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Protecting UAE’s intangible cultural heritage

Hamdan Bin Mohammad Heritage Centre concludes the third and final Unesco Workshop that stresses on reviving cultural riches

Gulf News

Dubai: Hamdan Bin Mohammad Heritage Centre (HHC) has concluded its third and final workshop in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) within the framework of the 2003 Unesco Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH).

The Unesco workshops aim to conserve and highlight the intangible cultural heritage of countries.

“This final workshop [assumes] a new level in safeguarding plans in ICH and we will put into immediate action the development of inventorying plans in collaboration with our local communities,” said Abdullah Hamdan bin Dalmook, CEO of Hamdan Bin Mohammad Heritage Centre. “As a result of this workshop, we have merged our expertise on the national level with international best practices.”

The third Unesco workshop titled ‘Developing Safeguarding Plans for Preserving Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in Dubai’ was attended by 20 participants from HHC and concluded on Thursday.

“Our journey in preserving, sustaining and reviving the country’s intangible heritage begun back in 2001 in the form of championships, research and studies, and activities, but after this workshop, we aspire to continue inventorying the elements of UAE’s intangible cultural heritage especially the ones that need urgent safeguarding. Hopefully, we will build new models based on our best practices”, he added.

The participants were divided into two groups, each chose one element of intangible heritage covering: “Al Maleh”, which is a national recipe of salted fish, and “Al Sefafah” (palm fronds weaving).

The two groups managed to build real-life models of how to sustain, empower local communities and highlight necessary support measures to safeguard the practices on a bigger scale — within the objectives of ICH.