Emirati travelers enjoy visa-free entry to Russia. In 2023, Moscow welcomed over 42,000 tourists from the UAE. Image Credit: Supplied

The five-day 'Days of UAE Culture', held at Manezhnaya Square, a central location for Moscow's "Summer in Moscow" project, has successfully concluded. The event offered a rich program designed to introduce the city's residents and visitors to the UAE's national heritage.

Following the opening ceremony, attendees were treated to a showcase of traditional Emirati wedding customs. The audience witnessed a bride adorned in a beautiful gown, accompanied by women, as they proceeded to the groom's house for ceremonial rituals. One such tradition, the 'Ayala,' involves participants forming two lines facing each other, singing and dancing together to the rhythm of drums and tambourines.

Throughout the event, visitors enjoyed a variety of experiences:

• Performances by Al Otaiba and Al Mazyoud bands

• A fashion show featuring Emirati music

• Tastings of traditional Emirati treats and popular dishes

• Displays showcasing the country's crafts and landmarks

• The opportunity to get a temporary henna tattoo

• A captivating photo exhibition capturing the beauty of the UAE

The festival attracted a significant audience, with over 40,000 attendees on the opening night alone, and a total exceeding 300,000 throughout the five days.

This cultural exchange program is envisioned as part of a larger series of reciprocal events fostering bilateral cooperation between Russia and the UAE. This initiative aligns with the strategic dialogue established between Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC).

Tourism ties between the two nations are also flourishing. Emirati travelers enjoy visa-free entry to Russia. In 2023, Moscow welcomed over 42,000 tourists from the UAE. As of early February, there were 150 weekly flights connecting the Russian capital to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.

Moscow is a major tourist destination, not just within Russia but internationally. In 2023, the city attracted 2.3 million foreign visitors, primarily from China, India, CIS countries, and the Middle East. To strengthen international relations, Moscow actively participates in relevant international exhibitions and organizes events aimed at foreign audiences. This year alone, a business mission to the UAE was held in February, followed by the Moscow delegation's participation in the ATM exhibition in Dubai in May.