Interacting with pearl divers, making perfumes: See what UAE's winter camps have in store for children this year

Children aged 8 to 16 are invited to learn and explore their creativity by taking part in interactive workshops, talks and other Emirati heritage-inspired activities


Lamya Tawfik

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Published: Mon 12 Dec 2022, 7:43 PM

Last updated: Tue 13 Dec 2022, 9:14 AM

Schools are on a winter break and many families are looking for ways to keep their little ones entertained. While there are many winter camps around the city, the ones organised by the Dubai Culture promise to connect children with the heritage of the UAE.

The first week of the 5-day camp started on Monday and will be repeated from December 19 to 23 in two locations: the Etihad Museum and Al Shindagha Museum. In both camps, children aged 8 to 16, are invited to learn and explore their creativity by taking part in interactive workshops, talks and other heritage-inspired activities.

“Winter camps with our museums play an important role in enhancing children’s connection with the Emirati heritage and history and introducing them to its customs and traditions. They also enable children to learn about the local heritage and its secrets and the importance of preserving and celebrating Emirati heritage as a source and inspiration for future generations,” said Muna Faisal Algurg, CEO of the Cultural & Heritage Sector at Dubai Culture.

The camp in Al Shindagha Museum is titled 'A Journey from the Land to the Sea,’ and over 5 days the children will go on a journey following the footsteps of their ancestors. On the first day, which will focus on falcons, they will learn about the national bird and its importance. Activities include falcon burqa decorations and a live encounter with a falcon. The second day will focus on camels and trade. During the day they will also encounter a live camel, learn about it and will try their hand at making perfumes.

The third day focuses on fishing, while the fourth day focuses on diving for pearls – where they will learn about oyster shucking to find pearls while meeting a pearl diver. The fifth day will focus on dhows and boat making. During the workshop children, will learn how to make a ‘gargoor' – the net used for fishing, and will learn about the origins of local customs and traditions.


Speaking to Khaleej Times, Abdalla Al Obeidli, manager of Specialised Museums and acting manager of Al Shindagha Open Museum, said that the camps are important for both local and expatriate children and that previous editions of the camps have been well received by parents. “Children in all schools are already learning about the UAE's culture and heritage so this is a great opportunity to see it live,” he said, adding that the camps are conducted in both languages, and that sometimes parents of non-Arabic speaking children are happy that their children are exposed to Arabic.

“These children will grow, and many will call the UAE their second home for a long time. Learning about the country’s culture will be beneficial for them throughout their lives,” he said.

Meanwhile, at the Etihad Museum, children will learn about national identity, history, the union and its achievement. The programme includes learning about the development of the Emirati passport, and children will learn about the country’s historical buildings which are located in the museum’s outdoor garden.

The camps are in alignment with the ‘World’s Coolest Winter’ 2022 initiative held under the theme ‘Our Heritage’, and are part of Dubai Culture’s commitment to invest in future generations by stimulating innovation, defining and preserving the richness of Emirati heritage, and enhancing its presence in the minds and souls of children.

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