Thu   14 Dec 2017   Search
UAE tourism, heritage, culture highlighted
10 : 45 AM - 29/11/2017
Abu Dhabi, Nov. 29 (BNA): Tourism, heritage and culture were highlighted by the Emirates News Agency (WAM) as the United Arab Emirates celebrates its 46th National Day.
The year 2017 has once again seen a substantial growth in incoming tourism to the UAE, with a number of awards and accolades providing testimony to the way in which the country is now achieving recognition as an attractive destination for visitors from around the globe.
Signalling a ground-breaking achievement for the UAE and the Arab world, Sharjah was crowned ‘World Book Capital’ for 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. The honour was in recognition of the emirate’s pioneering role in supporting and expanding the local and regional publishing industries. Sharjah has previously been 1998 Capital of Arab Culture, Capital of Islamic Culture in 2014, and Capital of Arab Tourism in 2015.
Elsewhere in the world of books, the 9th Al Ain Book Fair, AABF, organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, attracted 47,577 visitors, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year.
The 2016-2017 Dubai Cruise season officially concluded with the departure of the final ship, the C.S. Sea Princess, from Port Rashid on its way to Aqaba as part of a 104-night round trip around the world. Dubai Cruise Tourism saw over 625,000 cruise tourists visit the city via a total of 157 ship calls, reflecting an increase of 15 percent and 18 percent, respectively, when compared to the 2015-2016 season. Several cruise operators made their maiden calls to Dubai during the season, with cruise liner traffic also picking up at Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, where a dedicated terminal has been built, and on the western island of Sir Bani Yas.
In line with Dubai Tourism’s vision of attracting 20 million visitors per year by 2020, a number of major hotels launched refurbishment programmes, including one of US $ 100 million for Atlantis - The Palm. Occupancy rates across the city, especially in top-flight hotels, ran at high levels as the number of foreign visitors continued to rise, particularly from China.
Marketing efforts, meanwhile, were boosted by Dubai International Hospitality Week (DIHW) which brought together more than 2,000 of the world’s top hospitality brands from across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. More than 50,000 visitors were recorded.
From January to May, 2017, the Emirate of Abu Dhabi recorded nearly 2 million hotel guest arrivals (1,965,436), 4 percent growth compared to the same period in 2016, figures released by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, show.
Internationally, China is the largest source market , followed by India, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The success of the DCT’s pavilion at the World Travel Market in London in early November is expected to lead to further growth in visitor figures in the year ahead. Abu Dhabi won the coveted ‘Destination of the year’ title for the second year in succession.
Elsewhere in the country, the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, RAKTDA, opened the world’s longest and highest zip line on the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, in December. After notching up record visitor figures in the first nine months of the year, at 631,617, with growth in all key categories, the emirate was heading towards meeting its target of 900,000 visitors for 2017 The Ajman Department of Tourism Development, ADTD, took a 3-city roadshow to Scandinavia in September, visiting Copenhagen, Oslo and Sweden. A further trip to several cities in Eastern Europe followed, in October.
Sharjah Archaeology Museum, in partnership with Institut Francais in the UAE, and with the support of UNESCO, opened an exhibition that celebrated a 40-year partnership with French archaeologists to unearth the hidden secrets of the UAE’s past. '40 Years of Emirati – French Archaeological Cooperation' featured more than 100 priceless objects excavated by the French Archaeological Mission to the UAE since it began its work in 1977. The vast collection of objects, including intricately-decorated pottery, jewelry, incense burners, and weaponry, was hugely significant in shedding light on the UAE’s role as a cradle of civilisation and centre of trade routes over some 7,500 years.
Heritage As part of the second edition of the Al Ain Region’s Cultural Programme, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi organised a series of activities and events at Al Ain Palace Museum to showcase the UAE's heritage and culture.
Al Marmoom Heritage Village, organised in collaboration with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, geared up to host a Kite Festival in April. The Heritage Village was set up for visitors to explore the Emirati way of life through handicrafts, cuisine, and music. This year, around a hundred small shops and kiosks were featured to recreate a carnival-like setting.
More than 120,000 visitors visited the Sharjah Heritage Days fair in its first week of operation. Visitors, including those from Russia, Italy, Korea, Egypt, and Yemen, attended the cultural fair which also ran in April at the Cultural Heritage Events Centre.
As well as the folkloric performances and exhibition stalls, visitors enjoyed a full range of sessions in the Children's Activities programme, Cultural Activities programme, Cultural Cafe and Social Media Café.
Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dubai Culture, hosted a specialised talk in collaboration with the British Council at the Etihad Museum as part of its support for the UK/UAE 2017 'Year of Creative Collaboration'.
Dubai Culture also hosted the ninth edition of the Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition in April, under the patronage of HH Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council.
Manufacturers of traditional Arabic perfumes, essential oils, bukhoor and other heritage fragrances from across the GCC were given a unique global platform to showcase their talents by producing scents for Expo 2020 Dubai. In the UAE alone, the market for fragrances is estimated at AED 1.5 billion ($ 423 million).
Dubai Culture announced the latest edition of its ‘Live our Heritage Festival’, which ran under the theme ‘UAE Folk Arts’ at Mirdif City Centre. The final day of the festival coincided with World Heritage Day 2017.
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC) held its third joint workshop with the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Dubai, in April 2017.
The cultural landscape of the UAE and countries from around the world was highlighted at Sharjah Heritage Days, with a series of sessions focusing on the traditions and legacy of participating countries. Celebrating culture and heritage, each session at the Cultural Cafe covered topics under the key theme, ‘Heritage – Structure and Denotation’, which gave attendees the opportunity to acquire information about history, antiquity and the legacy of participating countries.
The fifteenth edition of Sharjah Heritage Days introduced a new reading initiative, designed to promote and encourage strong reading habits among children.
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi led the largest delegation it had ever taken to the Arabian Travel Market in 2017 in a bid to capitalise and increase on record numbers of guest arrivals into the emirate. The emirate’s leading hotels, destination management companies, tour operators and attractions were represented at Dubai World Trade Centre where more than 30,000 delegates used the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinions and trends.
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi presented a talk at the Multaqa Zayed National Museum series at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, in April, which told the story of archaeology in the UAE, beginning in the 1950s with the excavation of Bronze Age tombs on Umm an-Nar Island by Danish teams at the personal invitation of Shaikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then Ruler of Abu Dhabi. The late Shaikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan took a keen interest in the archaeologists’ work and accompanied his brother Shaikh Shakhbut to see the site. Shaikh Zayed understood the importance of unearthing the UAE’s unique and interesting past and encouraged archaeological excavations in Abu Dhabi and across the emirates. His encouragement had led to the flourishing of archaeological study in the UAE, revealing its rich ancient heritage.
Archaeological work by a team of local and international experts restarted after 30 years on a culturally and historically significant site in Al Ain which is reputed to be one of the earliest agricultural-based villages in the UAE. The site, Hili 8, located near Hili Archaeological Park in Al Ain, was first explored and excavated by French archaeologists in the 1970s and 1980s and provided tentative evidence for the beginnings of the cultivation of dates, wheat and barley thousands of years ago.
Abu Dhabi Festival presented Portrait of a Nation, the largest exhibition of artworks by Emirati artists in Europe, at Berlin Art Week. The show brought together the UAE’s leading contemporary art practitioners such as Ebtisam Abdul Aziz, Amna Al Dabbagh, and Mohammed Kazem, to reflect the nation from individual artistic perspectives.
Leading contemporary Arab and Western classical musicians from around the world performed in Abu Dhabi Emirate during a new, eight-month-long music programme announced by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi.
The music programmes are an integral part of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision for the emirate, and attracts some of the world’s best musicians and orchestras to Abu Dhabi.
Culture The Sharjah Heritage Institute announced the establishment of the "Arab Culture Hall", at Zhejiang University of Industrial and Commercial Sciences in China, the home of a collection of books, collectibles and films catering to non-Arabic speakers.
Dubai Culture announced that the Etihad Museum had scooped top honours at The Leading Culture Destinations Awards 2017 in London, where it took home the coveted ‘Best New Museum in the Middle East and Africa’ award, and was also the first runner-up in the ‘Best Museum Architecture of the Year’s category.
The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi travelled to Frankfurt in Germany to showcase Abu Dhabi’s dynamic and diverse publishing industry at the world’s largest publishing trade fair in October.
Under the patronage of HH Shaikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Crown Prince of Fujairah, UAE Cultural Days event was launched in the Spanish capital, Madrid, in October. The event was organised by the "Zayed’s Ambassadors Initiative", in co-operation with the Casa Arabe, the El Retiro Public Library and the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain, under the theme, "UAE: The Bridge of Cultures."
The year 2017 also saw the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development announce that it was printing and publishing a number of PhD. research and postgraduate studies about the Arabic language, literature and arts, and their utilisation in government and private institutions. The initiative, in collaboration with the College of Islamic and Arabic Studies in Dubai, aims to support the Arabic language in universities, promote Arabic language related research, and enrich libraries with valuable cultural and knowledge additions, WAM reported today.


I.Y

BNA 0719 GMT 2017/11/29


Number of readings : 900        Last updated : 01 : 23 PM - 29/11/2017