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Head of Sharjah Heritage Institute wins second four-year term in Rome-based ICCROM's Council
posted on 22/11/2015

Abdul Aziz Al Mussalam, Head of Sharjah Heritage Institute, has won a second four-year term as representative of the UAE in the Council of the Rome-based ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).
The members of Council are chosen from amongst the best-qualified experts in the field of conservation and restoration of cultural property, taking into consideration the desirability of achieving equitable representation of the major cultural regions of the world and an appropriate coverage of the different fields of specialisation relevant to the work of ICCROM.
With 132 member states, ICCROM is the only intergovernmental organisation and institution of its kind with a worldwide mandate to promote the conservation of all types of cultural heritage. The UAE joined ICCROM four years ago and won a seat at the organisation's council.
In a statement following his win, Al Mussalam said he could not have won the second term in the international cultural heritage organisation without the unequivocal support from H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, patron of culture, heritage and knowledge.
He attributed his win to the influence the UAE had in the previous term and thanked many sisterly Arab and friendly foreign countries for voting in favour of the UAE.
'We will be the voice of the UAE and Arab World as well as of those who are making tremendous efforts to safeguard, preserve and restore cultural heritage across the world,' he added.
The Government of the United Arab Emirates and ICCROM, established by UNESCO in 1956, signed a Headquarters Agreement which lays the foundation for the establishment and operation of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah.
ICCROM-ATHAR (Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region) is a regional conservation centre founded by ICCROM and the Government of the Emirate of Sharjah. ICCROM's 27th General Assembly, convened in Rome in November 2011, decided to establish ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates where it is based since its inception in 2012.
ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah is a continuation of ICCROM's ATHAR programme, which has dedicated its activities since it was launched in 2004, to the protection of cultural heritage in the Arab region and to broadening access, appreciation and understanding of its rich history. Basing its philosophy, goals and activities on its wide knowledge and experience in the field of cultural heritage in the Arab region, ATHAR Centre today is working to enhance the capacity of official heritage institutions to manage heritage sites, historic monuments and museum collections on a sustainable basis. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sheikh Zayed Heritage festival lights up the sky
posted on 21/11/2015

A celebration of Emirati culture drew visitors to the opening of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival on Thursday.
Emirati goods and professions were the mainstay of the festival, at which a replica fort was the central attraction, but there were also displays from other countries, such as Bosnia, Kazakhstan and North African and Gulf countries.
Antique vehicles and carriages ignited the imagination of guests, as did a selection of antiques from Afghanistan that dated back hundreds of years.
One of the Afghan treasures, a 550-year-old huge copper pot used to brew green tea, was being displayed by Mohammed-Daoud Ghazniwall.
The teapot, worth about Dh15,000, was used "for party times, two people had to hold it”, Mr Ghazniwall said.
He was showcasing another ancient pot – a huge stone one. As he set it on the floor and opened the lid he explained that it was used for cooking meat, which, when kept inside the pot, would stay warm for 24 hours.
"It would have taken 10 hours to cook meat in it,” he said of the 250-year-old pot worth Dh10,000.
He also showed off some blackened coins that originated in Ancient Greece, a helmet thought to come from the time of the Mogul Empire in India, and some plates of armour.
These, said Mr Ghazniwall, were worth up to Dh10,000.
In the Saudi Arabian pavilion, a woman sat on the floor sewing dolls and attaching baskets to them. "We put chocolates or nuts in the baskets for serving,” said Muhra Al Hibshi. Each doll takes about 90 minutes to make.
Alongside her was her business partner, Mawar Al Abdullah, who was sewing a plastic bag to hold tea or coffee pots. "We use plastic instead of fabric so it doesn't get stained,” she said.
The pair began their business in Riyadh 27 years ago and it has grown to be a success story.
"The Saudi tourism authority nominated us to participate in the festival,” Ms Al Abdullah said. "We hope this will open doors for us to be known in Abu Dhabi like we are in Riyad,” she said.
In the adjacent tent at the middle of the festival, an Emirati Bedouin woman wove natural white wool. "Natural is always white or black, before they used to add colour to the white one,” said Shameya Abdulateef.
She showed the end result, which is in the shape of a wraparound satchel. "We place this around the camel's waist,” she said. She then held out another, smaller, satchel. "We attach this to the bigger one to cover the udders of the camel if we don't want its children to drink the milk,” she said. "That is when we need to preserve some of the milk for our own use.”
Such products cost between Dh750 and Dh1,000 "because it is natural wool”, Ms Abdulateef said.
After sunset, attendees and officials gathered in the theatre area for the opening ceremony.
After music from a marching band, a film explained the rapid transformation of the UAE under the late Sheikh Zayed, the Founding President of the UAE. – The National -


UAE’s fallen servicemen to be honoured at Zayed Heritage Festival
posted on 19/11/2015

The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival this year will pay tribute to the country's fallen servicemen with a special exhibition.
The event, which starts on Thursday, will feature the Martyrs of the Nation exhibition, which will honour the soldiers who have given their life for their country.
This will form part of the Memories of a Nation area of the festival, which will showcase the historic images and documents depicting Sheikh Zayed's efforts to build the country.
Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan, chairman of the organising committee, said the festival would embrace the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed, founding President of the UAE.
He also said that President Sheikh Khalifa had worked hard to "enhance our customs and traditions and preserve the achievements of our forefathers as a worthy successor to the best predecessor”.
Other attractions at the festival include an exhibition dedicated to Sheikh Zayed the First, who ruled the emirate of Abu Dhabi from 1855 to 1909.
He played an important role in the social, economic and political development of the area, as well as helping to preserve traditional poetry and the Arabian horse. There will also be a replica of Al Bediya Mosque, the oldest mosque in the country, which was built in Fujairah in the 15th century.
The replica is built using the same stones and clay as that of the original, ancient mosque.
The exhibition will include displays featuring camels, Arabian horses, salukis and traditional rowing boats.
The event continues until December 12 at Al Wathba. – The National -


Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum donates over $6 million to UNESCO
posted on 06/11/2015

PARIS: HH Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance of the United Arab Emirates, has made a significant donation of more than US$6 million to UNESCO during his visit to the Organisation on the first day of the 38th Session of the General Conference and within the framework of the 70th Anniversary.
Director-General Irina Bokova and the UAE Minister of Education, Hussain Al Hammadi, signed two agreements in the presence of HH Sheikh Hamdan. These agreements formalise the donation of $1.2 million for the project "Implementing the Postgraduate Diploma in Curriculum Design and Development in the Arab region" and $5 million for the renovation and improvement of Room I, the main assembly hall, at UNESCO headquarters.
In his speech before the General Conference, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan said, "The desire of the United Arab Emirates drives us toward working more and exerting our efforts, in cooperation with UNESCO, to provide more opportunities to reward outstanding practices of teachers in developing countries."
At the signing ceremony, the Director-General stated that this new cooperation "strengthens the Organisation at headquarters and bolsters our action in a key priority area on the ground. It reflects the deep commitment of HH and the United Arab Emirates to UNESCO and to the values we share and to the objectives we hold in common, for which I am deeply grateful."
The donations are in the spirit of the successful cooperation established between UNESCO and the "Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of teachers" since 2008. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Memory of the World programme summit to be held in Abu Dhabi next year
posted on 08/10/2015

ABU DHABI, 8th October, 2015 (WAM) -- The Advisory Board of the Memory of the World Programme, affiliated to UNESCO, has agreed on a proposal to hold a summit for the programme in Abu Dhabi towards the end of 2016.
The proposal stipulated that all national commissions, regional branches and specialised committees of the Memory of the World programme from all over the world, along with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, and the International Council on Archives, should meet at the summit.
The vision of the Memory of the World Programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance.
Impetus came originally from a growing awareness of the parlous state of preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage in various parts of the world. War and social upheaval, as well as severe lack of resources, have worsened problems which have existed for centuries. Significant collections worldwide have suffered a variety of fates. Looting and dispersal, illegal trading, destruction, inadequate housing and funding have all played a part. Much has vanished forever, much is still endangered.
The National Archives suggested changing the working system entirely in the programme. It also proposed amendments to the primary system and the implementing regulations, as well as on the procedures of entering documents in the Memory of the World programme.
Abu Dhabi hosted the discussions of the 12th meeting of the Advisory Board under the auspices of the National Archives this week at the St. Regis Hotel Corniche, where Abdullah Al Rayes, Director-General of the National Archive, was chosen as its chairman until 2018. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


UAE selected as Chair of UNESCO Memory of the World programme
posted on 05/10/2015

The International Advisory Committee for the Memory of the World programme, which is affiliated with the Organisation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, yesterday chose the UAE as Chair of the programme until 2018.
Abdullah Al-Rayes, Director-General of the National Archives, will chair the programme and oversee the project that aims to register original documents with global humanitarian features, and to facilitate preservation, by the most appropriate techniques, of the world's documentary heritage.
The International Advisory Committee, which is meeting in Abu Dhabi until 6th October, includes a number of leading experts and heads of National Archives from 16 countries, as well as a representative from UNESCO.
The vision of the Memory of the World programme is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sultan bin Zayed named "Man of Arab Heritage"
posted on 01/09/2015

MUSCAT: H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President's Representative and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club, has been named "Man of the Arab Heritage" for 2015 by the Arab Centre for Tourism Media (ACTM) in recognition of his efforts to preserve Arab history and heritage.
This was announced during the award ceremony held yesterday in Muscat under the patronage of Omani Tourism Minister Ahmed bin Nasser al Mehrizi and in presence of ministers, senior officials and ACTM members.
Emirati businessman Khalaf al Habtoor won the "Best Arab Tourism Investor" award, while Mohammed Kara, from Al Ittihad newspaper, was selected as the "Best Arab Tourism Journalist". – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sharjah Heritage Days festival introduces three new villages
posted on 10/08/2015

A number of new attractions designed to entertain families, heritage experts, and UAE nationals and residents have been added to the 13th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days festival.
Sharjah Heritage Days devises new activities annually and has this year introduced three villages; Five Senses, Children's Heritage, and Artisan.
His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, attended the opening ceremony.
Sharjah Heritage Days is held in different locations including the Heart of Sharjah and the Middle and Eastern districts.
The event this year, themed "Heritage … The Base of Our Originality”, also includes UAE environment-related features such as marine, mountain, agriculture and desert life exhibits, folkloric art and various cultural and intellectual activities, symposiums, lectures, and photographs, recital of old sayings, "Lageit Yadooh” ("I Found Grandfather”), wit, and daily riddle competitions.
Abdul Aziz Al Musallem, Chairman of the Sharjah Heritage Institute, said, "Sharjah Heritage Days aims to acquaint participants with the authenticity, originality and heritage of the UAE, allowing them to preserve, benefit from, and build on it.”
The event, he said, aims to introduce different aspects of UAE heritage to the world and inspire a generation proud of its roots and willing to develop its community.
In terms of the new additions, the Five Senses Village is an attempt to satisfy the five human senses by giving visitors a tour of the Heritage Area in the Heart of Sharjah so they can see different heritage products, listen to UAE folklore stories, taste delicious savoury dishes and desserts, and admire unique handicrafts. A new "five senses” advertising campaign has also been designed based on the concept of heritage.
The Children's Village includes workshops for colouring and performances of old folk tales and other forms of Arab heritage. Visitors can also enjoy folklore music and displays that highlight the UAE's vast and diverse mountain and desert landscape.
The Artisan Village shines a light on traditional craftsmanship by showcasing the tools used and crafts created, including jewellery, clothes, household utensils, decorative items, storage containers and musical instruments, via this skilful method.
Large numbers of visitors have flocked to the Heart of Sharjah since the festival's start, where they have been greeted with UAE art and dance performances, as well as the popular traditional Emirati fashion show. – The Gulf Today -


TCA Abu Dhabi to organise specialised workshops to focus on Emirati Traditional Handicrafts
posted on 08/07/2015

Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) is organising a series of specialised Emirati traditional handicrafts workshops focusing on transferring the skills and expertise of Emirati artisans to new generations.
Supervised by TCA Abu Dhabi-accredited Emirati craftswomen, the workshops will feature three crafts adroitly mastered by Emirati women over the years including ‘Talli' embroidery, ‘Khos' palm frond strand braiding and ‘Sadu' weaving, and will be organised at Abu Dhabi National Theatre from 26th July to 20th August, 2015.
The workshops' artistic production will then be displayed at an exhibition that will accompany the second National Traditional Handicrafts Festival, which is set to return to Al Ain's Souq Al Qattara in October 2015.
Participants will learn the intricate techniques of ‘Talli' using ‘Zari' bright threads to decorate women's clothes and ‘Sadu' wool and cotton yarn weaving to make colourful, decorated fabric used in Bedouin tents. The workshops will also feature ‘Khos' dried palm frond braiding to make baskets, mats and various other items.
"Aligning with our commitment to preserve the UAE's heritage and culture, the workshop series complements the authority's support of expressive arts and cultural events that contribute to promoting Abu Dhabi's heritage, balancing deep-rooted tradition with the creation of modern customs that can make our ancestors proud," said Sumayya Al Suwaidi, Community Events Manager at the Culture Sector of TCA Abu Dhabi.
"The traditional handicrafts practiced by UAE women throughout history are characteristically innovative, pay much attention to minute artistic details and require highly technical skills to retain the piece's aesthetic elements, particularly the ‘Sadu' which has recently been inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, becoming a world heritage component. These workshops will keep the skills of artisans alive by transferring them to new generations, in conjunction with developing new products to help crafts maintain their value and position as important elements of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and for all humanity," added Al Suwaidi.
Accredited craftswomen receive TCA Abu Dhabi's support with the aim of protecting traditional artisanship by giving women the chance to participate in cultural and heritage-related events, heritage competitions and productive families' programmes inside and outside the UAE, thereby developing traditional products with modern day use.
The return of the National Traditional Handicrafts Festival follows a successful inaugural 2014/15 season, and the introduction of the new exhibition will cast a modern light on traditional products and arts in an effort to further develop handicrafts and inspire art from them. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


MBRF workshop at UNESCO headquarters in Paris examines challenges in transfer and localisation of knowledge
posted on 07/06/2015

PARIS: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organised a workshop on the Third Arab Knowledge Report at the headquarters of United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) in Paris on June 3, 2015.
The workshop, held in the presence of ambassadors, academics and youth from French universities, was the third in a series of workshops lined up in key Arab and international capitals as part of MBRF's preparations for the second edition of the First Knowledge Conference 2015.
The speakers at the workshop included Dr. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO; Jack Lang, President of Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and former French Minister of Culture and Education; Saif Al Mansoori, the Corporate Affairs Advisor of MBRF; and Yakup Beris, Regional Programme Coordinator at UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States.
The workshop was also addressed by Prof. Eric Fouache, Vice-Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; Dr. Badr Aldden Arodaky, former Deputy-director of IMA and a prominent writer and literary expert; Prof. Joseph Dichy, Lumiere-Lyon2 University, CIDEA Secretary General; Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Human and Social Sciences, Dr. Najoua Ghriss, Associate Author and Core Team Member; and Inaam Kachachi, writer and journalist.
In an opening speech, Dr. Bokova stressed the importance of fostering knowledge in the region stating "The integration of the youth in the transfer and localisation of knowledge in the Arab world will remain a key priority in the current times as well as in the future."
Speaking on the occasion, Saif Al Mansoori said, "This workshop comes within MBRF's plans to contribute to sustainable development in Arab communities through the transfer and localisation of knowledge. This is the third workshop that follows similar events organised in Jordan and New York to discuss the findings of the Arab Knowledge Report."
He added, "We are pleased to have the support of a distinct group of specialists in the field of knowledge who have come forward to offer their opinions and experiences in this initiative. This workshop has offered an opportunity to discuss the role of youth in the exchange, transfer and localisation of knowledge and the challenges in this process. The outcome of this workshop will support our preparations for the next First Knowledge Conference 2015, and contribute to strengthening its position as one of the most important international events in the field of knowledge."
On the occasion, Jack Lang commended the efforts to organise such knowledge initiatives, stating that culture, education and knowledge offered the remedy to extremist tendencies.
Highlighting two main features of the Arab Knowledge Report, Yakup Beris said the report has responded to the need for an evidence-based approach by offering quantitative and qualitative evidence relying on more than 30 background papers and an extensive database. Secondly, the report has been built on the basis of a participatory approach using the expertise and voices of more than 600 experts and 5800 university students, Beris said.
"The report has been prepared with a belief that a society that connects with knowledge and drives its economy with innovation is more likely to achieve its development objectives. We foresee youth as the primary agent to make this happen and eventually contribute to the creation of inclusive and resilient societies," Beris stated.
Dr. Najoua Ghriss presented the findings of the Arab Knowledge Report, followed by a question and answer session that drew considerable interaction and engagement from the audience on the outcomes of the report.
The event also included a panel discussion that explored the exchange, transfer and localisation of knowledge in the context of European and Arab institutions. The panel discussion witnessed the participation of Prof. Eric Fouache, Dr. Badr Aldden Arodaky and Prof. Joseph Dichy. The session, moderated by Inaam Kachachi, looked at the roles of the various sectors and the main challenges in the production and transfer of knowledge, including areas such as translation and language development. The panel discussion concluded with closing remarks by Nada Al-Nashif.
The Third Arab Knowledge Report highlights the effective integration of youth in the transfer and localisation of knowledge as one of the most pressing issue facing Arab societies. The report explores the current status of Arab youth in relation to skills and values required for the effective integration of knowledge and their contribution in cultural, political and social arenas. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Where Dubai’s old and new co-exist
posted on 03/05/2015

The drive to preserve Dubai's heritage received a boost on Thursday with the official launch of wasl district souq. The development from wasl properties is designed to reinvigorate established areas of Dubai by blending modern amenities with traditional architecture and design.
The launch ceremony for wasl district souq, located in Naif area of Deira, was attended by Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl asset management group. Al Qassim reiterated his company's commitment to revitalising the city's traditional areas.
"It was a delight for me to officially inaugurate wasl district souq, wasl properties' premium heritage project, which has been launched to rejuvenate parts of Dubai that have tended to be overlooked and that are just as important and dynamic as the newer areas of the city. wasl district is the result of wasl's vast experience in the fields of real estate development and its deep understanding of the country's history and heritage. It blends traditional character with modern amenities to create an authentic retail and shopping environment,” said Al Qassim.
Wasl district is being constructed in two phases — phase one consists of a 211-retail unit souq that sells heritage items such as rugs, antiques, furniture, perfumes and spices alongside more modern offerings and F&B outlets. Phase two of wasl district incorporates residences, offices and a Hyatt-managed hotel. The development is expected to be a strong pull for tourists keen to see traditional Emirati architecture and culture.
"Wasl district's souq is playing a number of important roles in the fabric of the city. It has contributed to re-energising the Al Maktoum area of Deira and is a development that forms a stunning showcase for the anticipated millions of visitors in the run-up to Expo 2020, enabling them to discover the traditional identity of the city. The official launch of the project is the crowning testament to wasl's commitment to reviving Dubai's traditional character and to foster its identity with premium developments that offer the perfect mix of the old and the new,” added Al Qassim.
The audience enjoyed performances by a classical Arabic band and a display from a Tanoura dancer. Characters from TV show Shaabiat Al Cartoon performed and interacted with visitors. – Khaleej Times -§ion=uaebusiness


Sharjah showcases UAE, Arab heritage
posted on 07/04/2015

Folkloric arts and dances attracted national, Arab and non-Arab visitors and lovers of heritage and music since the launch day of the 13th edition of Sharjah Heritage Days.
Visitors in various locations in the Heritage Area of the Heart of Sharjah spent hours enjoying the folkloric dances including Alayala, Al Maled, Al Souma, Al Tarej, Al Razeef and Al Arda, in addition to other colourful forms of folk arts that have proven to be a major source of attraction.
Khawla Al Shamsi, general coordinator, Sharjah Heritage Days, said: "Folkloric arts and dances are regularly presented at Sharjah Heritage Days. They are a major source of attraction and appeal to large crowds of UAE national and non-national visitors who move from one location to another to take pictures and shoot videos that capture memories, moments, movements, sounds and charming music delightful to all ears.
"We are always keen on presenting diverse forms of colourful folkloric arts and dances in different locations of the event, be it the Heart of Sharjah or the Eastern and Middle Districts. We know that UAE nationals and visitors enjoy folklore and we provide all information and details of each dance,” she added.
As soon as folkloric music, dances and songs end, watchers rush to ask about the words, tunes and meanings, exploring more about Al Razeef or Al Ayala. A visitor who spent his day watching the enjoyable dances in the public area, the mountain and Bedouin environments said he would come daily to continue exploring the new treasure and the rich world of folkloric arts and music.
"When someone watches Al Ayala, for example, we do not only tell him the name of the dance but make it a point to explain its full meaning. As you know, it is a collective art replete with dancing, singing and music, involving players of drums, tabors, traditional Twaissat and brass instruments, and singers. State officials are keen on highlighting it as it is a huge embodiment of local history and art. It is an Arab dance of war or pre-war victory,” Khawla explained.
Al Razeef, she added, is a collective, spontaneous non-instrumental Bedouin performance presented with great enthusiasm and eloquent classical Arabic language in Bedouin weddings. Al Razeef is one of the most prominent arts in the GCC, and it frequently recites poems of pride and chivalry and some love songs.
Also, Al Arda, is an authentic Arab urban art simulating Al Ayala folkloric dance to a large extent, using different musical instruments and rhythms. Like Al Ayala, the dance is performed in the same sort of events with similar chanting system and singers standing in two rows carrying swords. Yet, it is composed of triple rhythms and uses special extra instruments like Al Kaser, Al Rahmani, Tarat (tambourines) and brass instruments.
Khawla pointed out that Al Tarej is a consoling tune to a traveller on desolated roads, where he improvises his own melodies similar to the famous form of art in other Arab countries called Al Mawal. Poems describe nature, life and public events, sung in charming tunes soothing to the ears and souls.
Al Yola , Khawla said, is a popular authentic and colourful Bedouin dance and a derivative of Al Ayala. Appealing to the young UAE national generation, the dance is a public display of courage and chivalry that has been developed to include performances with riffles accompanied by modern rhythms and enthusiastic songs.
Al Souma, on the other hand, is an ancient UAE art performed collectively in a circle to the rhythms of two drums, traditionally known as Al Kosar and Al Rahmani. The dance, starting with clapping hands and charming movements, is often presented on special occasions and stopovers after long travel, Khawla explained.
"All these folkloric dances and arts are performed during the Sharjah Heritage Days and were presented during the opening ceremony attended by His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, on April 1,” Khawla stressed.
"They are a major attraction of the event and are aimed at acquainting all with the authenticity and distinction of UAE folkloric arts filled with musical, artistic and poetic innovation. The dances and arts, a major component of the UAE national identity, represent a variety of local environments — Bedouin, mountains, marine and urban life,” she added. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Sultan Al Qasimi opens 13th Sharjah Heritage Days
posted on 02/04/2015

His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah attended this evening, in presence of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, opening of the 13th Sharjah festival Days.
The opening ceremony saw traditional shows about UAE's diverse cultures, as well as folklore dances. Also taking part were folklore groups from Kuwait, Morocco, Algeria and Korea.
In attendance at the opening ceremony were Sheikhs, senior officials, guests and diplomats.
Following the opening, Sheikh Sultan toured the heritage area and was briefed about the festival's programmes and activities.
The month-long Sharjah Heritage Days festival is held under the slogan "Heritage The Base Of Our Originality". Its activities will include lectures, symposiums and competitions, with the participation of several Arab, Islamic and international government organisations. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Sultan bin Zayed named 2015 Arab Heritage Personality
posted on 27/03/2015

AMMAN: The Arab Centre for Tourism Media has granted H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President's Representative and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club (EHC), the 2015 Arab Heritage Personality.
Hussain Al Mannai, Chairman of the Arab Centre for Tourism Media said that the honour is in recognition of efforts exerted by Sheikh Sultan in preserving heritage and holding festivals which calls for protection of the forefathers' heritage.
He added that members of the centre from all Arab countries have agreed that the efforts of Sheikh Sultan play a prominent role in preserving GCC heritage.
These remarks were made during a press conference held by the centre in Amman, Jordan in the presence of Jordan's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Nayef Al Fayez and a number of Arab journalists specialising in tourism.
Also, Emirati businessman Khalaf Al Habtoor was honoured with the Best Tourist Investor award in the Arab nation in recognition of his huge tourism projects.
The UAE Air Arabia also won the best low-cost carrier award for supporting Arab Tourism. In addition, the best Arab tourism journalist award was clinched by Mohammed Kara from Al Ittihad, an Arabic language newspaper published daily in the UAE. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Observatory of Geopolitical Studies in Paris hails UAE heritage and modernity
posted on 04/03/2015

Dr. Zeina El Tibi, President of the Observatory of Geopolitical Studies, OGS, in Paris, has hailed the comprehensive cultural renaissance achieved by the UAE in various spheres, while preserving its cultural and literary heritage and respect the traditions and heritage of the ancestors.
Under the title "United Arab Emirates - Heritage and Modernity," Dr. Zena said in an article published by the Lebanese Newspaper, Al-Ayam, that the UAE has seen two major events during February, namely the third Annual Festival of Qasr Al Hosn, which was held in Abu Dhabi from 11th to 21st under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the Government Summit, held in Dubai under the theme, "Shaping Future Governments", both in the presence of many international figures, noting that the inseparability of events confirms the UAE's commitment to the process of intensive modernisation in the context of respect for the heritage of its ancestors.
Dr. El Tibi added that the Qasr Al Hosn Festival celebrates the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi in a historic site which is a symbol of the capital and a central part of its history and location, a typical place to celebrate national heritage and to combine tradition and modernity.
El Tibi explained in her article that the UAE has adopted a comprehensive development through the consolidation of its position and became effective in the stability of Arabian Gulf and the Arab scene, noting the success of the diversity of the UAE's economy in industrial development and investment in renewable energy.
She appreciated the UAE's interest in modern education and women's development, which is one of the important issues of comprehensive development, in addition to its ambition to become one of the most innovative countries in the world in 2021, referring to declaration of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs through the Government Summit, of the creation of the post of Head of Innovation Management in each ministry to meet the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who announced that 2015 is the "Year of Innovation".
She said that during October, 2014, President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced the National Strategy for Innovation based on seven key sectors, which are renewable energy, transport, education, health, research and technology, water and space, and in parallel the Emirates will launch seven educational initiatives in schools and universities in order to promote innovation and put it in the future of educational process.
The author stressed that the UAE is leading an enlightened policy aimed at ensuring stability in the Arabian Gulf and is firmly anti-extremism, especially with the provision of support for countries committed to this battle, for example, Egypt.
She also noted the efforts of the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, and its Director-General, Dr. Jamal Al Suwaidi, pointing out that over the past 20 years, the centre has become an important player in helping in decision-making and has established close and constructive relations of cooperation with many research centres, particularly in the United States, France and many other European countries. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


On a mission to preserve the past
posted on 28/02/2015

The UAE's history has not been lost in the sands of time; neither has its culture, heritage and the way in which Emiratis lived.
Thanks to the Hamdan bin Mohammad Heritage Centre (HHC), everything linked to this 43-year-old nation's past is being preserved and revived for generations to come so as to strengthen Emiratis' sense of national identity and familiarise residents with the country's rich heritage.
"Preserving heritage and keeping traditions alive is essential for any country,” Fatma Arif Al Bannay, director of Al Oula radio station and general manager of the Media Office at HHC, said. "A country's heritage is its link to its past, and preserving and promoting national heritage among younger generations is imperative to familiarise them with ancient traditions and ways of life.”
The centre was established on April, 6, 2013 under a decree issued by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
It has a vision to not only nurture traditional sports and cultural pursuits through various events and competitions such as falconry, youlah, poetry, diving, shooting and hunting, but also preserve and document the UAE's intellectual, scientific and cultural heritage.
"Promoting and popularising Emirati culture and heritage among citizens and residents is at the heart of the founding vision of the centre. Enlisting public support and participation in our events, tournaments and initiatives is fundamental to achieving our objectives,” Fatma said.
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The centre also conducts research on the UAE's heritage, cultural pursuits, history and its people with the aim of building a strong body of reference material for researchers.
Competitions such as the Fazza Championships have today gained global recognition and are considered among the most important heritage sporting events worldwide, thanks to a strong field of competitors and a generous prize fund.
"This has helped connect young Emiratis to their heritage and culture and created opportunities for them to be introduced to traditional sports and to actively participate in them,” Fatma said.
Another initiative called Wathiqati (My Document) aims to provide a strong historical reference for future generations and researchers by preserving and archiving historical documents and collectibles.
However, preserving and promoting heritage is an exercise that demands unwavering commitment, targeted efforts and continuous community engagement, Fatma said.
The centre has so far seen an active response with their Wathiqati initiative with many contributors coming forward with old documents and manuscripts, which has been helping the centre in preserving the history of the UAE.
"True to the inclusive spirit of the UAE, the HHC welcomes everyone in the UAE — whether Emirati or expatriate — to contribute to and participate in our initiatives. Our Fazza Championships, for instance, have been drawing an increasing number of participants and spectators from among the expatriate community as well as tourists, particularly in the falconry championships,” Fatma said.
She pointed out that a 12-day camel trek that the centre organised recently had a half-American, half-British participant apart from 15 Emirati youth, who joined Emirati voyagers on a fascinating cultural expedition through the deserts of the UAE. – Gulf News -


Sultan bin Zayed urges youth to preserve ancestors' heritage
posted on 05/02/2015

H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President's Representative and Chairman of Emirates Heritage Club, has received a group of school students of Al Ain City.
At the meeting which took place at the main stand of the Sultan bin Zayed Heritage Festival in Sweihan City, H.H. Sheikh Sultan urged the 25 youth to take interest in their country's national heritage as an important component of national character and identity.
H.H. Sheikh Sultan also urged them to avoid being negatively influenced by traditions and habits that are alien to their society so as to be able to contribute to the development and building of the UAE.
The students later toured the venue of the festival taking place between 1-14 February in Sweihan City.
Hundreds of nationals, tourists and residents are still thronging the popular festival which hosts traditional camel races, beauty contests and a Saluki race. Besides the races and competitions, members of the public are being treated to an exciting line-up of heritage and entertainment programmes including traditional games, Yolla, falconry and Emirati cuisine and traditional Majlis.
Adding to the experience, visitors enjoy a traditional market, a heritage village and traditional activities every day in addition to a traditional souq and contests for handicrafts and horse riding. Furthermore, visitors can even expect prizes for attending the festival.
A heritage village set up at the racecourse features Rababa performers, pottery and souvenir exhibitions and performances by Bou Theib stables' horsemen. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Young Emiratis make heritage trip by camel
posted on 22/01/2015

A 10-day camel trek began on Tuesday, taking young Emiratis on a journey to discover their heritage.
The camel caravan, organised by the Hamdan bin Mohammed Heritage Centre in collaboration with the Yemeni voyager Ahmed Al Qassemi, took 15 young people from Al Naqba through the UAE desert. The initiative is to help the current generation discover and appreciate their heritage.
Mr Al Qassemi, has undertaken a number of trips across the world and has covered more than 40,000 kilometres to date. Participants on the 200km journey will use traditional navigational techniques such as maps and sun positions to guide them.
Under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, "The centre seeks to promote activities such as this camel trek that offer interesting and engaging opportunities to introduce young Emiratis to their heritage and culture”, said Abdullah bin Dalmouk, chief executive of the heritage centre. "Our goal is to instil a sense of belonging and pride and foster a stronger national identity among Emirati citizens, while at the same time creating inclusive opportunities to showcase the country's heritage to all residents and visitors to the UAE.”
The participants have received camel care training and lessons on map-reading and navigational techniques. The journey is being documented for cultural preservation purposes.
The centre also organises events and competitions as well as studies and specialised research for the preservation and documentation of the UAE's national heritage. It acts as a data centre for researchers and the local community. – The National -


Sharjah Ruler lays foundation memorial stone in Khor Fakkan
posted on 21/01/2015

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has laid the foundation stone of the memorial building in the shape of a helmet to symbolise the resistance in Khor Fakkan city.
Cheerful people welcomed the event attended by key officials and dignitaries.
Upon his arrival at the mountain top at the entry of the city, where the memorial will be built, Sheikh Sultan was received by Sheikh Saeed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, deputy chairman of the Ruler's office in Khor Fakkan, and a number of senior officials.
Sheikh Sultan said, "It is a blessing day to lay the foundation stone of this beautiful building at the entrance of the city to tell the history of this city to the whole world. This building will include a park for those who come to Khor Fakkan seeking pleasure. The memorial building will be in the shape of a helmet to symbolise the resistance in the city." – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


Camel beauties head for Al Dhafra fest
posted on 19/12/2014

For several days now, the Western Region highway has been busy with trucks arriving from all over the Arabian Gulf, bringing in some of the most beautiful and most valuable camels from the region to compete in this year's Al Dhafra Camel Festival.
Taking place in Madinat Zayed from December 20 to January 1, the annual festival of Bedouin traditions is expected to be bigger and more eventful than ever.
Organised by the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee – Abu Dhabi (CPHFC), the festival will give away more than Dh55 million in prizes, which include 225 four-wheel drive vehicles for the 15 competitions that will take place daily.
"We don't know yet how many participants are going to come, as camel owners are arriving everyday from the UAE and other parts of the Gulf, setting up camp in the desert and they will register for the competitions daily. We do expect, though, thousands of camels to be here for the next 10 days,” Abdullah Al Qubaisi, director of Projects Management at the CPHFC, told Khaleej Times.
Apart from 72 competitions for the camel beauty shows, the festival is organising this year 14 other contests related to Emirati traditions, including the best milking camel, saluki race, falconry, dates and dates packaging, photography, handicrafts and classic cars competition.
For the first time this year, there will be a horse race too and a competition for the best handmade cover for the winning camels.
Opened to Emirati artisans aged between 20 and 60 years, the heritage camel cover must be handmade and include traditional Emirati ornaments such as Al Tarabish (tassels) or Al Telli (weaved silver and golden threads).
The top 10 winners will receive a total of Dh100,000, with Dh30,000 awarded to the best looking cover.
"We would like to reactivate and stimulate the practice and dependence on handicrafts among Emiratis in general. The competition and the prizes were set to encourage our people to give their best in the field of traditional crafts, so as to meet the significance of the event and its key heritage and historical merit,” said Obaid Khalfan Al Mazrouei, director of Al Dhafra Festival's Heritage Competitions.
Favourites from the past eight editions of the festival are back this year too, including the traditional souq, where about 100 Emirati women will sell their hand-crafted products (anything from oil perfumes to dresses and spices), and the camel auction, where racing camels may fetch hundreds of thousands of dirhams.
The festival will be open to the public from 9am till sunset daily. – Khaleej Times -§ion=nationgeneral


Sharjah Ruler guest of honour in UNESCO's celebration of World Arabic Language Day
posted on 19/12/2014

His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah was the guest of honour in a ceremony organised yesterday by UNESCO in Paris to celebrate World Arabic Language Day.
Sheikh Sultan was received by Abdullah Mohammed Al Owais, Chairman of the Sharjah Department of Culture and Information, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, Abdullah Muharib, Director General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Abdullah Musabah Al Nuaimi, UAE Permanent Representative to the UNESCO, senior officials, diplomats, writers and artists.
The celebration opened with a poem extolling the Arabic language and a welcome speech delivered by Dr. Ziad Aldrees, President of the Advisory Board of the Plan for the Development of Arab Culture and Saudi Arabia's Permanent Representative to UNESCO who highlighted the link between the Arabic language and Islam.
"Islam did the Arabic language a great favour. It protected it from the threats of extinction like what happened to other languages," he said.
In her speech, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, welcomed Sheikh Sultan and thanked him for his continuous support to the organisation's activities related to Arabic language, including the Sharjah Prize for Arabic Language, which is organised by the UNESCO since 1998.
She added that Sheikh Sultan's attendance of the event was of great significance as it highlighted the link between the Arabic language and other cultures which is evident in the Arabic Alphabets and the Arabic calligraphy.
Sheikh Sultan opened the Arabic calligraphy exhibition, held as part of the event and displayed works by leading Arab and foreign calligraphers. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Mohamed bin Zayed directs building permanent heritage village
posted on 18/12/2014

His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has given a directive for building a permanent heritage village in Al Wathba City at the site of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014, taking place from 20 November to 12 December, said Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President, Chairman of the Emirates Camel Racing Federation and the chairman of the higher organising committee of the festival.
Sheikh Sultan greeted President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the occasion, thanked His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed for his supportive initiative and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs for following up on the event.
He hailed the success of this year's edition of the festival which attracted more than 60,000 Emirati and expatriate families.
Sheikh Sultan noted that the UAE leaders who provide full support to the country's rich heritage are walking in the steps of the founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
The festival celebrates the UAE's culture and heritage, showcases the rich diversity of its traditions and provides an educational platform for the public. It also illustrates that the UAE's development and progress has not been a coincidence but a legacy of the forefathers' inspiring achievements. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sultan opens Heritage Institute
posted on 15/12/2014

His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, on Sunday opened the Sharjah Heritage Institute (SHI), which houses ICCROM-ATHAR (Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region), a regional conservation centre founded by the Rome-based ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property).
Sheikh Sultan also unveiled a memorial plaque detailing the opening of the Institute, which coincides with the selection of Sharjah as the capital of Islamic Culture 2014, and then toured various areas of the Institute, whose design was inspired from Islamic architecture.
The Institutes has four galleries and exhibitions, all cantered on Arab and Islamic heritage and civilisation, as well as works of students from the American University of Sharjah and paintings depicting heritage and culture, having been created by students from the schools.
The Ruler of Sharjah was also briefed on the mission and diverse training programmes and services provided by ICCROM Sharjah.
Addressing the opening ceremony, Abdul Aziz Al Musalam, Chairman of SHI, paid tribute to Sheikh Sultan for his pioneering cultural and heritage initiatives.
‘'SHI is one of the latest mega-projects launched by Sheikh Sultan and coincides with the opening of ICCROM Sharjah, coming from a longstanding partnership between the Government of Sharjah and ICCROM beginning in the 1990s, to provide professional training programmes aimed at enhancing conservation practices and recognition of professional accomplishments in the Arab World. Sheikh Sultan allocated a permanent building for ICCROM Sharjah at the SHI,'' he said. – The Gulf Today -


Mohammed bin Rashid visits Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival
posted on 06/12/2014

Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Friday visited the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 taking place between 20 November-12 December in the Al Wathba City.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid toured the venue of the festival which is named in honour of the UAE's founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He visited the four sections of the event which focuses on four areas that have shaped life in the UAE – desert, oases, the sea and mountains- and examines the pivotal role that people from the past have played in preserving the nation's history.
The festival celebrates the U.A.E.'s culture, heritage and showcases the rich diversity of its traditions, to provide an educational platform for the public. It also illustrates that the UAE's development and progress has not been a coincidence but a legacy of the forefathers' inspiring achievements.
He also visited a special pavilion that showcases Sheikh Zayed's life and achievements since the establishment of the UAE 43 years ago.
He also viewed historical documents and photos put on display for the first time for the public in order to showcase the history of the UAE.
Expressing his admiration of the event, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid concluded his tour by commenting, "The Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival refreshes the memory of our people and serves as an eye-opener for the young generation to see the heritage, culture and history of their forefathers." He emphasised that the wise leaders of the U.A.E. will continue to nurture the authentic Arab heritage, traditions and noble values of the U.A.E. people while, at the same time, reaching out to the world's cultures and civilisations to build humane bridges with them, regardless of race, geography or religion.
He also hailed the organisation of the festival under the patronage of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with the support of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and under the personal supervision of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Additionally, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid urged the nation's young generation to cling to their national identity and heritage and to be, at the same time, open to others to explore foreign cultures and tap into knowledge to enrich their own culture and promote it globally.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed was accompanied during his tour by Sheikh Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, Advisor to the UAE President and Chairman of the Higher Organising Committee of the festival, Khalifa Saeed Suleiman, Director-General of Dubai's Protocol Department, Hamad Saeed Al Niyadi, Director of the Office of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Deputy Chairman of the Organising Committee and Saeed Humaid Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Meydan City Corporation. – Emirates News Agency, WAM -


Sultan orders renaming Heart of Sharjah’s bid for UNESCO World Heritage Sites
posted on 29/11/2014

Under the directives of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Higher Committee of the Heart of Sharjah's bid to be entered on the list of World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) announced updating the bid submitted by Sharjah to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.
The new title of the bid is "Sharjah, a Gateway to Trucial States" instead of "Heart of Sharjah".
The move aims to highlight the historical role played by the emirate of Sharjah in the political, economic, cultural and social contexts within what was known the "Trucial States Council" which was established in Sharjah during the era of British rule.
The council played a great role in paving the way for establishing united ties based on the brotherly relations of the rulers of the seven emirates, leading to the announcement of the formation of the U.A.E. on the 2nd of December 1971.
UNESCO has registered the Heart of Sharjah in the tentative list of World Heritage Sites, in a testimony of the archaeological and historical richness of the U.A.E.. The announcement was made in February 2014, in concurrence with the official celebrations of Sharjah Islamic Cultural Capital 2014.
The achievement comes two years after the international organisation's approval to study the file of the Ancient Sharjah and the Emirate's bid for registration on the tentative list of the World Heritage Sites.
Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Higher Committee of Heart of Sharjah's bid to World Heritage Sites, said that the "Sharjah, a Gateway to the Trucial States" file gives the Heart of Sharjah more value, as the new name highlights the political, economic, cultural and social roles played by the area in the previous century, when it hosted the first meetings of the Trucial States Council, creating a shared vision among leaders of the country and leading to the formation of the United Arab Emirates. She added that the Heart of Sharjah was the haven of trading activities and cradle of cultural exchange and served as a point of convergence of civilisations and a meeting point between peoples and tribes over many decades.
Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi extended thanks to Sheikh Dr Sultan for supporting the "Sharjah, a Gateway to the Trucial States" bid and for his directives to highlight the human heritage and cultural legacy of the area.
She also lauded the efforts made by Sharjah Department of Culture and Information and the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities, saying that any achievement made by the emirate of Sharjah is an achievement for the entire nation as it will highlight the rich heritage of the U.A.E. and boost tourist traffic driven by increased interest in the area.
Abdullah Al Owais, Chairman of the Executive Committee of Heart of Sharjah's World Heritage Site bid, commended the update of the initial file submitted to UNESCO, affirming that the new title will help expand the geographical scope of the area nominated to be inscribed as a World Heritage Site, and will highlight the role of Sharjah during one of the most vital periods in the region's history – the mid-twentieth century.
He added that the update of the file coincides with the nationwide celebrations of U.A.E. National Day, which reaffirms the steadfast commitment of the U.A.E.'s prudent leadership to unity, not only as a means to growth and prosperity, but also as a vital need of life, a need for reinforcing solidarity among brothers, confronting challenges, and maintaining national gains.
Shurooq is developing the Heart of Sharjah in what is considered as the first and largest ever heritage development in the region. Seeking to reflect what Sharjah was like over half a century ago, the project will restore and revamp the city's traditional areas to create a tourist and trade destination with contemporary artistic touches that retains the feel of the 1950s.
Scheduled for completion in 2025, the first of five phases is already underway, and Shurooq has set up a joint committee – comprising representatives from leading governmental and private bodies, to oversee the implementation of this first phase. The Heart of Sharjah will also be realised in accordance with international standards of sustainable development and environmental principles.
The "Sharjah, a Gateway to Trucial States" bid is expected to be inscribed on the list World Heritage Sites, after evaluation by the relevant UNESCO bodies, which will conduct a number of visits and assessments, in collaboration with the local supervisory bodies, during the remaining period of 2014 and the next year, before recommending whether to inscribe the landmarks on the list. Final inclusion in the list will serve as international recognition of the exceptional international value of the historical area in Sharjah, and will help to maintain the area in accordance with UNESCO standards, promoting and highlighting it at the global level.
The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities has nominated seven Emirati sites for entry on the tentative list of the UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The nominated places included three sites from Sharjah (Sir Bu Nair Island, the Cultural Landscape of the Central Region – Mleiha – and Heart of Sharjah). – Emirates News Agency, WAM -



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