The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi showcases Abu Dhabi’s cultural agenda
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi showcases Abu Dhabi’s cultural agenda Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) presented the city’s five-year Culture Sector Strategy to officials, specialists and media on Thursday at the Abu Dhabi Cultural Agenda exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

DCT Abu Dhabi developed the emirate’s Culture Sector Strategy with the aim of strengthening the foundations and infrastructure of Abu Dhabi’s cultural ecosystem. As part of its strategy, five key objectives have been set - to preserve and sustain Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage; to increase awareness of, and engagement with, cultural heritage and the arts, to stimulate creativity as a driver for education and social change, to build and enable capacity in Abu Dhabi’s culture sector, and lastly, to contribute to economic growth and diversification.

Major efforts have been made to protect and activate both the emirate’s heritage and its historic Environment, while at the same time positioning Abu Dhabi as a global city through cutting-edge modern cultural projects.

A significant achievement for the protection of intangible heritage has been the successful inscription of eight elements on the UNESCO Lists of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the work and dossiers for six of which were led by the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The inscribed heritage elements are Falconry, Al Sadu (weaving), Al Ayyala (traditional group performance), Al Taghrooda (poetry), Gahwa (Arabic coffee), Majlis (council gathering), Al Azi and Al Razfa (both traditional performing arts).

DCT Abu Dhabi’s work in preserving the emirate’s historic environment has included the inscription of several important historic sites in Al Ain onto the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Jebel Hafit, Hili, and Bidaa bint Saud; as well as the six Al Ain oases, of which Al Ain Oasis is open to the public. The extensive excavation, documentation and protection of Abu Dhabi’s significant archaeological sites, including Marawah, Baynunah, and Sir Bani Yas, among many others, has taken place.

In addition to preserving the heritage of the ancient past, DCT Abu Dhabi is pioneering a new initiative for the conservation of the emirate’s modern heritage. The initiative aims to identify, evaluate and assess the significance and condition of Abu Dhabi’s post-oil heritage and to develop recommendations, guidelines, regulations, financial and non-financial incentives to celebrate, protect, and maintain the recent history of urban development of Abu Dhabi.

Another strategic objective for the culture sector is to increase awareness of, participation in and engagement with cultural heritage and the arts. DCT Abu Dhabi is leveraging arts, culture, and heritage to engage the younger generations and all segments of the community, and creating policies to build and nurture the sector.

Initiatives that have successfully positioned Abu Dhabi on the global stage include Abu Dhabi Art, which attracts more than 75,000 participants annually to its year-round programming events. The fair itself draws 12,000 visitors each year. CultureSummit Abu Dhabi continues its strategic collaboration with global partners, with the 2019 event seeing 488 participants from around the world come together to brainstorm ways that culture can help solve some of the world’s most pressing issues.