A form of weaving called sadu, practised by rural Emirati women, has been registered on a global list of traditions "in need of urgent safeguarding".
The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach) said it hoped the inclusion on Friday of sadu on the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) list of Intangible Cultural Heritage would help to raise international support to keep the custom alive.
Traditionally, men would trim wool from sheep, camels or goats.
The women would then clean and prepare it, spinning it into yarn, dyeing it with colours and weaving it into geometric patterns on a floor loom.
The finished material - generally black, white, brown, beige and red - was used to produce furnishings and decorative accessories for camels and horses.
Emirati girls once learnt the craft by watching and helping older women who gathered to weave.
The tradition has faded since the discovery of oil. Nomadic communities have since settled in cities, more young women work outside their homes, and the generation of women who still practise sadu has started to die, says Adach.
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