Al-Dhafra Festival 2019 combines past, present and future

High turnout seen for Emirati festival that displays Gulf heritage while encouraging young people to carry future mantle.

AL-DHAFRA - Al-Dhafra Festival’s 13th edition in Madinat Zayed in Abu Dhabi is coming to a close after wide participation from both locals and tourists.

The festival, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, embodies the spirit of heritage in the Gulf region and hosts various events including a camel beauty contest, children’s village and a ‘ladies day’.

Among other special events at this year’s edition, the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation is attracting particularly large numbers of visitors, especially the youth.

Exhibitors said they were targeting younger audiences considering that they are the nation’s future.

This point seems to have been a common sentiment among festival organisers.

Abdullah Butti Al-Qubaisi, Events and Communication Director in the committee, said that the Children’s Village at Al-Dhafra contributes to developing its young visitors’ intellectual skills through daily questionnaires and workshops.

The goal of teaching younger generations about preserving and supporting their heritage formed a strong part of the festival’s mandate.

Ladies Day and contests

The festival’s eleventh day was dedicated entirely to the female population, with a number of visitors expressing their gratitude towards organisers.

The initiative witnessed outstanding participation numbers from different age groups, which played an important role in increasing sales by 30% in comparison to other days. 

Contests ran rife throughout the festival, with over 1000 prizes totalling AED20 million in value handed out to most beautiful camel, traditional costume design and date packaging design to name a few.

Prize money for camel racing, which was attended by a record number of camel owners, totalled AED16 million alone.