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As part of the 5th Traditional Handicrafts Festival, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has organised the ‘Herfaty’ (My Craft) programme at Al Ain Palace Museum. The programme runs till April 16th, 2019, and aims to preserve the Emirati identity and heritage among the younger generation.

The ‘Herfaty’ programme will include several workshops covering the crafts of Sadu, pottery, Tali, ropes, and Burqa. Participants of all ages will be introduced to Emirati traditional crafts, as well as studio set-ups to take pictures in traditional Emirati clothes.


The Sadu workshop will cover the history of women who use this craft, which played a key role in the Bedouin culture by allowing the creation of tents and furniture such as carpets, pillows, and covers. The tradition of Sadu is the weaving of locally available materials such as camel, goat hair or sheep wool. Participants will learn how to make and use Sadu during the workshop. Sadu was also listed as part of UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2011.

Participants in the pottery workshop will be introduced to the steps of pottery-making starting with sourcing the mud from the mountains or valleys, and then the sifting, cleaning and mixing it with water. The Tali workshop, meanwhile, will teach participants the art of embroidery using colourful threads on the sleeves of women’s dresses, which is also an important part of local heritage.

The Burqa workshop will showcase the making of the Emirati face cover, which is one of the key components of traditional Emirati womenswear. Participants in the rope-making workshop will be introduced to the swift weaving movements essential to this craft. Traditional rope making uses fibres taken from the palm trees and made into ropes.

The workshops will be held in Al Ain Palace Museum, which is one of the great historical and cultural locations in Abu Dhabi. The Palace was used by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a residence prior to 1966. The museum showcases Emirati lifestyles in the 20th Century, and takes the visitors on a journey through the life of the late Sheikh Zayed and the ruling family.

‘Herfaty’ is free and open to all age groups. For more information on the full schedule of the workshops, visit: www.dctabudhabi.ae. For registration, please contact 03 711 8388 or email mahra.alshamisi@dctabudhabi.ae

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