ABU DHABI--The international intergovernmental committee tasked with
safeguarding cultural heritage has accepted the nomination of Arabic coffee, Al
Razfa and Al Majlis to the UNESCO Intangible Heritage of Humanity
Representatives from 175 countries attended the
tenth session of the Intangible Heritage Committee, which took place at the
Country Club and Resort of Windhoek in Namibia from November 29 to December 4.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the Sultanate of
Oman nominated Al Majlis and Arabic coffee while the UAE and the Sultanate of
Oman also proposed Al Razfa. All three of these hold a significant historic
value and are an integral part of the heritage of the Gulf region.
"This acknowledgement reflects years of
dedication and expertise for which I am immensely proud as we strive to ensure
the Emirate is recognized globally for its efforts to maintain and preserve the
traditions of the past. Inscribing these heritage elements on UNESCO’s
representative list is the culmination of the achievements and efforts of our
mandate to register, revitalize, preserve, document and sustain the UAE’s
heritage components as a cultural legacy for future generations. It also sheds
more light on our deep-rooted heritage, and increases global awareness of its
authenticity," Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, TCA Abu Dhabi Chairman.
He added that Al-Majlis, Arabic coffee and Al-Razfa
have joined Falconry, Al-Taghrooda and Al-Ayala on UNESCO’s list of Intangible
Cultural Heritage of Humanity, while Al-Sadu was inscribed on the list of
Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in need of Urgent Safeguarding. These
milestones promote cultural diversity, human creativity and dialogue among civilizations
by discovering cultural, social, and human origins of heritage elements."
Al Majlis is considered a cultural and social
tradition that both rulers and community members have been keen to maintain for
its role as a communication bridge that strengthens social cohesion. Arabic
coffee symbolizes generosity, hospitality and other authentic values associated
with the region. Al Razfa is a popular performance in the UAE and Oman, symbolizing
masculinity, chivalry, gallantry and the region’s equestrian heritage.
"We prepared the files with great accuracy
before submitting them to the UNESCO Committee of Experts for evaluation. After
passing the evaluation phase, the files then moved on to the annual Intangible
Heritage Committee meeting, which provides the final approval and
acknowledgment of registration," said Dr. Nasser Ali Al Humairi, director
of the Intangible Heritage Department at TCA Abu Dhabi.
"The unlimited support by our local
stakeholders and the UAE’s respectable position in UNESCO boosted our ambition
to register these authentic Emirati elements. Recording Al Majlis, Arabic
coffee and Al Razfa, along with other heritage elements is just a step closer
towards our goals," added Al Humairi.