This year’s edition includes folklore, marine melodies, and courses on how to prepare and cut Al Maleh (salted) fish Image Credit: WAM

Sharjah: The ninth edition of Al Maleh and Fishing Festival was officially inaugurated on Thursday at Dibba Al Hisn, bringing together several private entities and shops selling Al Maleh (salted) fish.

Organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) in collaboration with the Dibba Al Hisn Municipality and Municipal Council, the four-day event will run until September 11 and celebrate maritime heritage in Dibba Al Hisn and Sharjah.

The opening ceremony was attended by Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, chairman of the SCCI, and Sheikh Majid bin Sultan bin Saqr Al Qasimi, head of the Department of Suburbs and Villages Affairs in Sharjah, senior directors of federal and local government departments in the city, and representatives of ministries and entities taking part in the festival.

Al Owais stressed that the much-awaited event has evolved into a venue for enthusiasts of the Al Maleh industry, a genuine component of the Emirati heritage known for its culinary industries and traditional and folk crafts.

Ancient legacy

“With every new edition, Sharjah Chamber, in association with the Dibba Al Hisn Municipality and Municipal Council and other partners, makes every effort to deliver an exceptional event. This has resulted in the festival becoming one of the region’s most unique heritage and tourism exhibitions specialising in the Al Maleh industry, and one of the key initiatives to preserve such an ancient legacy,” he said.

“Through this festival, we look forward to supporting companies and productive families that still work in traditional professions while also introducing younger generations to their country’s heritage.”

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Talib Abdullah Al Yahyai, director of Dibba Al Hisn City Municipality, said: “The ninth edition of the festival is witnessing an impressive turnout of various government departments in the city, in addition to shops specialising in the Al Maleh industry, and several fishermen and productive families.”

He noted that this year’s edition includes various activities, folklore, traditional and marine melodies, and training courses on how to prepare and cut Al Maleh fish.

For the four-day event, a group of researchers with expertise in maritime heritage will participate in dialogue sessions. They will speak about issues related to marine industries, navigational crafts, and traditional fishing tools.

Workshops and engaging activities will introduce visitors to the basics of making Al Maleh, including how to salt it and pack it. The festival welcomes visitors every day from 9am to 9pm.