Al Ain city’s renovated Souq Al Qattara will host from October to May the Traditional Handicrafts market initiative aiming to encourage local families to preserve, and promote the heritage through an active production of the traditional handicrafts.
The ‘Productive Families’ initiative is being organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and will run annually from October till May. The event is aiming to provide job opportunities to artisans while giving the UAE visitors a glimpse of this important element of UAE heritage.
“This event will promote the creativity and innovative skills of productive families to help them promote and increase their traditional products, and will simultaneously provide a unique platform that enables craftsmen to meet with traditional handicrafts artisans,” said Saeed Hamad Al Kaabi, Head of Traditional Handicrafts and Products, TCA Abu Dhabi. “Families involved in traditional handicrafts production need more support to promote their products among a wider segment of the community, and enhance their capabilities and skills to eventually reflect the UAE heritage within the daily life and modern aesthetics,” Al Kaabi added.
The initiative, which includes the exhibition of the products within the format of a market, will be open to visitors on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of every week and will restitute the memory of the popular ‘Friday Souq’ concept organised by local residents to showcase their products. The market will have several shops selling traditional products, as well as various entertainment activities. The Market ‘souk’ will be open to a wide audience and will host Students Special visits in cooperation with educational institutions.
Dating back to the mid-20th century, the historical Souq Al Qattara market was re-opened in December 2012 upon completion of restoration works conducted by TCA Abu Dhabi. The souq was founded by the late Sheikh Shakhbut bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a former Abu Dhabi Ruler, on the palm-lined road linking Al Qattara and Al Jimi oasis. It played a key role in the life of Al Ain’s population, setting an exemplary model for ancient Arab markets which serve as hubs for commercial exchange and social engagement.
TCA Abu Dhabi opened Al Qattara Arts Centre last year as part of its endeavors to develop Al Qattara Oasis and to create art community spaces. The centre is a meeting point for all segments of the UAE community to get exposed to art and heritage activities.