For days now, camel caravans have been traveling from as far as Riyadh, Dhofar and Al Jahra to make it to the 11th Al Dhafra Festival about to start on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi emirate’s Madinat Zayed. This is the largest Bedouin gathering on the planet! On the edge of the mighty Empty Quarters, camel caravans are setting up tents and camel pens for one of the most impressive annual celebration of desert living. This year, Al Dhafra Festival is taking place from 14th till 28th December, and it’s been planned to be a memorable one!
With temperatures dropping south of 30 Celsius border, Al Ain has opened up its forts, palaces and oases to its annual, seasonal celebration of Emirati culture, heritage and traditions. Outdoors concerts, festivals, history exhibitions, falconry shows, talks and workshops on royal dress or centuries old Arab etiquette are all happening in the Green City until April next year.
Here are a few of Traditzia’s favourites!
Qasr Al Muwaiji, Khalifa Bin Zayed St, Al Ain:
Ayallah and Harbiya Performances: two of the most popular Emirati folk shows performed by groups of men, facing each other in two raws, having a poetic “dialogue”, encouraged by a group of musicians playing traditional Emirati instruments.
Every Thursday till April 2018;
‘Yalsa’: workshops on traditional Emirati protocol and etiquette.
Every Thursday till April 2018
Royal ‘Bisht’: workshop showcasing the different patterns that each UAE ruler had on his bisht (traditional overcoat worn by men in the UAE and the Arab Gulf), followed by sewing workshops.
Monthly through April 2018:
19 Oct, 16 Nov, 14 Dec 2017; 18 Jan, 22 Feb, 22 Mar, 26 Apr 2018
Falconer’s Camp: visitors can become falconers for an hour
Every Saturday from Nov 2017 to Feb 2018.
Al Ain Palace Museum, Hessa Bint Mohamed St, Al Mutawaa, Al Ain:
My Heritage, My Responsibility: seasonal outdoors programme highlighting different elements of the UAE hospitality, culture and traditions with performances, workshops and a traditional craft market.
7-8 Dec 2017, 11-12 Jan 2018, 15-16 Feb 2018
‘Ramsa’: weekly community majlis event where the Emirati dialect and customs is being discussed by experts in Emirati heritage.
Every Sunday till April 2018
Handicrafts Workshops: visitors get to learn how to make traditional Emirati Telli (embroidery), Khoos (palm leaf weaving), and Sadu (wool weaving).
Every Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday, throughout the year.
Al Jahili Fort, Sultan Bin Zayed Al Awwal St, Al Mutawaa, Al Ain:
Trucial Scouts: Life and Times Exhibition: a journey through a collection of artifacts on loan from the Armed Forces Museum & Military History Center in Abu Dhabi, from the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. These artifacts are testimony to the historic Trucial Scouts that was formed in 1951 by royal order of the British Crown. The primary role of the Scouts was to maintain internal and external security in the Trucial emirates, in addition to protecting the interests of oil companies that were exploring in the region at the time.
2 Nov 2017 – 26 Apr 2018;
National Day Celebration
2 December 2017;
Every Tuesday – year long;
Military Band Performance
Every Thursday from 14 Dec 2017 – Apr 2018;
Police Dog Show
Every Wednesday till April 2018.
Bin Hamoodah Fort, near Qattara Oasis, Al Ain:
The Trombone Trio of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with pianist Jeroen Bal: When Art Meets Music
Set in the beautiful outdoor Bin Hamoodah Fort in Al Ain on November 9th, The Trombone Trio of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and pianist Jeroen Bal will explore the connection between music and visual arts, therefore creating a unique sensory experience that will take the audience on a harmonious musical journey that is rare of its kind.
In a programme inspired by artworks, the four musicians will perform pieces by Modest Mussorgsky, Anton Bruckner and Franz Schubert, while the fort’s walls will be lit with paintings inspired by the music.
The concert is part of Abu Dhabi Classics, the annual classical music season happening in the capital and across the emirate.
Tickets start at AED 100 (AED 50 for students) and are on sale at www.ticketmaster.ae.
An 11-day fiesta of fresh, half-ripen dates (ratab) is about to unfold at the Liwa Dates Festival, in the Al Dhafra Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Taking place from the 19th till 29th July 2017, the festival marks the beginning of the ratab harvesting season in United Arab Emirates. It is also a unique opportunity to taste and buy top quality Emirati fresh dates. You’ll never find a better ratab anywhere else in the country!
Forget the blockbusters! Independent movies have finally made it to the big screens in Dubai, brought to you by DIFF 365@VOX. This is an initiative by the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), screening independent films at VOX Cinema, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai, throughout the year. These are the current selections: