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05 October 2023

Dubai Culture announces the programme for Al Shindagha Days

Photo: Dubai Media Office

By Dubai Media Office

A 10-day window to experience local culture, heritage and art

- Unique museum experience with special tours

- In line with the Ruler of Dubai’s vision to revive and develop the city’s historic areas

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) announces the full line up for the inaugural 10-day festival Al Shindagha Days during Dubai Shopping Festival. The cultural and entertainment festival, which falls in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to revive and develop Dubai’s historic areas, aims to introduce to the visitors to the ancient history of Al Shindagha as well as to promote the rich traditional heritage of the Emirate.

Through a series of tours, interactive free workshops, art exhibitions and installations, the festival sheds light on the local culture and heritage in a modern interactive way.

Al Shindagha is the area where the first Rulers of Dubai lived and its Creek-side location is also where trade and commerce began. The festival allows visitors to appreciate this rich history across a number of locations including: Al Shindagha Museum; The Perfume House; The Historical Documents Centre; Saruq Al Hadid and the waterfront area in Dubai Historic District.

Highlights include Al Shindagha Doors Exhibition. This exhibit showcases a series of 20 traditional doors that belonged to the historic buildings of Al Shindagha area. Now they have been brought back to life by restoration specialists.

Visitors can also learn about the UAE’s rich pearling history through an informative display of pearls and the art of pearl diving presented by Suwaidi Pearls Farm in Ras Al Khamiah. Alongside, a calligraphy artist Diaa Allam, will perform live painting on an oversized representation of a pearl (180cm high) in a celebration of this traditional trade.

The ancient craft of dhow building is also a fascinating spotlight within the event. Dhow building is an art perfected by the people of the region to strengthen their bond with the sea and also, upon which the trade of pearl diving was built. At Al Shindagha Days, a five-metre-long boat is displayed for visitors to admire the craftsmanship that goes into building dhows.

There will also be tours of the museums on the shores of Dubai Creek, where visitors can experience the vibrant history of Dubai in an interactive manner. Al Shindagha Museum tells the universal tale of human innovation, resilience, and the desire for progress, which shaped the Dubai we know today. The museum also highlights Dubai’s shared heritage with the region and wider world.

Saruq Al Hadid Museum uses state of the art technology to recreate the archaeological site that was a centre for metalworking three thousand years ago. The museum tells the story of this exciting and mysterious discovery and exhibits the items on public display, offering a fascinating insight into the skill and accomplishments of the people who worked during the Iron Age.

The Perfume House tells the story behind Emirati fragrances through a multi-sensory experience that showcases traditional handmade perfume making techniques. It also includes a visual timeline of perfume throughout the region.

As well as all this informative and exposure to insight and knowledge about the ancient and modern cultures of Dubai, there will also be opportunities for expat residents and tourists to meet and interact with Emiratis nationals. Through a series of activities dedicated to Emirati culture, this majlis will offer activities such as: date tasting; Emirati dialect sessions; learning about Emirati coffee and Karak tea; as well as information on jewellery, camels and a photo corner.

Finally, the event will also shed light on UAE start-up businesses so that visitors can see how young entrepreneurs have taken heritage and traditions to another level while preserving their roots. Tamashee designs high-end footwear and for Al Shindagha Days they have designed an educational installation about Arabic script as well as curated a series of workshops that revolve around contemporary culture and photography.

Other heritage displays include The Zay Initiative exhibition of traditional clothing and jewellery and Gumash Studio exhibition of jewellery pieces and other hand-crafted products inspired by Middle Eastern tradition. The studio will also offer weaving workshops.

Al Shindagha Days coincides with the 25th edition of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF), and aims to introduce to the visitors to the ancient history of Dubai and promote the rich traditional heritage of the Emirate. The event seeks to position Al Shindagha on the global cultural map.