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Treasures of Yesterday

Treasures of Yesterday

Despite the development that has taken place on an unprecedented scale over recent years, the UAE continues to celebrate a rich heritage, a heritage that is still cherished by Emiratis, and one that is very close to the hearts of the younger generation. This ancient heritage has been passed down through the generations, and through many centuries, helping preserve this cultural legacy and introducing the youth of today to the customs and conventions of their resilient forefathers. Traditional dances, crafts, and customs are alive and well.

A snapshot of the UAE’s living history
(Image credit: Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority & Culture)


The weaving of clothes and carpets was a practice that every woman used to follow in a conventional Arab household. Today, visitors can get an insight into this artisan legacy at The Heritage Village, where original Emirati customs are recreated and visitors can see local artisans practice their ancient traditional skills.

Калейдоскоп культурных традиций ОАЭ


Henna is the Arabian counterpart of the tattoo. Henna is made from the dye of the Henna tree, and is not a permanent dye, it washes off in a week. The decorative purpose of Henna varies from culture to culture, but its most popular use in the UAE is as make-up for bridal parties. Today, tourists can get beautiful floral henna patterns painted on their hands or feet as a temporary memento of their visit the UAE.

Калейдоскоп культурных традиций ОАЭ

Arabian Coffee

Arabian coffee or "Qahwa" is a traditional beverage in the UAE culture. Traditionally, the coffee beans are roasted on the premises, ground, brewed and served in front of guests. It is sprinkled with freshly ground cardamom to heighten the aroma and is often served with dates or candied fruit. Arabic coffee embodies the essence of the United Arab Emirates in its aroma and flavor.

Калейдоскоп культурных традиций ОАЭ

Folk Dances

In the UAE, folk dances are showcased during festivals and national holidays. The most fascinating of these dances is Ayala. The name of the dance originates from an expression of imminent danger. The alarm of an approaching threat would be sounded with drums and shouts, which would rouse the men to rush to defend the camp. If the attackers were repelled, the dance would be performed by the tribe to celebrate the victory. The Ayala is still organized to represent a battle, and is usually performed in groups of no less than 25 people. Similar to Ayala is Harbiyah, another dance performed by men confronting each other to signify victory. There is also the traditional Yowla, a dance which involves the skillful spinning and throwing of a dummy rifle into the air and is performed by the young men to demonstrate their agility.

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