Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 December 2018

Highlighting our heritage is crucial

Abu Dhabi’s move to boost its position as a global cultural tourism destination

Abu Dhabi is focusing on cultural tourism. Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / ISAF
Abu Dhabi is focusing on cultural tourism. Jesus Renedo / Sailing Energy / ISAF

For a country that has established itself as a global tourism hub, promoting the UAE's cultural heritage is crucial, as it could significantly boost tourism and make a powerful positive impact on the country’s economic development. It will also help us highlight our cultural values and traditions and may even dispel a few of the more persistent misconceptions that some people hold about this country.

It is in this light that the agreement between the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and the Emirates Heritage Club to protect, preserve and revive national heritage assumes deep significance. As The National reported yesterday, the partnership will involve many collaborations such as providing the club’s services to tourists in different cultural locations such as the Sheikh Zayed Museum, the Heritage Village and the Sweihan Festival. Tourists will also be invited to watch races with traditional dhows, and events involving rowing, horse riding and camels. Saif Ghobash, the authority’s director general, rightly pointed out that these efforts will “revitalise the emirate’s rich heritage and cultural assets”.

The move couldn’t come at a better time as the country is gearing up to mark Year of Zayed in 2018. The occasion will give us a chance to promote our history as well as the vision of one man who transformed this nation from a relatively small trading post into a modern global, forward-looking country in less than half a century. There are other events that can reinforce the objective, such as Qasr Al Hosn and Mother of the Nation festivals, which feature programmes that highlight Emirati heritage and traditions.

Such efforts to promote cultural tourism will not just enhance our country’s image, they will ensure that the unique story of this country's foundation and growth will be given voice.