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23 February, 2023

Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood enriches heritage celebration on ‘Hag Al Leila’

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), has announced its plans for the celebration of Mid-Sha'ban – ‘Hag Al Leila’, with a programme of exciting and heritage-rooted activities that will be hosted by the Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood from 26 February to 7 March. This reflects the authority's keenness to preserve and pass on elements of our local heritage to generations to come.
Over 10 days, Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood will host a variety of heritage-rooted activities, including ‘Freej Feast’ activities that will start on February 26, and will be held in collaberation between Dubai Culture and ‘Dubai Municipality’ and ‘Tea Before Noon’, with the participation of restaurant owners, local projects and brands. In conjunction with ‘Freej Feast’, several activities will also be held in the Community Hall from the 26th to the 5th of March; including the Elevenish Pop Up that displays a variety of products and creations of local talents from 2nd to 5th March, and the ‘Bait Sephora’ activation which presents a number of masterclasses and workshops.
On 4 and 5 March, children will be able to enjoy a variety of activities, including the ‘Hag Al Leila’ track, in which they will roam between the houses of the Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood, wearing traditional costumes and carrying bags that are specially made for this occasion, collecting sweets and nuts from the houses. The children will also enjoy various workshops such as lantern making, henna designs and patterns, jewellery design, and bag decoration, which are hosted in separate places in Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood.
Dubai Culture has also prepared a special programme for school students, which will be held from 6 to 7 March, and includes numerous tours in the Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood and special visits to the Beauty and Adornment House, which sheds light on local adornment traditions and traditional costumes, and the People and Faith house that offers insights on human and social meanings that abound in Emirati heritage. They will also be offered workshops hosted by the Turath Centre for Traditional Handicrafts, which is an innovative cultural platform, to celebrate traditional crafts, such as Burqa sewing, Al Talli and others.
Abdalla Al Obeidli, Acting Manager of Al Shindagha Museum at Dubai Culture, affirmed the importance of spreading and enhancing awareness of local customs and traditions that consolidate the bonds of the local community, saying: “Celebrating Hag Al Leila reflects our keenness to bring local heritage to the hearts of children, document their relationship with Emirati history, and introduce them to our customs and traditions. These activities are an opportunity to joyfully enrich children’s knowledge of its importance and place in society. All the activities that were prepared to celebrate this occasion are characterised by originality, in which the focus was on various elements of local heritage, tradition and arts, which contributes to introducing the public to our history and heritage.”
This celebration comes as part of Al Shindagha Museum’s annual programme that includes many entertainment and heritage events and activities that will be held throughout the year, including the launch of The UAE Tour; summer and winter camps; the celebrations of World Heritage Day and International Museum Day; and the Heritage Festival, in addition to workshops and guided tours aimed at enriching knowledge and strengthening the public's relationship with local heritage.
In celebration of Hag Al Leila, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and Hatta Heritage Village will also host the activities of the ‘Mid-Sha'ban competition’ for school students on 7 March, inviting them to roam the assets to obtain the answers to the competition’s questions that are distributed within special paths that enable them to learn about the details of the sites. In addition, Dubai Culture is organising a virtual talk titled ‘Emirati Values,’ highlighting the importance of Hag Al Leila in Emirati heritage.