6th Annual Traditional Handicrafts Festival returns to Al Qattara Souq on 30 October

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Tahnoon bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain Region, the Traditional Handicrafts Festival returns to Al Ain’s Al Qattara Souq from 30 October to 16 November. Now in its sixth edition, the popular annual handicrafts platform is organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi).

The Traditional Handicrafts Festival promotes the heritage crafts of the UAE, helping to support the industry and preserve these invaluable facets of Emirati identity. Taking place this year under the theme Crafts of the Ancestors, Pride of the People, the event will host a series of traditional cultural activities and workshops introducing the public to these art forms, with the participation of traditional crafts professionals from across the UAE, educational institutions, government and civil organisations involved in heritage protection.

In addition to the general promotion of traditional crafts, the festival works closely with 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, the festival aims to increase their income through marketing efforts, while encouraging them to innovate with their products and business models.

Saeed Hamad Al Kaabi, Intangible Heritage Director at DCT Abu Dhabi said: “The Traditional Handicrafts Festival returns to Al Qattara Souq year after year to emphasise DCT Abu Dhabi’s commitment to preserving our ancestors’ heritage that is represented in their handmade crafts and environmentally-adaptable products, some of which made a source of income for many. With its holistic programme of cultural activities and events targeting all age groups, the Festival aims at raising the coming generation’s awareness of the great value in our nation’s rich past and heritage, while providing the ideal platform for families to interact with heritage and its artistic components”.

The festival is set to feature a wide variety of traditional arts and crafts, including Al RazfaAl AyalaAl RababaAl-‘AziAl TaghroodaAl Shallah, and Al Yola, in addition to traditional games. Other activities will include Al Khos (palm frond braiding), Al Sadu (weaving), Al TalliAl Fakhaar (pottery), Al Ghazl (spinning), ornament and jewellery making and tailoring. For younger audiences, the festival will be offering workshops such as falconry, painting and colouring.

The event will also feature a series of competitions that will involve the preparation of Gahwa (Arabic coffee) and traditional dishes, in addition to Al Yola competitions for children. The Traditional Market will showcase handicrafts, food, clothing, decorations, medicinal herbs, falconry tools, and hospitality etiquette in serving Arabic coffee, dates and sweets.

The festival will be open to the public every day from 30 October to 16 November, 9am until 10pm.

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