Arts & CultureRas Al Khaimah

A new heritage festival has opened in Ras Al Khaimah

Celebrate Emirati culture at the historical site of Al Jazirah Al Hamra.

Immerse yourself in Emirati culture at Turath District, a three-month long heritage festival at Al Jazirah Al Hamra. 

Running every Thursday and Friday until 28 May 2021, from 6pm to 11pm, the former ancient pearling village will come alive with performances and activities for the entire family. 

The line-up features cultural performances that reflect authentic customs and traditions across ancient urban and rural communities. This includes Ayala, a folk dance where groups take turns to recite poetry while holding swords as they move to the sounds of tambourines and drums; the Al-Yola dance, a traditional Bedouin performance comprising two rows of dancers carrying rifles and sticks, representing proud male warriors and hunters from the Arab world; as well as the Harbiya dance, where performers recite melodies over a war dance celebrating their victories. During Ramadan, guests can also relax to the soothing tunes of a professional Oud player. 

With a growing interest in immersive experiences that uncover the essence of the destination, Ras Al Khaimah is hosting a series of cultural events to reintroduce and breathe life into historical sites such as Al Jazirah Al Hamra, the last surviving pearl fishing village of its kind in the Arabian Gulf that remains largely untouched. Its impressive architecture has helped preserve the site, providing an undisturbed picture of life in this formerly bustling town. Al Jazirah Al Hamra is one of four archaeological sites in Ras Al Khaimah that have secured a spot within UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites and are considered to hold outstanding universal value from a cultural and natural heritage standpoint.  

Turath District represents a family-friendly cultural experience designed to bring the community together in this historically significant site. Upon arrival, guests will be drawn into Al Jazirah Al Hamra’s pearl trading story, with the festival’s entrance inspired by the billowing sail of a traditional dhow. Once inside, heritage displays, traditional décor, lanterns, and authentic accessories will transport them back in time to ancient village life. The main Fort Courtyard has been transformed into an open-air theatre for visitors to interact with the performers.  

This family-friendly festival will also offer food kiosks, henna art and much more. The entry fee for adults is AED 10, while kids aged six and under, people of determination and senior citizens can enter for free.

GO: Visit visitrasalkhaimah.com for more information.

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David Tapley - Editor
Dubai-based editor for one of the region’s most fiercely local lifestyle publications across Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar. Specialised in food, hospitality, arts, culture, and travel-related content.

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