First maritime heritage festival celebrating sea sets sail in Abu Dhabi

Event features daily fishing activities, tantalising seafood, souq, workshops, performances, music, storytelling, and more



Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurates the Abu Dhabi Maritime Heritage Festival. Supplied photo
Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurates the Abu Dhabi Maritime Heritage Festival. Supplied photo
by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 5:11 PM

The first-ever Abu Dhabi Maritime Heritage Festival, celebrating the cultural traditions that have centred on the sea, has started at Corniche’s Al Bahar.

With re-enactments of daily fishing activities, fish auction, tantalising seafood, live demonstration, souq, workshops, performances, music and storytelling, visitors can get to know why the sea is at the heart of Abu Dhabi’s culture, society and economy.

The festival showcases the emirate’s rich maritime heritage, including sailing and ship building, fishing and salting, pearl diving, and more. Through several activities, it aims to promote sustainable management of marine resources.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurated the festival.

Sheikh Khaled toured the workshops, musical performances and craft demonstrations, and praised their efforts to promote and preserve UAE cultural heritage for future generations.

Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary, Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi) noted that maritime traditions are deeply embedded in Abu Dhabi’s culture.

“With the first-ever Maritime Heritage Festival, we are proudly sharing this vital element of our history with residents and visitors to raise awareness of our maritime practices, to celebrate our coastal history, and to learn how it has shaped Abu Dhabi as we know it today.”

Among the highlights of the festival are the Abu Dhabi Fishermen Cooperative Society showcasing the skills and traditions of the fishing community that feeds the city, traditional games by the Emirates Heritage Club, which will include everything from hand-to-hand wrestling, known as Al Mutaraha, to Al Tabba – like baseball but played with palm fronds and dates.

The festival features a rowing tournament, Police Championship for Heritage Games Finals, falconry by Abu Dhabi Falconers Club among others.

Also, heritage experts will share their stories and knowledge of the crafts and skills that were part of traditional coastal life.

Organised by the DCT – Abu Dhabi, the festival will run till March 27 from 4pm to 11pm. Entry fee is Dh30 for adults and Dh15 for children aged 5 to 12, and tickets can be bought through admaritimefest.ae.

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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