Abu Dhabi unveils Al Ain Cultural Programme for February

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has unveiled the February edition of the Al Ain Cultural Programme, featuring several cultural events and interactive workshops. The events will be held at Al Qattara Arts Centre, Al Ain Palace Museum, Qasr Al Muwaiji and Al Ain Oasis, featuring art, heritage and culture sessions for all ages.

Faisal Al Dhahri, Acting PR and Communications Director, DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is committed to preserving and respecting the legacy of our ancestors through the events of the Al Ain Cultural Programme. We aim to continually highlight the richness of both Emirati culture and the history of Al Ain, and through these various activities, attract locals and visitors to Al Ain’s most important heritage landmarks.”

Qasr Al Muwaiji

In February, Qasr Al Muwaiji will host a range of events. The recurring ‘Emirati Dagger’ workshop showcases the special collection of daggers of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE. The event also introduces visitors to the traditional tools and methods of making the daggers, as well as the particular markings that adorn them, differences in regional daggers, and the proper way to wear them. This workshop will be held on 18 February.

‘A Lens Through History’, on 15 February, is a photography workshop in which participants will learn the importance of photographs in the preservation of historical and archaeological sites. Photography has been an invaluable aid in preserving the history of Qasr Al Muwaiji itself, and experts will show how old photographs helped experts to complete the restoration work on the historic building.

The Palace will also host its ‘Al Barza’ outdoor sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday throughout February, granting visitors and their families an opportunity to experience the intertwining of history and modernity, and learning about the concept of the Emirati Barza, a type of Majlis that once regularly took place at Qasr Al Muwaiji.

Al Qattara Arts Centre

On 20 February, Al Qattara Arts Centre is hosting ‘My Happiness Among Them’, an all-ages programme aiming to provide an artistic day out for the whole family. From pottery and oud to decoupage, all workshops are open to kids and their parents for some intergenerational fun and creativity.

The ‘Young Archaeologist Programme’ will be taking place at the Centre on Sundays, Tuesdays and Tuesdays throughout February, organised by Al Ain Museum to introduce students to archaeology and provide them with hands-on experience in archaeological excavation.

Al Ain Palace Museum

On 12 February, the museum will host the special event ‘Mandus’, focusing on the heritage of Emirati men, including handicrafts, robes and other clothing, pottery and traditional performances.

The ‘My Heritage, My Responsibility’ series continues into 2020 at Al Ain Palace Museum, with a celebration of the traditional handicrafts related to life in the desert and by the sea. From 27 to 29 February, the event will highlight desert handicrafts such as pottery, rope making, Al Zaffan, where palm fronds are roped together with fibres, and  Al Sadu weaving; as well as sea-related crafts such as the making of traditional fishing nets, traps and Shasha boats and the shucking of oysters.  The programme will include educational workshops, a souq, performances of Al Ayyala and Harbiya, traditional food and other activities.

Al Ain Oasis

On 12, 19 and 26 February, ‘Handicrafts at the Oasis’ event will provide demonstrations of handicrafts typically found in the Oasis, with a focus on those crafts inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

‘Agriculture Practices at the Oasis’ is set to take place on 17 and 24 February, introducing visitors to the different plants, crops and trees grown in Al Ain Oasis and the ancient agricultural techniques used to care for them. Participants are allowed access to farms where crop growing still takes place today in the same way it has done for centuries. The session will cover topics such as the different stages of palm tree care and the various professions to be found in the Oasis.

All Al Ain Cultural Programme events and workshops are free of charge and open to the public.

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