ABU DHABI - People gathered over the weekend to celebrate World Heritage Day in the Capital’s Heritage Village. World Heritage Day falls on April 18, but Abu Dhabi’s event was postponed due to a death in the Royal family. “Friday was a unique day because we started with a march from the Heritage Café to the Heritage Village. We called it the World March, because there were people from different countries, carrying different flags.
In the front we had the falconers, the horse riders, camel riders and people playing traditional [Arab] music,” described Mohammed Saad Maarouf of Emirates Heritage Club, which organised the event.
The day honours World Heritage sites, bringing attention to the diversity of cultures throughout the world and the importance of conserving them.
According to Maarouf, the march was intended to be a celebration of diversity, and was joined by the ambassadors of Poland, Turkey, Ireland and Japan.
At the Heritage Village destination, however, local culture took centre stage. In addition to the site’s permanent museum and displays of traditional Arab crafts, special musical performances and educational activities added to the World Heritage Day festivities. Organisers have displayed entries from a local environmental photography competition, taking the opportunity to highlight Abu Dhabi’s natural heritage as well. World Heritage day celebrations will end tonight, after a display of one of the region’s traditional sports. “Saturday we will have dhow racing, in the 43-foot [dhow] category. It will be 30km, starting at 1pm from Abu Al Abyed Island and ending at Abu Dhabi Island around three,” said Maarouf, inviting visitors to observe the boats pulling in.