafts in formation and performing a variety of maneuvers that left the spectators in complete amazement. They left trails of colorful smoke across the sky even as the planes were already out of sight.
One of the most impressive maneuvers that the Al Fursan team performed was the "heart" formation, where the pilots fly their planes in the shape of a heart. It was a truly breathtaking sight to see, and it was clear that the pilots had put a lot of time and effort into perfecting the maneuver. I remember many years ago, we were treated to "free shows" as they practiced around the building where I used to work.
While watching the show in the sky, there was also another show on the ground. The geese and ducks at the lake were also trying to catch attention from the people as they swam across and make loud sounds!
The kids truly enjoyed the afternoon out despite us deciding not to go to the Al Hosn Festival. They also went to the playground for a few minutes before leaving and we even had a chance to recreate some photos we took there almost 6 years ago.
"Daddy, you missed a lot today!" they said when we reached home. Daddy wasn't able to come because he was not feeling well so the kids just filled him in of the fun experience we had that afternoon.
All photos in this post are owned by the author.