Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi (extreme right) looks on as an Emirati woman weaves traditional 'talli' embroidery at Sharjah Heritage Days Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The culture of the UAE and 33 other countries has gone on show at the ‘Sharjah Heritage Days’ (SHD) festival, being held till March 28 at ‘Heart of Sharjah’ historic district.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Salem bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, inaugurated the 19th edition of SHD on Thursday evening under the slogan ‘Heritage and the Future’.

Upon his arrival, Sheikh Abdullah was received by folklore performances by the UAE and by the Republic of Armenia, the guest of honour for the current edition of the SHD, in addition to performances by other Arab and foreign teams.

Folk performers from Armenia, this year's guest of honour at the festival Image Credit: Supplied

Sheikh Abdullah toured the festival where he was briefed on the nature of the events and the various participations.

SHD is also presenting ‘Alkutubiyeen Market’ which offers for sale a wide range of vintage books and modern books with old editions, in addition to the bookbinding and restoration service on the spot.

During his tour, Sheikh Abdullah also visited several exhibitions which include four main exhibitions and 21 cultural programmes, starting with the exhibition ‘50 Years of Sultan’s Reign’.

The performances and artistic competitions form a major part of the 19th edition, witnessing the participation of 20 local bands, including teams made of Arab and foreign communities living in the UAE.

A traditional Emirati band at the event Image Credit: Supplied

Highlighting heritage 

Sharjah Heritage Days also dedicates part of its activities to the educational and cultural aspect. It includes 61 educational programmes, workshops, and lectures, on the importance of cultural heritage and cultural communication between nations and peoples.

The Sharjah Institute for Heritage was keen to present more than 20 publications and issue a daily news bulletin. Eight local publishers are participating in the event.

The SHD also is hosting ‘Children’s Village’, giving its young visitors daily workshops, and various programmes and competitions.

The events witness the active presence of several international organisations and local, Arab, and international leagues, represented by UNESCO, the International Council of Organizations of Folklore Festivals, and Folk Arts, in addition to 12 organisations and cultural centres from several different countries.

The UAE's seafaring traditions were also demonstrated at the opening of the event Image Credit: Supplied

In addition to the main events held in the Heart of Sharjah, the cities of the central and eastern regions of Sharjah will host some events, as Sharjah Heritage Days will also be held in Khorfakkan, Kalba, Dibba Al Hisn, Al Dhaid, and Al Hamriyah.

The opening was also attended by Sheikh Majid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Director of the District and Villages Affairs Department; Sheikh Salem bin Mohammed bin Salem Al Qasimi, Director of the Commerce and Tourism Development Authority; along with several senior officials, diplomats of foreign countries, and representatives of international organisations concerned with heritage and culture.