Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced its policy for organising traditional and artistic performances in the emirate, which includes the award of Traditional Bands Certificates, accrediting traditional performing arts bands and troupes complying with requirements set out by DCT Abu Dhabi.

The policy presents the requirements for all traditional bands and troupes performing Al Ayyala, Al Razfa, Al Azi, Al Shallat, Al Tagrouda, Al Mankous, Al Nahma, Al Ahalla and other traditional performing arts. The move falls in line with DCT Abu Dhabi’s efforts to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage and ensure its proper representation.

The policy is the result of ongoing studies to survey, identify, document, interpret and promote intangible cultural elements, and is based on previously developed heritage preservation regulations and policies. It covers the hosting of traditional performances during official and celebratory events such as festivals, national events and weddings in Abu Dhabi by defining the standards and requirements to ensure proper representation of Emirati heritage, such as adherence to wearing national dress and fulfilling quality requirements for every performance.

DCT Abu Dhabi accredits traditional bands in Abu Dhabi after a thorough evaluation process, awarding them a Traditional Bands Certificate based on the skills of the troupes and their compliance with all requirements in accordance with DCT Abu Dhabi policies.

The accreditation criteria include assigning a management team consisting of a director, a poet and a coordinator to ensure the necessary governance of all activities and tasks, as well as demonstrating their mastery of the performance skills and ability to authentically represent the emirate's heritage.

DCT Abu Dhabi has updated the terms and conditions for licensing events in the emirate to ensure compliance with the directives, including the guiding principles for the participation of traditional bands in licensed events. Bands accredited by DCT Abu Dhabi have been included in the application forms on the events licensing system to facilitate access to these bands, and to encourage other bands wishing to perform in Abu Dhabi to secure the necessary accreditation and comply with the policies in place. Accordingly, DCT Abu Dhabi inspectors will also verify the compliance of bands and resolve violations when necessary.

To learn more about the policy and requirements for awarding a performance certificate to traditional arts bands, read Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi Resolution No. 55 of 2023.