UAE: Heritage Village at Sheikh Zayed Festival showcases traditional Emirati culture

Visitors can explore replicas of the four main environments - desert, marine, mountain, and agricultural - where the local civilisation first settled

Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Mon 30 Jan 2023, 4:09 PM

The Heritage Village, located at the heart of the Sheikh Zayed Festival grounds, showcases the UAE’s heritage through a replica of the four main environments where the Emirati civilisation first settled and flourished: the marine environment, the desert environment, the mountain environment, and the agricultural environment. Each replica gives visitors glimpses of early life in the UAE through life-sized mock-ups that were created to reflect the realities of these environments.

The Heritage Village, which bears the message "Hayakom", meaning “Welcome” in Emirati dialect, is designed with unique traditional architecture. The gates are models of military building designs from ancient times that served as protection from outside threats.

The Heritage Village is also an exceptional stop that takes visitors away from the present world and transport them to the simplicity of life in early times, with their mud and palm leaf houses that evokes nostalgia and conjures interest in the roots of UAE culture.

The Heritage Village is the fruit of cooperation between several government bodies that aim to preserve and showcase Emirati culture to the public. These include the General Women's Union that provides women's workshops by several female experts in traditional handicrafts using yarn mills and weaving to produce a variety of textiles. Another participating government entity is the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, which focuses on showcasing products made by “citizen families” of its humanitarian programs. The Heritage Village is a perfect opportunity to promote the products by these families and hold traditional food competitions.

The Heritage Village also features a UAE Heritage Studio that allows tourists and visitors to take memorable photos in traditional Emirati clothing for both women and men. The studio offers a traditional grocery shop, “Al Dukan”, which features all kinds of old food items that are nostalgic to Emiratis, and a henna tinting station where visitors can experience application of the oldest and most common cosmetic substance that is still in use today.


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