The Abu Dhabi Register of Artisans and Abu Dhabi Crafts platform will help Emirati craftspeople promote their works and develop skills.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi is launching three initiatives intended to protect and promote the UAE’s cultural heritage, including the Abu Dhabi Register of Artisans, the Abu Dhabi Crafts platform and the recently reopened House of Artisans at Qasr Al Hosn.
Abu Dhabi Register of Artisans is an online database that will allow local craftspeople who practice one or more of the listed 17 traditional crafts to apply for certification and membership. Those who are registered can then be promoted to the public via the database, and will also have the opportunity to take part in training and participate in fairs, events and festivals.
The Abu Dhabi Crafts platform will then help with marketing and selling the artisans’ creations. Through the online portal, artists can display and sell their works, as well as participate in online programmes towards building their skills. To be featured, they must present original product designs and adhere to a “high level of craftsmanship”, according to DCT Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, the House of Artisans at Qasr Al Hosn, which reopened in April, features a permanent exhibition of traditional crafts and objects. Through this display, visitors can learn about the UAE’s intangible cultural heritage, specifically its traditional crafts and the materials and techniques used by local artisans. The centre also serves to promote Emirati contemporary artists from within the sphere of craft and design.
Though the UAE is a young country, celebrating the 50th anniversary of its formation this year, it has undergone tremendous change over the last few decades. Along the way, many of its traditions, including traditional weaving practices, have shrunk or shifted in the face of globalised commercialism.