Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, TCA Abu Dhabi, has announced the launch of a National Traditional Handicrafts Festival in the emirate’s heritage heartland of Al Ain this coming October.
Running from October 23rd – 29th, and in line with the Authority’s objectives to preserve, celebrate and promote the intangible heritage of the U.A.E., the festival will take place at the historic Souq Al Qattara and will feature a series of activities and initiatives, including a souk for crafts, and showcasing heritage material, and traditional products.
A full public programme will accompany the festival and will include heritage competitions for visitors of all ages, such as the Al Yola dance contest for children, a craftsmanship competition, preparation of traditional dishes and the traditional making of Arabic coffee in addition to traditional performances of Al Harbiyah, Al Ayyalah, Rebaba music and Al Shillah.
The festival aims to shed light on the importance of traditional craftsmanship in Emirati heritage and support craftsmen’s efforts to preserve, revive, and transfer their skills to future generations. It will be supported by a number of Emirati organisations.
"Craftsmanship was a major source of income for our forefathers and is deep-rooted in our heritage," said Dr. Nasser Ali Al Hamairi, Director of TCA Abu Dhabi’s Intangible Heritage Department. "Craftsmanship reflected the very essence of social values at the time and the deep bond between local people and their surrounding environment. Despite the scarcity of natural resources, people were able to invent tools to help them withstand harsh living conditions and these crafts added an aesthetic touch to the details of their daily lives.