March 19, 2019
Public Visitors See Impressive Architecture and Fountains of Abu Dhabi’s Presidential Palace for the First Time
This past week, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government opened a section of its sprawling Presidential Palace compound to welcome visitors into its ornately-decorated buildings and pristinely-manicured gardens—which include dozens of water features designed by Martin Aquatic Design & Engineering (Martin Aquatic).
This marks the first time that the public will be allowed to enter the Presidential Palace, which serves as the head of government for the country and houses the formal offices of the President, the Vice President, and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. This new visitor attraction, called Qasr Al Watan or “Palace of the Nation,” contains a number of important artifacts, sculptures, and other exhibitions curated to demonstrate the contributions of the Arab world. It also houses gifts presented to the UAE president from world leaders and diplomats, as well as a library with more than 50,000 books and resources.
Beyond the artwork and antiquities on display, the real attraction is the architecture of the building itself; the intricate mosaics and tile work throughout the welcome areas such as the Great Hall emphasize the grandeur that visitors might dream of when imagining a modern-day palace. The dome of the Great Hall is one of the largest in the world, with a height of seven stories. Walking the grounds and viewing the outside of the Presidential Palace is equally impressive; the Qasr Al Watan visitor center sells a “Gardens-Only” ticket option that allows visitors to walk through the surroundings and view the fountains.
Some of the fountains include a twin five-level cascading feature that flanks the main driveway on either side up to the entrance; water rushes down the combined 25,000-square-foot fountain as delicate fan jets spray water onto the top tiers. On all four sides of the main building sit four separate pools lined by 24 aerator nozzles capable of reaching more than 16 feet high. Another 34 fountains in the shape of an 8-sided star dot the walkways surrounding the entire compound.
When Martin Aquatic started work on the water feature designs for the Presidential Palace in 2011, it was unclear whether we would ever have the chance to see the finished project. After seven years of construction and 150 million man-hours, the 94-acre Presidential Palace compound was completed yet still hidden under a veil where the public could only admire from afar. Now with the opening of Qasr Al Watan, it has never been more rewarding to see our fountains delighting visitors at this modern marvel.
For more on this project, visit the Presidential Palace project page.