A traditional handicrafts festival showcasing the cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi, as well as handicrafts and practices which have been passed down the generations has kicked off in Al Ain.

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) said the seventh edition of the Traditional Handicrafts Festival will run until November 13 at Al Ain’s Souq Al Qattara under the theme Crafts of the Ancestors, Pride of the People.

Initiatives and activations at the event aim to support the preservation and production of unique Emirati crafts, as well as raise awareness of the cultural professionals who make their living in this industry.

This year’s festival features a programme of performances, cultural activities and workshops celebrating traditional handicrafts and their practitioners from across the UAE, with the participation of public and private partners and institutions specialising in selling and marketing heritage products.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Traditional Handicrafts Festival is one of our flagship heritage-focussed events, and is critical to our mandate to protect and promote the invaluable cultural legacy of the emirate. We view this not only as our mission, but also our obligation, as we inspire national pride through the preservation of these emblems of our history and our identity as a people.

“As we seek to further diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy, investing heavily in the culture and creative industries, the heritage and crafts domains are a key component of our strategy, and platforms such as the festival are crucial to the development of a vibrant, sustainable sector.”

The festival offers a series of live demonstrations, workshops and creative sessions focusing on crafts such as Al Sadu weaving and Talli embroidery, as well as traditional performances like Al Ayyala and Al Taghrooda, as well as concerts from Bait Al Oud musicians and Emirati singers.

The Creative Kids’ Workshop brings out the inner artist in young visitors, and the Nabati poetry competition, held in the Poets Majlis, speaks to poetry lovers.

Meanwhile, traditional sport enthusiasts can head to the Falconry Corner for interactive live demonstrations.

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