Emirati women present their artwork during the festival at Mushrif National Park Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As the first edition of the 10-day Ferjan Festival in Dubai prepares to conclude tomorrow, March 19, Alia Al Shamlan, the founder and CEO of the festival organiser Ferjan Dubai, has shared how the event has brought together communities of diverse talents and interests.

Ferjan Dubai is a social and voluntary enterprise that aims to enhance social communication among the residents of different neighbourhoods in Dubai through virtual platforms.

It has launched, in cooperation with Dubai Municipality, the debut session of Ferjan Festival under the theme ‘Among the Ghaf’ at Mushrif National Park in Dubai.

The festival seeks to strengthen the bonds of community between the neighbours in the various neighbourhoods of Dubai through a number of various activities that suit all family members.

Emirati identity

Alia Al Shamlan

Alia said: “Ferjan Festival comes within the framework of the initiative’s endeavour to consolidate community cohesion and elements of national identity and support talents and entrepreneurs within residential neighbourhoods in Dubai, with the aim of enhancing social and family cohesion.”

She pointed out that the festival focuses on successful Emirati projects under the the principle of Al Fareej (The Neighbourhood), which reflects positively on preserving the authentic Emirati heritage and strengthening the national identity.

Alia added: “Dubai public parks were chosen because they are fully prepared to receive various community events that suit all age groups. Mushrif National Park was chosen in cooperation with Dubai Municipality, which is always keen to support initiatives aimed at strengthening the bonds of friendship and happiness among all members of society, and which works to spread and strengthen values in order to preserve identity and raise awareness of the Emirati heritage.”

‘Among the Ghaf’

The choice of the slogan ‘Among the Ghaf’ embodies the keenness to mix the past and the present, as the park is characterised by its extensive containment of Ghaf trees, which are among the national trees of the UAE. Alia said they symbolise of steadfastness and coexistence in the desert.

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Diverse projects

Ferjan Festival allocates ample space to display the products and creative ideas of the people of the neighbourhoods, which contributes to the development of their projects, supplementing their income and acquiring new skills.

The activities of the participating projects vary between traditional Emirati food and handicrafts, such as the manufacture of perfumes and incense, and heritage activities that seek to revive the folklore and preserve the heritage of the ancestors in a framework linking the past and the present, so that the festival becomes a meeting place for the Emirati family.

UAE nationals participate in an activity at the event Image Credit: Supplied


The Festival also organises artistic workshops to teach children and adults multiple ways to express themselves through brushes and colours. These workshops seek to enhance creativity among children and youth through a set of artistic practices that contribute to building skills and talents in the world of drawing and composition.

There was no shortage of workshops and games for younger participants Image Credit: Supplied

Additionally, the festival reveals the creativity of the participants in preparing dishes that vary between local, Arabic and international recipes, through the cooking challenge event in which the neighbourhoods’ residents display different tastes and flavours.

The event also witnesses photography competitions, where participants compete to show the “true picture of life” within the neighbourhoods of Dubai, which contributes to supporting the artistic and cultural movement, preserving and documenting heritage, and presenting it to the recipients through various multimedia means.

Furthermore, the festival also provides an opportunity for talents in singing and music to display and highlight their creativity to the festival’s audience through musical evenings that evoke the heritage of cultural performances.

Alia said: “The festival has achieved great success since its first day, and was attended by a large number of different neighbourhoods’ residents. The initiative was keen to provide a family atmosphere full of activities and entertainment programs that suit all family members.