Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) opened the Traditional Handicrafts Festival, an annual Emirati cultural heritage and craftsmanship event, taking place from 1 – 20 November at Souq Al Qattara in Al Ain. Now in its ninth year, the festival will be held under the theme ‘’Crafts of the Ancestors, Pride of the People”.
The popular festival features a diverse programme of live demonstrations, activities, workshops and performances celebrating and promoting traditional handicrafts and highlighting talented practitioners from across the UAE.
Accompanied by Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, and senior DCT official,Mohamed Al Mubarak toured various pavilions.
Throughout the festival, visitors will enjoy live craft demonstrations which showcase the traditional tools and methods used to make the array of skilled and unique Emirati handicrafts. Also on offer are appearances by folk bands and traditional singers, dance showcases such as Al Ayyala, interactive heritage and cultural programmes, contests, falconry shows, and the Souq, selling a variety of traditional crafts, clothing, and culinary experiences.
The festival will also host special music concerts, as part of the Memory of the Emirati Song series as well as musical performances and an educational cultural programme of workshops and other interactive events.
The Traditional Handicrafts Festival was established to introduce new audiences to the traditional crafts and industries of the United Arab Emirates, and actively promotes and supports their practitioners. Through its nurturing of the industry, it helps to preserve these invaluable facets of Emirati identity, ensuring that the skills and knowledge associated with heritage crafts are preserved and passed down to future generations.
The event promotes craftsmen’s efforts to preserve these invaluable aspects of our intangible heritage, ensure their continuity and pass skills on to younger generations.