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16 May, 2024

Dubai Culture Launches Summer Blessings Event to Celebrate the Palm Tree

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has announced the launch of its latest initiative, the Summer Blessings event, celebrating the palm tree and highlighting its significance and impact on Emirati culture. The event will take place at Al Shindagha Museum on 25 and 26 May 2024, and will feature a diverse array of artistic performances and heritage-related activities inspired by the national icon. This aligns with the Authority’s cultural responsibility to safeguard tangible and intangible heritage and enhance its presence on the international stage.
Al Shindagha Museum, the UAE’s largest heritage museum, will host a series of interactive workshops that will be given by a group of specialised heritage experts. The Children’s Pavilion will host workshops providing visitors with the opportunity to learn origami, the basics of palm frond weaving, its techniques, and methods of preparing and dyeing palm fronds to create a range of accessories.
Visitors to Turath Centre for Traditional Handicrafts will encounter a series of traditional workshops acquainting them with the history of handicrafts, their historical dimensions, the anatomy of the palm tree and the raw materials used in products inspired by this natural resource. Turath Centre for Traditional Handicrafts will also train participants on methods of creating modern products using palm fronds.
In celebration of the date season, the Traditional Food House will allow visitors the opportunity to explore the traditions of preservation, serving fresh dates and using them in Emirati cuisine, and the ways to decorate traditional date dishes, extract date syrup and preserve dates.
Dubai Culture has a dedicated traditional market within the Visitors Centre, exhibiting the craftsmanship of local artisans and their commitment to heritage. Alongside these offerings, a diverse array of products by creatives is showcased, fostering empowerment and inclusion across the community. This initiative bolsters the resilience of Dubai's cultural and creative industries. The Visitor Centre is also a gathering point for families to enjoy the event’s atmosphere and sample a variety of date-based foods and beverages.
Throughout May, Al Shindagha Museum guests can enjoy family trails organised by the Authority during weekends, enabling visitors to explore the collections of Dubai Creek: Birth of a City, The Perfume House, Emerging City, and Culture of the Sea Pavilion. They can also enjoy the Date Harvest Performance presented by Emirati artist Marei AlHalyan, which highlights the importance of the date harvest season and its role in enhancing social cohesion.
Abdallah Al Obeidli, Acting Manager of Al Shindagha Museum at Dubai Culture, emphasised the Authority's commitment to celebrating the Emirati heritage elements, including the palm tree, and affirmed its efforts to raise awareness of its significance in local memory, saying “The palm tree is a pillar of Emirati heritage that plays a significant role in the pre-oil era as it was a central part of life, with its fruits used for food, its trunk and fronds for building, and its fibres and leaves in important handicraft industries of that time, rendering it a symbol of generosity and a source of inspiration and innovation. The Summer Blessings event aims to deepen the community's connection to the palm tree and showcase associated professions and handicrafts in a contemporary yet authentic manner, preserving Dubai's rich history.”