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22 July 2024

More Than 300,000 Attend UAE Culture Days in Moscow

By E247

From June 28 to July 2, the UAE Culture Days took center stage at Manezh Square, one of the central venues of the Summer in Moscow project. This vibrant event captivated over 300,000 attendees, offering a rich program filled with colorful performances and workshops that showcased the unique cultural traits of the UAE.

Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, highlighted the importance of this cultural exchange: "The cooperation between our countries in the field of culture is based on a solid foundation of mutual respect, careful attitude to the preservation of their heritage and spiritual values of the peoples. Holding the UAE Culture Days in the heart of the Russian capital is a landmark step in strengthening and developing such cooperation. The residents and guests of Moscow have a unique opportunity to plunge into the magical atmosphere of the Arab East, get acquainted with the bright original culture of the UAE, learn about traditions, costumes, cuisine, attend master classes and, of course, enjoy the performances of excellent musical groups."

Over the course of five days, festival visitors were treated to performances by Al Otaida and Al Mazyoud bands, fashion shows accompanied by traditional Emirati music, and the chance to sample popular national dishes. The event also featured Emirati crafts, temporary henna tattoos, and an outdoor photo exhibition showcasing unforgettable vistas of the UAE. A highlight was the Emirati wedding show, providing insights into celebratory traditions.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Sultan Essa Al Jaber, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation, noted, “The UAE Culture Days were held at Manezh Square for the first time. These events carry great educational and historical importance, reflecting the cultural wealth of the Emirates. Event attendees had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of our country's heritage and discover its treasures.”

The festival is part of a larger cycle of events held on a reciprocal basis within the framework of bilateral interaction between the countries, developed within the strategic dialogue between Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States (GCC).

Tourism ties between the UAE and Russia are also flourishing. In 2023 alone, 42.2 thousand UAE tourists visited Moscow, with travelers from the UAE enjoying visa-free entry to Russia. As of early February, there were 150 flights a week from the Russian capital to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah.

Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Office of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee, emphasized the efforts to promote Moscow’s tourism potential in the Middle East: “The Moscow government is making great efforts to promote the capital’s tourism potential in the Middle East and African countries. The Moscow City Tourism Committee team visited many Arab countries over the course of a year and a half. And what is pleasant to note is that as a result of the visits, we see both the first contracts and tourists who come to Moscow for the first time after a long break. We also see a friendly attitude towards our delegates and our Moscow business from the tourism community of the Middle East. I am sure we have a great future together ahead of us."

Moscow's appeal as a tourist destination continues to grow. In 2023, foreign tourist traffic totaled 2.3 million people, with visitors primarily from China, India, CIS countries, and the Middle East. To strengthen international ties, Moscow participates in major exhibitions, organizes projects, and hosts events aimed at foreign audiences. This year alone, a business mission to the UAE was held on February 7, and in May, a Moscow delegation participated in the ATM exhibition in Dubai.

Students from the Al Hadara cultural center played a crucial role in facilitating communication between residents and Arab participants during the festival. One student, Arina Tulebaeva, shared her experience: “I have always been fascinated by the Middle Eastern countries. I’ve known about many of its traditions and the culinary delights of Arab cuisine for a long time. But thanks to the festival, both I and many other city residents were able to firsthand encounter the cultural and ethnic customs of the United Arab Emirates. For example, we learned about al sadu — an ancient and beautifully intricate weaving technique. Many learned for the first time about the burqa and understood why Arab women wear this adornment, as well as how henna is made. Festival visitors also could taste traditional Arab coffee enhanced with dates or cardamom, the sweet dish harees, regag bread, jabab, khamir, and other traditional delicacies."