Packed December schedule announced for Al Ain Cultural Programme

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is organising a series of family-friendly events and interactive workshops in historic Al Ain venues this December, as part of the Al Ain Cultural Programme. Taking place at Al Jahili Fort, Al Qattara Arts Centre, Al Ain Palace Museum, Qasr Al Muwaiji and Al Ain Oasis, the programme includes heritage, folklore, artistic and cultural events for all ages.

Qasr Al Muwaiji

Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, will host a family-friendly falconry event on 6 December, to celebrate the traditions of the region’s ancient sport. The activity is inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and is still widely practiced in the Emirates. The event includes a series of interactive workshops and training sessions, teaching participants about the principles of falconry and its historical and cultural significance in the UAE and wider Gulf region.

A musical show on 12 December, in collaboration with Bait Al Oud, will see a wide selection of music from different cultures performed to reinforce the values of tolerance and peaceful coexistence amongst all members of Emirati society.

Al Ain Palace Museum

To celebrate the value of tolerance, Al Ain Palace Museum will host its ‘Cultural Connection’ event from 14-15 December. The event will highlight the peaceful cultural coexistence apparent in the UAE, and feature cultural customs and traditions from countries around the world. There will also be a series of workshops designed specifically for children and performing arts from participating countries.

With an aim to instil pride in national identity and Emirati heritage, the museum will organise the weeklong ‘Al Ain Palace Museum Winter Camp’ from 22-26 December. The event will develop students’ life skills and promote the cultural sites of Al Ain.

Al Jahili Fort

Al Jahili Fort will host a number of activations on 2 December marking the UAE’s 48th National Day and celebrating the noble values which are deeply rooted in the UAE’s national identity. A programme celebrating the best of Emirati culture will see visitors enjoy heritage workshops, performing arts, traditional food, sports, and games, and more.

The Fort will also host ‘The Trucial Scout’, an exhibition of artefacts dating back from the 1950s, which are on loan from the Armed Forces Museum & Military History Centre in Abu Dhabi.  On show from 8-29 December, the exhibited items narrate the era of the Trucial Scouts in Al Jahili Fort, which at the time was the headquarters of the military force that strived to enhance security in the region. Each Saturday during its run, the programme includes tours and a number of talks with military officers who served at that time.

The Sharjah National Theatre Company will screen the Emirati play ‘Majareeh’ on 27 December, which focuses on the values of tolerance and beauty.

Al Qattara Arts Centre

Al Qattara Arts Centre will host the ‘Al Qattara Cinema Programme’, which will commence on 13 December with a screening of the short film ‘Lemon’ by Abdul Rahman Al Madani, followed by the documentary ‘Hamama’ directed by Nujoom Alghanem.

The centre will also host the first edition of ‘Makhaweer’ on 28 December, dedicated to celebrating the world of fashion and jewellery. The event will include a number of expert designers including Shamsa Al Muhairi, traditional fashion specialist; Aisha Al Jabri, traditional jewellery specialist; and Mona Al Muhairi, Emirati Abaya specialist.  The event aims to introduce visitors to fashion styles and trends followed by Emirati women over the years up until the present day.

Al Ain Oasis

The UNESCO World Heritage site of Al Ain Oasis will host the event ‘Travel Through Our Traditions’ on 14 December. Participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a rich cultural experience that will introduce them to the local customs and traditions for selling and buying goods in the UAE, where they will also identify the distinctive style and urban character of old markets.

‘Weekends at the Oasis’ will take place from 19-21 December, offering a farmer’s market, traditional oasis-inspired handicrafts, Emirati cooking demonstrations, interactive games, horseback riding and bicycle tours through the oasis. Also on offer will be an educational workshop on Falaj as well as various arts and crafts workshops for all ages and abilities.

All events and workshops in the Al Ain Cultural programme are free to attend and open to the public.

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