Omran Abdul Rahim Al Zarooni (right) and Walid Obaid Ali explain an air rescue operation to visitors at the Al Dhafra Festival on Wednesday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Members of the public are being given the chance to learn everything they would like to know about the Ministry of Interior and the various departments within it.

The Ministry of Interior Village, located alongside the traditional souq in the Al Dhafra Camel Festival, has already welcomed many visitors since the festival's launch on Saturday.

Running until December 28, the yearly event is organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH).

"This began as a simple idea — to showcase our efforts and the diverse departments that exist within the ministry in an open and friendly environment… we have over 26 departments participating from all across the UAE," Colonel Hussain Al Awadi, chairman of the village's organising committee and its general supervisor, commented.

"In addition to the booths, we will be organising competitions, activities and awareness discussions for visitors as well as a parade of military vehicles every evening and performances by the police music band.

"After the festival ends, the awareness village will move to Al Ain, followed by Dubai and the Northern Emirates," he added.

Different departments

Visitors can not only learn about the role of different departments, such as the civil defence and community police but will also be given an opportunity to see a special exhibition that shows the evolution of the UAE's police uniforms from the mid-sixties while children will be given the chance to dress up in a uniform and get themselves photographed.

"My son, Seth, had a hard time choosing between the different uniforms before he finally settled on the desert camouflage military uniform…he loved that got to dress up and be photographed, it's a great souvenir of his experience here," Anna Jackson, an Australian expatriate who is an English teacher at a private school, said.

Addition to handicrafts

Other unique elements include works created by inmates at Sharjah prisons, including model boats, decorated tables and chests in addition to handicrafts. Other departments, such as the air wing section, also indicated their keenness at participating in the village, especially since not many are aware of their presence and how they contribute to various emergency situations.

‘Raising awareness'

"We've spoken to not only visitors to the village but also other Ministry of Interior representatives who weren't aware of our department… it's great that there are platforms such as this that allow us to not only raise awareness about us but also showcase the equipment and techniques we use, such as when we are conducting sea rescues or when we have to transport an emergency medical case to a hospital," Walid Al Ali, a crewman within the department, said.