ABU DHABI – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman attended on Sunday celebrations of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival in Al-Wathba in Abu Dhabi.
The celebrations started with ‘Ayyalah’ traditional folk dance, welcoming King Salman.
It was followed by the “March of the Union,” a cultural treat marking the occasion of the 45th National Day of UAE, presented by artists belonging to various tribes from different emirates of UAE. The King and other guests also watched a horse and camel show.
Famous poet Juma Al-Suwaidi recited a poem welcoming King Salman. A popular poem by Saif Al-Kaabi was also sung on the occasion. King Salman then toured the heritage village and was briefed on the heritage exhibits and pavilions.
Earlier, on arrival at the venue of the festival, the King was received by Sheikh Muhammad Bin Rashid Al Maktum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
“The UAE as a Crossroads of Civilization” is the central theme of this year’s festival, which kicked off on Thursday.
Emiratis and expatriates are flocking to Al Wathba for the event, which celebrates the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, founding father of UAE, to learn more about local culture. It is one of Abu Dhabi’s most important heritage events, and highlights the role of Sheikh Zayed in preserving the country’s heritage and traditions.
Emirati goods and professions were a mainstay of the festival.
A replica fort was the central attraction, but there were displays from other GCC and Arab countries, as well as displays from China, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Kazakhstan. About 500 outlets from 17 countries are showcasing traditional products, cuisine, crafts and music.
The festival, which runs until January 1, is open daily from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. It is held under the patronage of President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and is supported by Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
King Salman arrived in Abu Dhabi on Saturday on the first leg of a Gulf tour that will also take him to Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed Al Nahayan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, decorated the King with Zayed Order, the most prestigious order of the UAE, during a banquet dinner held at Al-Musharaf Palace in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Dr. Muhammad Bin Abdul Rahman Al Bishr, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UAE, said that the ties between the Kingdom and UAE are going through their best time thanks to the sound policies of the leaderships of the two countries.
“Ties between the UAE and Saudi Arabia deliver the message of love and spreading of peace, security and stability. They are working to correct misconceptions in some countries and stand against internal and external influencers,” Al Bishr said in an interview with Emirates News Agency WAM.
“The UAE and Saudi Arabia have shared common visions, policies and approaches towards regional and global challenges, which represent a key part of the collective security and stability of the GCC and Arab world.
The two countries have also shared prudent, balanced and strong policies in confronting extremism, terrorism, sectarianism and in promoting and encouraging inter-cultural dialogue,” he stressed.