The heritage of the United Arab Emirates is characterized by original and ancient features that combine the traditions of the past with the future civilization. Today also at Al Ain Zoo we combine the authenticity of heritage with the future civilization to present it to the visitor through a range of heritage programs and activities. Combining different old flavours in modern ways with interactive tools and methods, the participant moves from the authentic past to the traditions and values of local people to harness our heritage in a sustainable way for the future generations.
1) Let’s Play - Traditional Games
Traditional games help in transferring customs, traditions and knowledge naturally and in a fun way from one generation to another. They are related to movement, rhythms, and songs. In this programme, participants will learn about the different types of UAE traditional games and the materials used in each one and try one of them for themselves.
2) Date Palm
In this program participants will learn about the different types of date palms in the UAE, and how people have traditionally looked after these important and symbolic trees. Find out about the many (sometimes surprising!) products made from date palms.
3) Camel Dressing
In this activity, participants will discover the UAE Heritage and its related values. They will have a close examination of the different pieces of camel equipment used in the past to control these animals and the importance of camels to Arabs.
Arabic coffee is much more than a hot drink, it’s an art, a lifestyle and a journey into history. This program aims to educate participants about the importance of coffee as a symbol of authentic Arabic hospitality. They will learn about the different types of coffee and the many tools used in making coffee.
Stories were prevalent in a time when modern schools or modern printing methods were not available, and people sat in their spare time in groups listening to stories that helped create a sense of pleasure and entertainment and stirred the listeners’ imagination.
6) Grandma’s Box
In this program participants will learn about traditional clothing in UAE culture. They will learn about how sustainable our ancestors used to be in their daily lives.
1) Alhairat - Pearl Fishing
The lulu (locally qamashah), or pearl oyster was a source of wealth in the Emirates long before the discovery of oil. Students will distinguish natural pearl characteristics by matching between the correct pearls which are available to them, and the information given. The last phase of the activity is open oysters to get the Pearl (Al-Dana).
2) Traditional Dolls
Making the traditional dolls by using simple traditional fabric, with cotton, and then select the appropriate traditional clothing (using lace and turban, white cloth for mens jacket etc.), and finally end up with a small doll with special characteristics.
3) Storing Dates
Wheat and dates grown in the oases formed the staples of the Bedouin diet. Dates keep well and can be eaten fresh and dried and they have excellent nutritional values. For us, the date harvest season is an annual phenomenon which all members of the family take part in. Come share this treasure of nature with us!
In this activity, participants will learn about the traditional ways of dyeing clothes.
Pottery making is one of the oldest recorded handicrafts in the UAE. We won’t be making the pots, just painting them, but we will be finding out more about how they were (and still are) made in the traditional way.
One of the UAE’s best-known traditional crafts - in the past ladies made the most beautiful yarns to use in their daily lives. In this activity, students will learn all about spinning and the traditional equipment used for it.
In this activity, students will be introduced to the importance of Henna and its medicinal and cosmetic uses. They will learn how to make it and will see some traditional and modern henna designs.