His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, has inaugurated the first Abu Dhabi Maritime Heritage Festival. His Highness toured the event's workshops, musical performances and craft demonstrations, and praised their efforts to promote and preserve UAE cultural heritage for future generations.

The event, which is organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) and takes place at Al Bahar on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche from 18 to 27 March, showcases the emirate’s rich maritime heritage, including sailing and ship building, fishing and salting, pearl diving, and much more.

Visitors will experience workshops, performances, craft demonstrations, and heritage trails, as well as immersive stories of yesteryear as told by heritage experts, who will share their stories and deep knowledge of the crafts and skills that were part of traditional coastal life. A traditional souq, with a wide selection of F&B vendors providing mouth-watering bites, will also be a feature of the festival.

His Excellency Saood Al Hosani, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Maritime traditions are deeply embedded in Abu Dhabi’s culture. With the first-ever Maritime Heritage Festival, we are proudly sharing this vital element of our history with residents and visitors to raise awareness of our maritime practices, to celebrate our coastal history, and to learn how it has shaped Abu Dhabi as we know it today.”

In addition to immersing visitors in the traditions and lifestyle of Abu Dhabi’s community of sailors and maritime craftspeople, the Festival will recognise the sea’s still-vital economic and cultural role, and will seek to develop partnerships and promote unifying efforts to achieve sustainable fishing practices and conservation of marine resources. 

The Maritime Heritage Festival will be presented by DCT Abu Dhabi with the help of a flotilla of key partners, including the Department of Municipalities and Transport, Emirates Heritage Club, Abu Dhabi Fishermen Cooperative Society, Abu Dhabi Police, Maan, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Sports Club, Abu Dhabi Falconers' Club, Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Maritime, Abu Dhabi Marine, Qasr Al Hosn - House of Artisans, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, The National Aquarium, Zayed University, Music and Sound Cultures (MaSC) - NYU Abu Dhabi.

Entry to the Maritime Heritage Festival will be AED 30 for adults and AED 15 for children aged 5 - 12. Opening hours will be 4pm to 11pm daily. For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit admaritimefest.ae.