Ajman Heritage Festival
Organisers said the festival’s primary goal is to showcase the Emirate of Ajman’s rich cultural heritage, thereby improving the overall visitor experience and highlighting the emirate’s tourist and cultural attractions. Image Credit: WAM

Ajman: The inaugural Ajman Folklore Festival, themed “Ajman...embracing history and identity”, is set to take place from April 19 to 21, 2024.

The event, a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Culture, the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, the Rewaq Ousha Bint Hussein Cultural Centre, and the MTG Events Organising Company, aims to enhance heritage and cultural awareness within the Emirate of Ajman.

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It is being held under the patronage of Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of Ajman Executive Council.

The announcement was made during a press conference hosted by the Rewaq Ousha Bint Hussein Cultural Centre, with representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, Dr. Mouza Ghubash, the festival’s president, and MTG company representatives.

Dr. Ghubash, Chairwoman of the Rewaq Ousha Bint Hussein Cultural Centre, expressed her gratitude for the collaborative efforts of the Ministry of Culture and the Ajman Department of Tourism Development in organising the festival, aimed at showcasing the diverse and vibrant cultural heritage of Ajman.

Dr. Ghubash said the upcoming festival holds a special significance in helping preserve cultural and historical identity, and foster awareness among young people regarding folklore and heritage. The festival also serves as a dynamic platform, offering young individuals the chance to explore and delve into their folk heritage through artistic displays and a range of traditional performances showcased throughout the event, she added.

Peace, tolerance

Moreover, incorporating regional and global heritage into the festival fosters cultural exchange among communities, promotes mutual understanding between diverse cultures and societies, and deepens their appreciation for the value of diversity in enriching human civilisation.

Ultimately, such initiatives contribute to fostering peace and tolerance among peoples.

A key focus of this festival is to spotlight the ancient heritage of the Emirate of Ajman, utilising the festival as a platform to exhibit its distinctive cultural and artistic legacy.

These events play a pivotal role in preserving Emirati heritage and passing it down to younger generations, thereby reinforcing national identity and nurturing cultural exchange within the community. It also represents a valuable chance to enhance cultural awareness and promote cultural and global engagement.

Diverse cultural heritage

Dr. Muna Al Suwaidi, programmes and projects advisor at the Ministry of Culture, affirmed that the Ministry of Culture hosts the Ajman Folklore Festival at the Creative Centre in Ajman.

“This participation aligns with the Ministry’s objective of promoting the preservation and safeguarding of cultural heritage, the Arabic language, and national identity. The festival is part of our ongoing efforts to promote cultural exchange and mutual understanding among peoples, fostering cooperation and peaceful coexistence.

It serves as an excellent platform to showcase the diverse cultural heritage and folk arts from around the globe, representing our shared human identity. We warmly invite everyone to join this distinguished event and celebrate these cultural festivities together with us.”

Heritage showcase

Abdulaziz Al Mahri, official representative of the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, said that the festival’s primary goal is to showcase the Emirate of Ajman’s rich cultural heritage, thereby improving the overall visitor experience and highlighting the emirate’s tourist and cultural attractions.

He also emphasised the department’s ongoing commitment to supporting cultural and artistic initiatives, as well as promoting cultural interaction and exchange within society, aligning with the vision outlined in Ajman Vision 2030.

The festival’s goals encompass emphasising the significance of cross-cultural communication between Arab and international communities, showcasing local Emirati folklore, conserving local, international, and Arab heritage and culture.

The festival also boasts a diverse and extensive programme:

Day 1

On its inaugural day, Emirati folklore activities are lined up, featuring the opening of an art exhibition and a display of vintage collectibles both indoors and at external kiosks on inaugural day. Emirati folk performances like Al-Ayyala and Al-Yawla, as well as workshops on wicker painting and candle making, will also take place. There will be an Emirati artist’s gathering and a symposium on Nabati poetry, concluding with the announcement of the winners of the competition for the most captivating Nabati poem about Ajman.

Day 2

This day will feature an enchanting display of Arab folklore, with a lively folk dance performance representing countries like Palestine, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, and Yemen.

Adding to the ambience will be the rhythmic drumming of artist Muhammad Karazon, complemented by popular songs from each nation.

Furthermore, attendees can participate in a workshop focused on Palestinian embroidery and explore an exhibition showcasing folkloric costumes from various Arab countries tailored for adults.

There will be a competition highlighting the most exquisite folkloric costume for children, along with a captivating artistic concert by the Syrian folkloric band Takat.

Day 3

Captivating folk dances featuring multiple international groups, including Circassian, Chinese, Indian, Korean, Turkish, and others will be featured. Additionally, there will be an exhibition of international folklore costumes.

The festival will also welcome Uzbek artist Azam Shek and announce the winners of a competition for the most beautiful international or Arab heritage painting. A Chinese teaching workshop will also be held as part of the day’s activities.