Tradition meets modernity at Mother of the Nation Festival

Tradition meets modernity at the Mother of the Nation Festival copy

Abu Dhabi / Emirates Business

A traditional heritage-inspired boutique Souq Zone, modelled on the old port markets of Abu Dhabi, is set to reflect the cultural richness and openness the UAE at the first-ever Mother of the Nation Festival.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority and being held along the Abu Dhabi Corniche Beach from March 24 to April 2, the Mother of the Nation Festival will highlight the vision and far-reaching contributions of HH Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak and the importance of family coherence and cultural understanding amongst the UAE society.
As one of the Festival’s five main zones, The Souq Zone, combining tradition and modernity, is designed to reflect Emirati heritage with a modern creative touch, taking visitors through a historical setting decorated with features of both the present and future. The Souq Zone includes 50 local and international retail shops, offering premium products for the festival’s visitors, including jewellery, fashion, home decor, and more.
Visitors can browse and explore seven display units, each of which features a milestone in UAE history. Altogether, the display units celebrate the cultural and societal development of our nation over the decades. A specially commissioned “UAE Through the Lens” display carries pictures of scenes from UAE history, as well as a unique display of authentic cameras alongside pictures of the main landmarks that characterise the modern state.
Another display, “School: Blackboard window” recreates a vintage Emirati school classroom. Rich in detail, the classroom’s blackboard will illustrate Emirati students’ achievements in educational initiatives championed by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak. A further interactive display, “Pearling: Step into the Sea”, immerses visitors in a virtual underwater experience reflecting the traditions of pearl diving, a vital ancient Emirati trade. Visitors will also see authentic pearling instruments on display.
In addition, the Souk Zone offers a number of interactive workshops that enable visitors to participate in a variety of activities. A Dhow Painting workshop will encourage visitors to interact with a group of artists as they paint a reproduction dhow placed in the middle of the Souq Zone.
Visitors to the Souq Zone can also partake in building traditional and contemporary sand houses in the “Architecture: Texture Timeline & Sand sculpture” exhibit that displays chronologically ordered building materials. Additional activities include decorating traditional Oud burner clay incense pots and a workshop on the art of jewellery design under the guidance of traditional Emirati silversmiths which will introduce visitors to methods of crafting jewellery and silverware.
Festival visitors will get to take their creations home with them.
A live cooking station welcomes visitors to deliciously tasty authentic traditional Emirati dishes. Visitors can make themselves comfortable in a variety of rest areas, including the Hadeera Lounge, an aesthetically designed central coffee bar complete with fire serving traditional Emirati coffee, as well as the Caligrafiti Cafe, featuring a seating area surrounded by a curved wall spray painted with Arabic calligraphy by a local artist.
One of the most highly anticipated areas in this zone is the Main Stage, which will host performances by two orchestras, in addition to a live show specially designed for the Souq Zone. The zone also includes a sand playground with a design inspired by old shipyards, in which children can enjoy various activities and games. In addition, a large 3D interactive Puzzle Wall inspired by traditional Arab mashrabiya designs, serves as a useful visual and sensory exercise for children.
The Mother of the Nation Festival is set to launch in Abu Dhabi from 24th March to 2nd April, 2016. The festival will stretch along 1.3 kilometres of Abu Dhabi’s Corniche Beach and include a series of events held across five diverse outdoor zones – the Souq Zone, the Beach Dining Zone, the Active Zone, the Art Zone, and the Conservation Zone, as well as
The Pavilion; all designed to offer entertaining and engaging activities for all family members. It promotes the importance of family coherence as well as nurturing cultural understanding amongst the UAE society.

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