DUBAI: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) revealed that the performance of its cultural assets in Dubai showed a remarkable recovery following a difficult year imposed by the repercussions of COVID-19 on the world. The Authority’s museums, heritage sites and public libraries attracted more than 521,000 visitors in 2021.
Statistics conducted by Dubai Culture showed that museums, heritage sites and public libraries in Dubai are still gaining momentum as touristic, cultural and educational destinations for the public, including UAE citizens, residents and visitors. In 2021, the total number of visits to these sites was 521,753; heritage sites topped the list, recording 50 percent of total visitors, followed by libraries, with 39 percent, and museums at 11 percent.
Muna Faisal Algurg, Director of the Museums Department and Acting CEO of the Culture & Heritage Sector at Dubai Culture, affirmed that despite the conditions and repercussions imposed by the pandemic on the cultural and creative sector around the world, Dubai Culture adopted an effective methodology in dealing with the imposed challenges through digital offerings such as virtual tours, workshops, activities, and educational lectures across those sites.
Following the lockdown period, Dubai Culture succeeded in reigniting the cultural movement in the emirate and keeping the audience in touch with the history of Dubai and its cultural landmarks. The Authority also ensured the implementation of all the precautionary measures and precautions to guarantee workers and visitors of those sites the highest levels of protection.
Algurg indicated that the performance of museums and heritage sites in the emirate is on its path towards a full recovery at a time when the world's museums are still suffering from the repercussions of the pandemic. Based on a report issued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), 90 percent of the world’s museums closed their doors during the pandemic and 13 percent were under risk of closing permanently.
Algurg added: "At Dubai Culture, we seek through museums and heritage sites to provide centres for culture and heritage that contribute to providing rich cultural experiences for visitors, citizens, residents and tourists; we also seek to enhance the value of exploring history and highlighting its importance in moving towards the future. This comes as part of our efforts to consolidate the emirate's position as a cultural and globally centre as well as to support cultural tourism in it towards underpinning its contribution to the cultural industries to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy." According to statistics, the total number of visitors to heritage sites reached 259,216, with Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood topping the list, attracting 153,807 visitors, while Hatta Heritage Village received 105,409 visitors. The total number of museum visitors reached 59,106, including 24,304 to Etihad Museum and 18,909 to Al Shindagha Museum. The total number of guided tours carried out by the Authority at museums and heritage sites reached 9,731.
As for Dubai Public Library, with its branches across the emirate, it attracted 203,431 visitors, most notably to Al Twar Library, which recorded 45,333 visitors, and Al Safa Art & Design Library, which witnessed 32,645 visits, while the total number of events held in those libraries reached 645 with 12,932 participants. In addition, the libraries completed 1,684 e-services and a total of 235,930 book borrowings, including 70,356 for adults and 165,574 for children. In addition, the libraries registered 1,286 new members in 2021, bringing the total number of memberships to 27,916.
Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, expressed his happiness with the return of the emirate’s reading and cultural activities, assuring Dubai Culture's commitment to developing and modernising Dubai’s public libraries as destinations to enlighten minds with knowledge as well as to organise knowledge programmes and activities, including initiatives aimed at spreading the joy of reading and learning among children and parents, such as the ‘Reading Box Initiative’ and the summer and winter camps.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.