Restoring the Historic Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn, situated within Abu Dhabi was originally built as a coastal bastion in the 1760s to defend its fresh water well and trade routes. It was also the first permanent building within the city and the most significant heritage site in the United Arab Emirates. 


Like many historic buildings, the introduction of cement had caused significant issues with the softer historic fabric, threatening the structural stability of the masonry and leading to decay of some internal finishes. The walls had also originally been built with a vented wall structure, which over time had formed large voids which needed to be addressed.

Materials and Solutions

Cornish Lime supplied over 100 tonnes of lime-based grout, soft enough to be compatible with the historic masonry, to fill the extensive void structures, consolidate the walls and improve structural stability.

Working with the German architects ZRS and contracting firm Stonewest on the ground, a historically accurate mortar was also supplied for the restoration work on one of the main towers – an exacting blend including lime, gypsum, graded charcoals, wood chip and aggregates to match the material found from research and historical records.

All materials were produced on site in Cornwall and supplied by container load to suit the work schedules on site in Abu Dhabi.