ABU DHABI, 7th June, 2023 (WAM) — As part of its commitment to the 2003 UNESCO Convention on promoting intangible cultural heritage, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) organised the fifth UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Global Capacity Building Workshop, held in Al Ain in collaboration with UNESCO and the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.
With the participation of 40 representatives from the government, social and heritage-related entities, the workshop aimed to enhance the understanding and capabilities of intangible cultural heritage practitioners, researchers, experts and other stakeholders.
Intangible cultural heritage includes literature, performance arts, customs, traditions, social practices, traditional crafting skills, as well as practices concerning nature and the universe. UNESCO launched the Global Capacity Building Programme in 2009 to strengthen the capacities of member states and other stakeholders to effectively and sustainably safeguard intangible cultural heritage.
Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Under-Secretary at DCT Abu Dhabi, said, “Intangible cultural heritage is an essential aspect of our identity, and DCT Abu Dhabi is leading the way in protecting and promoting these elements of our treasured national heritage as we progress Abu Dhabi by enabling people and partnerships to thrive. We are proud to host the fifth iteration of UNESCO’s capacity building workshop, which provides heritage professionals with valuable knowledge and resources and presents a roadmap for communities and global leaders to implement effective policies and programmes to safeguard intangible cultural heritage.”
Mubarak Al Nakhi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, commented, “The UAE is rich in intangible cultural heritage, as evidenced by the 14 heritage elements we have successfully inscribed on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. In cooperation with major regional and international organisations, our leadership is keen to continue efforts to preserve this invaluable heritage, as it is a fundamental pillar in shaping the cultural identity of our society. In an increasingly globalised word of rapid technological developments, it has never been more important to preserve cultural diversity and pass it on to the next generations.”
The five-day workshop’s comprehensive approach to safeguarding and sustaining intangible cultural heritage focused on several key areas, including strengthening national capacities to identify, document, and protect their intangible cultural heritage effectively; promoting community participation in all aspects of the safeguarding process; and translating the safeguarding process into policies and sustainable plans.
In addition, the workshop shed light on the achievements of the heritage entities in the United Arab Emirates, whose efforts were represented by inscribing 14 Intangible Cultural Heritage elements on the UNESCO Representative lists as part of the comprehensive Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.