AL AIN TO HOST THIRD EDITION OF TRADITIONAL HANDICRAFTS FESTIVAL
Abu Dhabi, U.A.E. 25 October, 2016: In celebration of the UAE’s intangible cultural heritage, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) has announced the third annual Traditional Handicrafts Festival, which will be held from the 2nd to 12th of November in Al Ain’s historic Souq Al Qattara.
The festival is held in partnership with multiple organisations that share the objective of supporting traditional Emirati handicrafts. It promotes UAE national identity, preserves intangible cultural heritage, and reinforces the efforts of artisan families who pass down their traditions over generations.
“The Festival will take place in the heart of the vibrant heritage city of Al Ain as a testament to its importance as a national event that raises awareness of the skills and expertise of our artisans. The 10-day festival will include activities and programmes that reflect different aspects of the UAE’s intangible heritage that we have to preserve and promote to the community, our youth, and tourists,” said HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi.
Daily competitions and workshops will provide visitors with a taste of multiple components of the UAE’s intangible heritage with all its richness, essence, and uniqueness.
“The third edition will also feature a series of live performances to highlight the importance of ancestral heritage to younger generations and showcase Emirati handicrafts,” added Ghobash.
In order to achieve its goal of being a distinctive destination for visitors, the festival will display numerous products from Emirati artisans, such as traditional clothing, fabrics and textiles, perfumes, incense and local incense burners, aromatic spices and herbs, traditional gold jewelry, henna, sweets, and a selection of traditional cuisines.
As part of the public programme, educational workshops throughout the festival will highlight the techniques of traditional handicrafts along with the raw materials used to manufacture them and the methodology to convert them into final products.
The festival will also feature competitions for several age groups, such as children’s Al Yolla traditional dance competitions, preparation of traditional cuisines, Arabic ‘Gahwa’ coffee preparation, and a handicrafts competition, as well as a variety of cultural events for the public. Furthermore, Emirati intangible cultural heritage practices such as Al Harbia, Al Sheela, and Al ‘Azi will be performed throughout the festival, in addition to Al Ayyala and Al Taghrooda which are included on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
About Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority:
Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. TCA Abu Dhabi supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.