SWEIHAN, 21st January, 2018 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the President’s Representative and Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club, today launched the 12th edition of the Sultan bin Zayed Heritage Festival 2018, organised by Emirates Heritage Club and the Sultan bin Zayed Centre, and will continue until February 3rd.
H.H. Dr. Sheikh Hazza bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan and H.H. Dr. Khalid bin Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan were present.
Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed crowned the winners of the first day competitions, and received a delegation of the Ministry of Education, directors, and universities officials.
Sinan Ahmed Al Muhairi, Second Deputy Chairman of the Emirates Heritage Club Board of Directors and Executive Director of Activities and Sessions, said, “The directives of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed have had a great impact on our work and preparation for the festival, which has become a milestone in the conservation and rooting of the heritage.” He noted that the successes achieved by the festival from its inception until today are thanks to the generous support of Sheikh Sultan, hoping that he and the committee will have the responsibility and trust given to them to carry out the festival in a manner worthy of its size, importance, and prestige as one of the most important heritage festivals in the region.
He appreciated the efforts of sponsors, media professionals, and government and private institutions working with the committee to come up with a successful course that achieves the vision of the festival’s patron and contributes to the preservation of the UAE’s heritage.
On the sidelines of the festival, Sheikh Sultan today received a number of university directors, professors, and education officials. He emphasised the role of schools and universities in the development of education as a model in bringing an attractive environment, and said, “The role of universities and schools is essential in promoting citizenship and identity.”
Sheikh Sultan stressed the importance of the Arabic language saying, “It is a living and expressive language, a title for identity, patriotism and Arabism and promotes the concept of belonging to the homeland.” He also warned of the full dependence on other languages ??and their impact on the family and society.
The festival hosted traditional camel races and beauty contests and a Saluki race. It featured as well a traditional market, a heritage village and traditional activities in addition to a traditional souq and contests for handicrafts and horse riding.
The festival included traditional games, Yolla, falconry, Emirati cuisine, booths showcasing handicrafts and traditional Majlis, a heritage village featuring Rababa performers, pottery and souvenir exhibitions, and performances by Bou Theib stables horsemen.
The event comes as part of the efforts to revive and safeguard the age-old tradition of camel sports which is an integral part of the UAE’s rich heritage. It brings in tremendous success in stimulating the economic activity around Sweihan, the city which hosted thousands of camel sports enthusiasts from across the UAE and provided them with all facilities amidst a festive atmosphere.
The opening ceremony was attended by a number of ambassadors from Arab and foreign countries to the UAE, and a number of senior officials and guests.