AL AIN - The Traditional Handicrafts Festival under the theme ‘Crafts of the Ancestors, Pride of the People’ has concluded its sixth edition at Souq Al Qattara in Al Ain, featuring a vast array of traditional cultural activities, workshops, performances and attractions focused on the promotion and protection of Emirati heritage.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, the event took place from 30th October to 16th November, drawing 106,321 visitors over its 18-day run.
Speaking on the occasion, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "The annual Traditional Handicrafts Festival contributes significantly to the efforts made by DCT Abu Dhabi to preserve and celebrate our heritage, while keeping pace with the evolving tastes and requirements of today's society. The sixth edition of the festival attracted an impressive number of visitors from all segments of the community, and it is heartening to see the desire amongst the public to engage with our heritage and recognise its continued relevance and importance to our daily lives." The Traditional Handicrafts Festival supports DCT Abu Dhabi’s efforts both in preserving and celebrating Emirati heritage, and promoting Al Ain as a unique tourism destination, rich in history and culture. This year’s festival saw the participation of traditional crafts professionals from across the UAE, educational institutions, and government and civil organisations involved in heritage protection.
In addition to the general promotion of traditional crafts and practices, the festival works closely with artisans and families who work in the industry, providing support and helping them to adapt to the demands of the modern consumer market. With 120 families taking part this year, the festival aimed to increase their income through marketing efforts, while encouraging them to innovate with their products and business models.
The festival programme featured a wide variety of traditional arts and crafts demonstrations and interactive workshops, including Al Razfa, Al Ayyala, Al Rababa, Al-‘Azi, Al Taghrooda, Al Shallah, and Al Yola. A series of competitions involving the preparation of Arabic coffee and traditional dishes, in addition to Al Yola competitions for children, also took place.
The traditional market displayed a great variety of traditional handicrafts and products, foods and clothes, ornaments, folk medicine herbs, camping and falconry tools, and demonstrated the protocols of Emirati hospitality, presenting Arabic coffee, dates, and sweets. Besides the shopping on offer, the market was also host to entertainment events and traditional shows.
In addition to the main public events, the festival prepared a special programme for students, which included workshops on handicrafts, falconry, and traditional games.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2019.