Unmissable new cultural event Al Shindagha Days underway
Cultural and artistic celebration reviving the legacy and charm of the past
The 10-day event includes tours, workshops, art exhibitions and installations
An exceptional event, which enhances Dubai's position as one of the most important international cultural destinations
Dubai, UAE, 10 January, 2020 // A brand new event for families, residents, culture enthusiasts and tourists opened yesterday in Dubai. Organised by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) the inaugural edition of Al Shindagha Days opened on Thursday 9th January and will welcome visitors over the next 10 days for a series of specially curated cultural, artistic and heritage entertainment activities. It takes visitors on a journey, which revives the legacy and charm of the past in a modern and approachable format.
All are welcome
There is something for everyone inside this cultural celebration, which has a jam-packed schedule of events planned out for all ages and nationalities. With the aim of introducing the world to the Emirate’s ancient history, consolidating the UAE’s heritage values, and at the same time placing Al Shindagha Historic District on the regional and global heritage map, it is a veritable extravaganza that fuses present and past.
All activities for Al Shindagha Days are held in the newly renovated Al Shindagha district of Dubai, which includes Al Shindagha Museum, The Perfume House, The Historical Documents Centre, Saruq Al Hadid Archaeological Museum and the picturesque waterfront area. Dubai Culture is organising the event in collaboration with Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) supported by Careem, Mobility Partner.
Al Shindagha Days aligns with the efforts of Dubai Culture to promote the cultural scene of Dubai by highlighting the history of Al Shindagha area and its role in shaping the economy of the country. It is also part of Dubai Culture’s commitment to fulfill its vision to be a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent. The 10-day celebration features a range of cultural and entertainment activities for visitors to enjoy and cherish.
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 and four UAE artists have created special artworks to adorn each of the panels.
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. On the first day, a calligraphy artist Diaa Allam, performed live painting on an human-size replica of a pearl (180cm high) in a celebration of this traditional trade. This artwork is now on show to visitors for the duration of the event.
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.
Visitors can take 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. There are also curated tours of the area including The Perfume Trail exploring perfume making methods and history at Al Shindagha Souq, the Abra and the Perfume House as well as a walking tour of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood that visits the coffee museum, the dagger museum and the Dubai Museum.
As well as all this informative and exposure to insight and knowledge about the ancient and modern cultures of Dubai, there are opportunities for expat residents and tourists to meet and interact with Emiratis nationals. Through a series of activities dedicated to Emirati culture, this majlis offers 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 sheds 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 is also hosting weaving workshops.
Dubai: past and present
All of this falls within the framework of the Authority's support for the national program for happiness and positivity, by creating activities and entertainment that enrich cultural experiences and that spread happiness in society. On this occasion, Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture stressed that this cultural event would shed light on Dubai's cultural heritage and enhance the Emirate’s global position. She said: "Al Shindagha Days is an exceptional event hosting a range of various activities to enrich the audience’s knowledge of the authentic culture of the UAE and its rich history, highlighting the innovation and drive of the people of Dubai that enabled them to draw wisdom from the past and build a modern city, which is future-facing but remains rooted in its heritage. This event consolidates Dubai’s position on the cultural map in the region and as one of the world's most important cultural destinations."