His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, has visited Al Hosn Festival.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the 10-day programme takes place until 28 January at the historic Al Hosn site. During the visit, His Highness toured handicraft exhibitions, art workshops, traditional performing arts and cultural shows that celebrate Emirati heritage and the UAE’s deep-rooted cultural traditions.
His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised the importance of cultural heritage events and activities such as Al Hosn Festival in preserving and promoting Emirati cultural heritage and instilling it among younger generations as a long-running symbol of national pride.
His Highness was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Suroor bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan; His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Khalifa bin Shakhboot Al Nahyan; His Excellency Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi); His Excellency Saif Saeed Ghobash, Secretary General of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council; and His Excellency Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Undersecretary, DCT Abu Dhabi).
Al Hosn Festival offers an immersive experience of Emirati culture that showcases the traditions, heritage and values of the UAE. The festival also provides an important platform for local creatives and cultural practitioners to engage with the business community, gather consumer insights, network and collaborate.
Among the experiences on offer at the Festival is Al Freej (meaning ‘neighbourhood’ in Arabic), a replica of old residential alleys with gathering points and dukkans (shops) that allows visitors to explore craft demonstrations including incense-making, textile dyeing, henna, talli, sadu, pottery and burqa making, palm weaving and drying, as well as the making of fish traps and nets (gargoor).
This year’s programme also includes Makers Space: Emirati Home Edition, a creative area showcasing the work of traditional artisans, contemporary artists, furniture designers and makers of essential items that define the Emirati home. In the Heritage Zone, creative and educational activities and reenactments depict the UAE’s traditions and customs.
The camel-calling tradition of Heda’a, which has been passed down through generations and is included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, is also represented, along with falconry demonstrations and encounters with Salukis, traditional hunting dogs.
In addition, the festival’s agenda includes the House of Artisans, which features Al Rowayeb, a henna design space that invites attendees to learn about the historical, artistic and cultural aspects of the craft and its significance to Emirati culture, as well as have their own henna designs done. Similarly, the Gahwa Championships is returning this year to award winners for their outstanding skills in the preparation of traditional Arabic coffee.
Among other highlights is Beit Beit, a special children’s programme from the Abu Dhabi Children’s Library, where children can learn to play traditional games that were invented before the introduction of technology and mobile devices.