WAM ABU DHABI: Closer ties between UNESCO and Abu Dhabi have been explored in a meeting in Paris between a delegation from the emirate led by Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and UNESCO's Director General, Irina Bokova.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority delegation included: TCA Abu Dhabi Board Members Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Jasem Al Darmaki, HE Mubarak Al Muhairi, TCA Abu Dhabi's Director General, and Rita Aoun, Executive Director of the authority's Cultural Department.
During the meeting, Bokova was briefed on the new organization's ( TCA Abu Dhabi ) mission and strategic direction, particularly in relation to its commitment to preserving and promoting the emirate's rich culture and heritage, including the preservation of its intangible heritage. HE Sheikh Sultan reaffirmed Abu Dhabi's continuous support to UNESCO and explored further ideas and initiatives to enhance this successful co-operation.
Bokova will visit Abu Dhabi for next month's World Future Energy Forum and has committed to visiting Saadiyat Island - future home of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi - during her stay.
Abu Dhabi has made major advancements on the UNESCO front over the past year with a range of assets in Al Ain - the emirate's heritage heartland - now being inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage Sites List. Last month UNESCO inscribed the Emirati performing art of Ayyala dance and its Taghruda poetry form as living human heritage in the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This latest achievement adds to previous Abu Dhabi and UAE successes in getting both falconry and Al Sadu, a traditional weaving skill, inscribed in the UNESCO list.
According to UNESCO, intangible heritage is the living heritage of humanity. It includes all the expressions, customs and traditions that are inherited from forebears and handed down to descendents. Intangible heritage is found in oral traditions, like storytelling, in performing arts, in folklore and traditional crafts and trades, and in social customs and expressions and other living traditions.