The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) is organising a series of events in October as part of the Al Ain Cultural Programme. Festivals, performing arts, workshops and interactive activities are taking place at Al Qattara Arts Centre, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Al Jahili Fort, Al Ain Oasis and Al Qattara Souq throughout the month.
Qasr Al Muwaiji will be hosting the Royal Bisht workshop on 22 October, which will provide participants with insights into the manufacture of this luxurious clothing, show them how to wear it, and allow them to take a closer look at the bisht collection of the Al Nahyan family.
Also on offer at Qasr Al Muwaiji is the Characters from the 20th Century event on 19 October, which will provide visitors with an opportunity to interact with silent artistic performances that mimic the lifestyle of the early 20th century.
Al Jahili Fort will feature a lecture by Saudi writer Saeed Al Wael and Dr Hamdan Al Rashidi entitled Doors from History. The lecture will cover the historical artistic inscriptions on the doors of Al Jahili Fort and other parts of the construction, such as the internal balconies and stairs leading to the roof. It will shed light on the different types of doors used in forts and in old houses in the region. This event, which will take place on Sunday 13 October, from 5pm to 8pm, will also include a specialty workshop dedicated to the history of Islamic door decorations and inscriptions, as well as techniques of carving and wood engraving.
Also at Al Jahili Fort, an event entitled Skills of the Fifties in the Al Jahili Fort will take place on Thursday, 31 October. Organised in co-operation with the Abu Dhabi General Police Headquarters, this live show will demonstrate the skills and unique capabilities of police dogs in security and hunting. The event, which will run from 5pm to 8pm, also aims to highlight the significance of Al Jahili Fort as a symbol of power in the 1950s. It underlines the importance of dogs, who were used for hunting and security purposes in Emirati heritage. This event will also include educational workshops for families and visitors.
Al Qattara Arts Centre will be hosting a number of events, most notably the play Four O’ Clock by the Sharjah Public Art & Modern Theatre, inspired by French playwright Laurent Baffie’s 2005 play Toc Toc. Written by Talal Mahmoud and directed by Ibrahim Salem, Four O’ Clock will have two showings, on 25 and 26 October.
On 30 October, the Centre will host the Al Suwayea programme, a series of traditional workshops focused on famous Emirati dishes and other traditional industries, to highlight the importance of preserving the heritage of the UAE and its traditions.
At Al Ain Oasis, two events will take place: Agriculture Practices at the Oasis event, which will run from 9am to 11am on 14, 21 and 28 of October, and the Handicrafts at the Oasis events, which will take place also from 9am to 11am on October 16 and 23. The Agriculture Practices at the Oasis event will see participants hosted by palm trees owners and experts on farms where traditional crop growing will be demonstrated. The different stages of the Palm trees care and the different professions related to the Oasis will also be covered. Meanwhile, the Handicrafts at the Oasis event will use the resources of the House of Artisans to provide demonstrations of handicrafts in the Oasis and to highlight the handicrafts related to the oasis and the ones inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
At the end of the month, the much-loved Traditional Handicrafts Festival returns for its sixth edition, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, the Ruler’s Representative in Al Ain. Taking place from 30 October – 16 November at Al Qattara Souq, under the theme ‘Crafts of the Ancestors, Pride of the People’, it will offer traditional crafts, shopping, cultural and entertainment experiences for the whole family.