The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced it will launch a new series of cultural initiatives, including the Abu Dhabi Register of Artisans, the Abu Dhabi Crafts platform, and the recently reopened House of Artisans at Al Hosn, to help safeguard and disseminate the intangible cultural heritage of the Emirate and support local artisans in developing their crafts and skills.
"DCT Abu Dhabi remains as committed as ever to the safeguarding of our emirate’s invaluable cultural heritage. We must ensure that our intangible heritage, in particular, is protected so that the skills and knowledge associated with our crafts and practices can be preserved and passed down to future generations," said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.
"Our nation’s proud past forms the basis of the Emirati identity and shapes our values. DCT Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage initiatives are a testament to our efforts in supporting our culture and creative industries and promoting Abu Dhabi and its rich traditions locally, regionally and on the global stage."
Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said, "The traditions and practices of the emirate are not relics of the past; they are part of our living heritage and continue to enrich our daily lives. It is important to note that the cultural and creative industries, which artisans and traditional practitioners are part of, contribute significantly to Abu Dhabi’s economy and are drivers of development in the emirate. Our continued support of local talent feeds into our goals of increased community engagement with heritage, the creation of a sustainable cultural ecosystem, and greater economic diversification."
The Abu Dhabi Register of Artisans will help the emirate’s artisans and practitioners enhance their skills and promote their work at both local and international levels.
Following UNESCO guidelines, the online database will allow local craftsmen and women who practice one or more of 17 traditional crafts to apply for certification and membership on the Register. Artisans will then be eligible for a range of benefits, including being listed on the publicly promoted database, professional development and training opportunities, participation in fairs, events, festivals and other government-sponsored activities both locally and abroad, and access to an increasing range of opportunities.
The Abu Dhabi Crafts platform supports current and aspiring artisans in marketing and selling their products, serving as a one-stop shop for artisans to display their work at events, sell their handicrafts at international stores, and participate in online programmes to help hone their skills.
For customers, the platform gathers genuine Abu Dhabi-made crafts in one, easy-to-browse portal and guarantees the authenticity of the goods. To have their work featured on the platform, participants must be a licensed Abu Dhabi artisan creating original product designs in a recognised discipline to a high level of design and craftsmanship.
Finally, the House of Artisans at Al Hosn has recently reopened its doors to welcome visitors once again, featuring a permanent exhibition with an immersive experience showcasing traditional crafts through objects and interactive elements. In celebrating the artisans and makers of the UAE, the House of Artisans pays tribute to the intangible cultural heritage that is essential to Emirati society.
The displays showcase the nation’s traditional crafts, where visitors can learn the materials and techniques required to produce and use them alongside contemporary artworks from emerging and established Emirati artists and designers. House of Artisans will also soon offer an annual programme of workshops and initiatives designed for different segments of the community.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2021.