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Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan inaugurated the 10-day festival on Al Bahar Corniche. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi's first Maritime Heritage Festival, which is a celebration of the emirate’s rich maritime past, is proviong to be a big draw.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, inaugurated the ten-day festival on Al Bahar Corniche. Sheikh Khaled toured the festival workshops, musical performances and craft demonstrations and praised the efforts to promote and preserve UAE’s cultural heritage for future generations.

Highlight traditions

The event, which is organised by the emirate’s culture sector regulator, the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), will run until March 27. It will highlight practises such as sailing, ship-building, fishing, salting and pearl-diving.

Visitors will experience workshops, performances, craft demonstrations and heritage trails, as well as immersive stories of yesteryears as told by heritage experts, who will share stories and their deep knowledge of the crafts and skills that were part of traditional coastal life. A traditional souq, with a wide selection of food vendors, will also welcome visitors.

Shaping Abu Dhabi

“Maritime traditions are deeply embedded in Abu Dhabi’s culture. With the first-ever Maritime Heritage Festival, we are proudly sharing this vital element of our history with residents and visitors to raise awareness of our maritime practises, to celebrate our coastal history and to learn how it has shaped Abu Dhabi as we know it today,” said Saood Al Hosani, the DCT Abu Dhabi undersecretary.

In addition to allowing visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in the traditions and lifestyle of Abu Dhabi’s community of sailors and maritime craftspeople, the festival will recognise the sea’s still-vital economic and cultural role and will seek to develop partnerships to achieve sustainable fishing practises and conservation of marine resources.

The Maritime Heritage Festival is being presented by DCT Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Emirates Heritage Club, Abu Dhabi Fishermen’s Cooperative Society, Abu Dhabi Police, Maan, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Club, Abu Dhabi Falconers’ Club, Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Maritime, Abu Dhabi Marine, Qasr Al Hosn — House of Artisans, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, The National Aquarium, Zayed University, Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) — NYU Abu Dhabi.


Dh30 for adults

Dh15 for children aged five to 12 years


4pm to 11pm daily