Abu Dhabi: Did you know that Emirati culture is divided into four distinct features?
Each one represents the heritage of four separate environments — the coast, mountains, desert and agriculture.
The heritage and history of the people of the UAE’s coastal areas is on display at the Sheikh Zayed Festival in Al Wathba area of Abu Dhabi Emirate till March 9, offering visitors a chance to explore and experience the aspects of this unique culture.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club in the Heritage Village area of the Festival, the Emirati maritime heritage on display is a window into the local way of life in the era before the discovery of oil, which transformed the country rapidly.
Visitors can see the marine tools and have their questions answered, such as how the traditional boats were made, equipment for sailing, and weaving of fishing nets such as ‘lekhs’. There made in the past from spinning threads, and they embody the skill of the craftsmen in making identical openings in the nets, which were sized according to the sizes of the fish being sought. The lekh was used for fishing by placing it upright on the seabed.
Also on show are ropes and diving tools for extracting pearls, tools for splitting open oysters, and much more.
The exhibition also aims to preserve seafaring traditions and express love for the culture of earlier generations.
Majid Ateeq Al Muhairi, Director of the Marine Sports Department at the Abu Dhabi Marine Sports Club, said the Sheikh Zayed Festival represents an “integrated arena for a cultural carnival” that presents the different aspects of Emirati heritage to visitors and demonstrates the skills used in the various industries, suited for the environment they were in.
He added that life in the marine environment, despite its simplicity, was characterised by “precision, high professionalism, and professionalism” in the manufacture of tools, especially ships, bearings, and sails.
The exhibits also showcases the means of earning a living and travelling in the pre-oil era in the coastal settlements — such as pearl diving, fishing and maritime trade.