Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has successfully concluded the Al Shindagha Days festival, a vibrant celebration of Emirati maritime heritage. Over ten days, the festival demonstrated the profound impact of the sea on community life, its captivating beauty, and its rich history presented to all community members. This event aligned seamlessly with Dubai Culture’s commitment to safeguarding and promoting the emirate’s heritage while bolstering its cultural tourism appeal.
The event, themed ‘Celebrating Our Culture of the Sea,’ offered visitors an immersive creative journey, inviting them to partake in a rich tapestry of traditional crafts. Attendees delved into the intricate art of boat-building, explored the craftsmanship behind sails and ropes, uncovered the age-old techniques for crafting ‘Gargour’ fishing nets, and gained insights into the meticulous process of pearl diving. They also had the unique opportunity to engage in the time-honoured practice of ‘Al Khoos waving.’ Additionally, participants were introduced to the well-guarded secrets of ‘Dukhoon making’ and Henna, among other activities. This underscores the Authority’s dedication to spotlighting the emirate’s sustainable maritime heritage and fostering a deeper connection between Dubai’s residents and the sea, all while celebrating the rich legacy of these handicrafts.
Al Shindagha Days festival included interactive workshops such as ‘Sail and Paint’, providing the public with an opportunity to experience creek life, learn about the life of fishermen, and explore their maritime equipment. The ‘Boat Building’ workshop aimed to enhance collaboration and instil a spirit of teamwork among participants, while the ‘Nahma Writing and Performing’ workshop helped visitors compose an ‘Al Nahma’. Children had the chance to experience building traditional boats during ‘Boat Tinkering’. Through the Sensory Fish Molding workshop, they were also educated about the local fish species living in the area.
Throughout the festival, local folk-art groups presented various artistic and folkloric performances inspired by traditional coastal music. The ‘Youth Theatre Arts’ showcased a play titled ‘Tawi Gubisha,’ written and directed by Marai Al Halyan, featuring actor Hassan Yousef. The visitors were also introduced to a range of older Emirati games, including ‘Al Guhaif, ‘Al Karabi’, and ‘Al Dusays.
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