Bid to promote Dubai of yore

DUBAI — Tourists to Dubai will now be more informed and better placed to discover the hidden treasures of the Emirate's history and culture as Sahary Gate, a place where visitors can discover the real culture and traditions of the UAE, opened its headquarters in the heritage district of Al Bastakiya last night.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 20 Apr 2006, 11:10 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:52 PM

The headquarters was opened at the hands of Hussain Lootah, Acting Director-General of Dubai Municipality. The event coincided with the UAE's National Heritage Day, on 18th of April 2006.

Emphasising the importance of Al Bastakiya, as being an important district of National Cultural and Historical Heritage and a great asset to the tourism essence of Dubai, Lootah said: "This place mirrors the wholesome life of our esteemed forefathers, who laid the foundation for the progress we are witnessing today, through their diligence and hard work."

Lootah said the people of Dubai are as proud of their heritage as they are of their present. "It is no secret that we all wish for Dubai's tourists and guests to come to Al Bastakiya to see for themselves the greatness of Dubai's past and its connection to our present and future," he added.

Sahary Gate selected Al Bastakiya as the root for its organisation and new headquarters because of the uniqueness of the location, said Leila Arbouz, Head of the Sahary Gate project. "It lies in the very heart of the city's traditional downtown where every stone in every old house tells of this nation's rich legacy. The whole district has a very special ambience that is truly inspirational to our whole project," she said.

In its very cosy traditional atmosphere, one can almost see the old days where Dubai took root and grew into where it is today, Arbouz said. "All you need do is close your eyes, perhaps over a cup of coffee or even look up from reading a book in our tranquillity and you can easily see and enjoy the deep-rooted beauty of ancient Dubai," she added.

Sahary Gate will use its unique location at Al Bastakiya to promote the social values and traditions of the local culture. The project team is already working hard to enhance cultural exchange and spread awareness of the real Dubai rich deep-rooted customs and values among foreign tourists and visitors.

Sahary Gate also showcases traditional paintings by well-known artists along with images of various historical locations and attractions in Dubai and the UAE. All this makes Sahary Gate a place of cultural treasures lying in the heart of Dubai well worth a visit for those wishing to learn more about the UAE and its past.

"We have an international team of professional staff including photographers, guides and lecturers who are always at hand to clarify all kinds of aspects of local Arab heritage and social customs, for our visitors and clients" Arbouz said.

Basing itself at Al Bastakiya, Sahary Gate has a role of an integrated tourist hub providing a heavy punch to the high quality tourism services industry, ranging from co-ordinating collective tours and voyages to tailoring in-bound and out-bound journeys for businessmen and tourist groups who come to Dubai for entertainment or to enjoy the great natural diversity of the rolling desert plains or the uneven beauty of mountains and blue seas.

Sahary Gate also provides professional training in tourist management for those who work in the tourist sector.

"We just want everybody who comes here to have a better impression about the UAE, to communicate more with local people, and to know more about their habits, traditional lifestyles and the places they used to dwell in and most of all to enjoy and remember the true essence of hospitality and friendliness, forever," Arbouz said.

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