A traditional Emirati dance being performed during the celebrations in Kalba, which included a programme of cultural and art activities. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Kalba: The 9th Sharjah’s Heritage Days kicked off at the Heritage Village in Kalba on Friday as part of celebrations planned across the emirate to mark the selection of Sharjah as Capital of Islamic Culture for 2014.

The Heritage Days are held in line with the directives of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to consolidate Sharjah’s rich cultural reputation as a beacon of culture and knowledge.

Held under the theme “Islamic Heritage - One Tent”, the Heritage Days featured a wide range of cultural and heritage events that highlight the UAE’s rich heritage and deep-rooted history with a focus on Sharjah’s internationally recognised cultural reputation as the Islamic Culture Capital.

The Heritage Days included a special programme of diverse cultural and art activities, specifically designed to mark the emirate’s title.

It involved folk dances and traditional songs that were performed by a number of folk groups representing Arab and Muslim communities.

The event was opened by Shaikh Haitham Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Deputy Chief of the Sharjah Ruler’s Office in Kalba, in the presence of a number of dignitaries and senior officials.

Shaikh Haitham thanked all the delegations and Arab bands as well as Arab and Muslim communities for their participation in the nationwide celebrations of Sharjah’s unique distincion.

The Heritage Village encompasses traditional markets, antique shops, and heritage, marine and agricultural corners, as well as a workshop on Arabic calligraphy that highlights Islamic culture in the UAE.

Hilal Al Naqbi, Chairman of the Kalba Municipal Council, said the events are in harmony with the emirate’s joyful celebrations. He underlined the younger generation’s need to know their tangible and intangible heritage better.

The Heritage days also hosted craft workshops where craftsmen and women demonstrated their traditional skills, as well as shops selling souvenirs, and displays of traditional women’s wear.

The event also featured cultural seminars, intellectual cafes, alongside the Emirati museum, which narrates a series of tales about grandfathers and the challenges they faced in the past to earn a living.

A number of members of Arab and Muslim diplomatic corps, officials from Arab, Muslim and other friendly countries, senior officials from Sharjah government and Kalba Municipality and the Municipal Council were present at the event.

The writer is a trainee at Gulf News