Summer camp for children on Al Sammaliah Island extended

ABU DHABI — The summer camp for local children on Al Sammaliah Island has been extended until the end of August.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 11 Aug 2006, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 6:08 PM

Traditionally, the two-month-long camp culminates in a festival on July 31.

"We really were so successful this year, that we decided to keep the activities on the island going for another month," said Mohamed Saad, media coordinator at Emirates Heritage Club (EHC).

The Club, under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and president of EHC, is the organiser of Sammaliah Summer Camp. According to Saad, the Club aims to revive the UAE national heritage. There is basic training on horse and camel riding as well as typical desert activities — shooting, singing, dancing and the art of preparing traditional Arabic coffee. The ladies branch of EHC is also present on the island, teaching young girls about decoration, traditional veil designs, henna and handcrafts.

Khaled Malkawi, an official of the Club, said that, in fact, all seven branches of the Club are participating in the island's programmes. "Apart from heritage activities, there are also scientific, cultural and sports ones," Malkawi told Khaleej Times.

These include the astronomy group, where children learn to recognise stars and constellations. The environment group is in charge of taking care of the island's plants, animals, birds and fish. Sport is very popular with the boys and they have plenty to choose from — football, karate, fencing, swimming, traditional rowing, sailing and yachting."

According to Malkawi, the EHC members are the main participants in the summer camp, but there are also other UAE organisations who send their kids here. "We also have children from Zayed House for the Comprehensive Care, the UAE Escort Association and the General Authority for Youth and Sports," said Malkawi.

He informed that the island is opened to the orphans of the UAE Red Crescent as well as students from the High Technology Collages and other universities.

So far, there were more than 1500 youngsters at this year's summer camp.

Encouraged by this high number of participants, Shaikh Sultan decided to extend the camp at Al Sammaliah until the beginning of school.

"He called us and said that the children of those families who are not going on holiday in August should have the opportunity to enjoy their time while learning something useful," explained Mohammed Saad.

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