Abu Dhabi Unveils Al Ain Cultural Programme for January

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has unveiled a wide range of events, exhibitions and workshops taking place this January as part of its Al Ain Cultural Programme. Throughout the month, Al Jahili Fort, Al Qattara Arts Centre, Al Ain Palace Museum, Qasr Al Muwaiji and Al Ain Oasis will host a series of heritage, folklore, artistic and cultural events for all members of the community to enjoy.

“Through this lively and varied programme, we aim to showcase Al Ain’s unique attractions to residents and visitors alike, as well as giving them an insight into the richness of Emirati cultural heritage,” said Faisal Al Dhahri, Acting PR and Communications Director at DCT Abu Dhabi.

“We have included something that should appeal to all ages and backgrounds in the programme, so we hope everyone will take advantage of the cooler weather this month to come and experience for themselves the range of exciting events.”

 

Al Jahili Fort

On 17 January, ‘Skills of the 1950s’ is taking place at the Fort, in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Police. The event features a live show to highlight the extraordinary skills of police dogs and their vital role in police work. It will also showcase the importance of dogs in the lives of the Arabian Desert inhabitants, who have used the Saluki for hunting and security for centuries as it is one of the fastest, most intelligent and loyal breeds of dog. The event will also examine the historical significance of the fort, which was a symbol of strength and power in the 1950s, by hosting a number of educational workshops for all visitors.

Qasr Al Muwaiji

On 21 January, Qasr Al Muwaiji will host a variety of entertainment, educational and historical events. These include the ‘Emirati Dagger’ event to showcase the special dagger collection of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, which is one of the Palace’s most prized exhibits. The programme will introduce visitors to the traditional tools and methods used in making the daggers, the special markings that adorn them, the differences between each region’s daggers, as well as the correct way to wear them.

Qasr Al Muwaiji is also running the ‘Al Barzah’ outdoor sessions every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday throughout January, enabling visitors and their families to experience a unique historical and modern setting that will introduce them to the cultural and heritage concept of the Emirati ‘Barzah’.

On 18 January, the venue will host ‘A Lens on History’, which will include workshops teaching the basics of photography, as well as highlighting the important role high-quality photographs play in preserving historical and archaeological sites, looking at the case of Qasr Al Muwaiji, where old photos have been the main source for its restoration process.

 

Al Qattara Arts Centre

Al Qattara Arts Centre is running ‘Art for A Better Life’ on 29 January, in collaboration with a local medical centre, to provide visitors and students with free physical examinations. The programme includes workshops on the importance of healthcare along with others in pottery, Arabic calligraphy and handicrafts.

On 26, 28 and 30 January, the Centre will host the ‘Young Archaeologist Programme’, organised by Al Ain Museum. The event will introduce students to archaeology by giving them hands-on experience of archaeological excavation along with a detailed explanation on how work is undertaken in archaeological sites.

Al Ain Palace Museum

Al Ain Palace Museum will host a series of events under the title of ‘My Heritage, My Responsibility’, which will highlight the traditions of old-style wedding ceremonies. The event includes a look at traditional Emirati fashion, the types of fabrics used in the past and the threads that were used in embroidery.

The Museum will also host cultural and awareness programmes on 21 January to highlight the vital role that Emirati women play in taking care of their homes while also not overlooking their own beauty through ‘Soughaty’, which will include workshops in preparing milk, millstone and melting ghee.

On 29 January, the ‘Mandus’ event is taking place, which will examine the life of Emirati men, showcasing their traditional clothes and various handicrafts, such as pottery. This event has attracted much interest recently because of the growing demand for pottery pieces and traditional ropes and wicker items.

Al Ain Palace Museum will also host morning workshops for students to increase their affiliation with national identity and other important cultural concepts, covering the likes of Al Mandus, Burqa, Fannar, wicker, and family ancestry, along with the the ‘Cultural Guide’ workshop on 21 January.

Al Ain Oasis

On 20 and 29 January, Al Ain Oasis is organising the ‘Agriculture Practices at the Oasis’ event to introduce visitors to the different plants, crops and trees grown there, and the agricultural techniques used in the past. On 22 January, the ‘Handicrafts at the Oasis’ event will showcase the handicrafts that feature in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.

From 30 January to 1 February, Al Ain Oasis will host ‘Weekend at the Oasis’, featuring numerous interactive activities including a farmers’ market, traditional oasis-inspired handicrafts, Emirati cooking, fun games, horse riding and bicycle tours through the oasis, an educational workshop on Falaj, and arts and crafts workshops for all ages.

All events and workshops are open to the public and are free of charge.

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