Abu Dhabi’s historic Al Hosn cultural site has triumphed with the gold accolade at the 2021 World Architecture News (WAN) Awards, topping a shortlist of six world-class international competitors in the ‘Mixed Use’ category.

Now in its 13th year, the global WAN Awards acknowledge and celebrate excellent architecture, recognising the outstanding works of innovative, visionary and imaginative architects worldwide. The 2021 WAN Awards was judged by an extensive panel of leading international experts who put entries through a rigorous evaluation process.

HE Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), said: “It is a tremendous honour and privilege for Al Hosn to be recognised at the prestigious World Architecture News Awards, especially as it was up against illustrious competition from around the world. Al Hosn is a true reminder of our living history and has become symbolic of our nation’s solidarity, heritage and traditions. This historic site is where Abu Dhabi’s transformational journey began, and it will continue to play a vital role at the heart of the emirate’s story, representing our proud past and the legacy of the ‘father of our nation’, His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.”

The Al Hosn cultural site is a key historic landmark that encapsulates the development of Abu Dhabi, standing today as a living memorial and a direct connection to the origins of the country. It has witnessed the emirate’s evolution from a traditional residential community focussed on pearl diving, to today’s thriving capital city. 

In addition to Qasr Al Hosn, the Cultural Foundation, and the House of Artisans, Al Hosn also features the National Consultative Council - where discussions regarding the unification of the emirates took place - and the internationally-lauded Al Hosn Musalla (mosque), the design of which recently won first prize in the ‘Completed Building – Religion’ category at the 2019 edition of the World Architectural Festival, and which was also nominated for the event’s ‘Best Building of the Year’ award.

The Al Hosn site offers a selection of restaurants and cafes such as Mirzam Chocolate Makers, The Espresso Lab, and Wild and the Moon, as well as Erth.