qasr al watan

Qasr Al Watan

Abu Dhabi

All about Qasr Al Watan

Qasr Al Watan is the pristine ‘Palace of the Nation’ – a grand venue that has welcomed leaders from across the globe when they’ve visited Abu Dhabi.

This beautiful building has thrown open its doors to visitors to tell the story of the UAE, while containing the offices of the president and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

This fascinating history and heritage is explored through interactive exhibits – while the House of Knowledge and library let you explore key themes in more detail.

Marvel at the gleaming gold and white decor – from its grand Great Hall to the Spirit of Collaboration room, where key meetings are held. Plus, when the sun goes down, stand by for a spectacular light and sound show projected onto the exterior.

qasr al watan outdoor sunset
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Best for...

Travellers who have a passion for history and want to get a better understanding of the history of the UAE while in Abu Dhabi.

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You’ll love…

The spectacular sound and light show that takes place after dark. This display illuminates the outside of the palace with imagery from the UAE’s journey so far.

Top experiences

palace in motion light show palace in motion light show

Spectacular light show

Watch the building’s fabulous facade come alive after dark with a dazzling sound and light show. The impressive white granite and limestone palace is a picturesque sight in the daytime – but turns into an exquisite, entertaining and educational display come evening.

Palace in Motion celebrates the entire story of the UAE in three acts with spell-binding imagery projected onto front of the building.

The show can be seen on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7.30pm – although times may change depending on sunset.

You’ll find Al Qasr Watan by the waters of the Arabian Gulf, next to Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi at the end of the Corniche.

Head south west on Corniche St. Take the second exit at the roundabout at the end of the road and continue to follow the road to the palace.

It’s about a two-and-a-half mile (four kilometres) trip and takes roughly eight minutes.

It’s about a 40-minute drive to reach Qasr Al Watan from Yas Island.

Your journey follows the E12 west through Saadiyat Island and past Louvre Abu Dhabi. You’ll turn right at Shinaf St and then left onto Corniche St - follow this road all the way to the palace.

Follow the E12 south west across Sheikh Khalifa Bridge. Turn right at Shinaf St and then left onto Corniche St. Follow this past the beach and round to the palace. 

It’ll take just over half an hour to make the journey.

On site amenities


There is a car park next to Qasr Al Watan Visitor Centre. There are ample spaces here and parking is free of charge.

Gift shop

Qasr Al Watan-inspired souvenirs can be purchased – and you can also collect your photo taken in the Palace media room here.


Dhiyafat Qasr Al Watan offers international cuisine, while coffee and sweet treats await at Al Fowla. Head to Legma for light bites and refreshments on the go.


Qasr Al Watan provides wheelchairs for the elderly or those with reduced mobility. Disabled visitors receive free entry for themselves and a companion. 

Qasr Al Watan: FAQs

What's nearby 

corniche beach sea and sand

Corniche Beach

Swimming, sunbathing and sports all await in this immaculate public beach. There’s also a beautiful beachside boardwalk that’s perfect for a sunset stroll. 

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emirates palace by night

Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi

Take afternoon tea at this luxury beachfront hotel to enjoy a delicious treat after you’ve visited the neighbouring Qasr Al Watan. 

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marina mall indoors

Marina Mall

Shop from designer brands, dine at your favourite restaurant chains and enjoy a range of entertainment including a cinema, bowling alley and sports. 

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Qasr Al Watan:

Did you know…

The palace took 150 million-man hours to build – and each door took 350 hours alone.

The Spirit of Collaboration chandelier is also designed to absorb sound from its amphitheatre-style surrounds.

The huge central dome sits almost 200 feet off the ground above the middle of the Great Hall and is more than 120 feet wide.

The lending library houses more than 50,000 books.

Where to next?

sheikh zayed grand mosque illuminated at night

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

By day or night, this incredible place of worship serves as Abu Dhabi’s most iconic landmark. Take a tour to explore inside.

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masdar city at sunset

Masdar City

Qasr Al Watan explores the past, present and future of the UAE, while Masdar City focuses on the future for the whole planet with a ‘greenprint’ for the technology of tomorrow.

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louvre abu dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Head on a tour of mankind’s artistic achievements from the Neolithic period right up to the modern day in this world-class museum.

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Flights + Hotel

All imagery provided by © Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi