Dubai/ Abu Dhabi: The sensual tango was recently granted protected cultural status by the United Nations, leaving residents wondering if their own heritage could also be protected.

Some residents said that all traditions are equally important and nobody can judge which heritage is important for humanity and that all intangible heritages have the right to be protected.

The tango emerged as a dance style in the lower-class districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the 1890s, and its popularity soon spread to America and Europe.

On September 30, Unesco's Intergovernmental Committee of Intangible Heritage decided to grant tango dance and music protected cultural status, and it is now part of Unesco's traditions worth safeguarding for humanity.

Other UN protected traditions include India's Vedic chanting and Japan's Kabuki theatre.

City Talk took to the streets and asked residents what other intangible heritage they think should be protected and why.

Ahmad Yahya, a sales executive from Syria, 28, said: "The debbke dance, that is a dance always done at weddings, parties or whenever friends are invited over to each other's houses.

"The debbke of Syria is a bit different than that of Lebanon but they both need a minimum of seven people and have the same basic steps, which are repeated."

Cora Aligarbes, service staff, the Philippines, 43, said: "The Tinikling danc, which is a dance in the Philippines that is performed when there is a programme in a school, or a festival. The dance requires us to use two sticks of a bamboo, one person on one end, the other person on the other end, and they are both dancing. I feel it should be internationally known and culturally accredited like the tango. Even in dance clubs you can see people dance the tango, which makes me wonder, why not commercialise other dances from other countries alongside."

Esmail Ebrahim Al Khalil, a marketing manager, Egypt, said: "Each nation has its unique intangible cultural heritage that people are recognised through. It's very important to safeguard one's cultural heritage especially in this time of globalisation to keep one's sense of identity. In Egypt we have a number of heritages that identify us and that have been going from one generation to the other.

"We have lots of folkloric dances with folkloric costumes, like the stick dance in Upper Egypt and the semsemeya dance in the canal cities. There's also the tanoura dance with the colourful costume and the famous belly dancing. We also have different rituals in celebrating different occasions like celebrating newly borns on their seventh day with seven grains that are thought to bring blessings to them."

Abeer M.K., an architect from Lebanon, 25, said: "A person's morals in general are intangible, and that is more important than culture, even though culture plays a huge role in the making of a person. Intangible is also considered knowledge; the word itself does not have to be materialistic."

Businessman Shailaish Loco from India, said: "I believe every piece of heritage regardless of its tangibility should be protected from extinction. I do not think that we humans are in that place of power, where we get to decide whose heritage is worth saving for future generations. Every individual is going to be selfish in the preservation of their heritage, deeming its value over others.

"It is like asking individuals among billions why someone's heritage is worth preserving for others to look upon, whereas at the same time why others heritage is deemed to extinction due to unworthy factors voted by the general public. Nobody should have the power to decide which aspects of various countries' heritage is worth preserving, and there must be assistance in preserving all heritage from around the world, regardless of any bias. Hence, all intangible heritage must be protected."

Essam Mohie, an Egyptian sales adviser, 26, said: "The hospitality of Egyptians is one of a kind, and that is our intangible cultural heritage that should be protected. Egypt is different than any other Arab country because of our hospitality. Whoever visits will love it because everyone is always smiling and happy with the simple pleasures of life. The art of Egyptian hospitality is passed from parents to their children, and they also teach them the importance of being a genuine person."

Flor Ponce, a promoter from the Philippines, 32, said: "The Tinikling dance is the most famous dance in the Philippines, which I hope stays around forever... It is a very popular dance that is performed on special occasions like a national holiday, and is carried out in schools or on the streets."

Is this the right way to keep traditions alive? What intangible heritage do you think should be protected? Why?