The Higher Organizing Committee of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 has revealed six diverse competitions that will be debuted at the festival. This is in line with the framework of strengthening the partnership with various stakeholders in this cultural event, which kicks off at Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi from 20 November to 12 December 2014.
Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 is held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, may God protect him; with the support of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The festival is conducted under the supervision of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
Commenting on the adoption of the six competitions within the festival schedule, His Excellency Humaid Al Neyadi, Vice Chairman of the Higher Organizing Committee of Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 and General Manager of the Private Office of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyansaid: “The Higher Organizing Committee of the festival seeks to strengthen ways of communicating with the various parties that contribute to the quality of this edition, supporting all efforts to expand the circle of interaction in this exceptional festival.”
The events schedule includes six key competitions: ‘Our Emirati heritage’; ‘Sheikh Zayed our idol’; ‘Best heritage image’; ‘Best heritage press coverage’; ‘Best supporting hotel for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’ and ‘Best supporting tour operator for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’.
Al AlNeyadi pointed out that the competitions are innovative and ensure greater involvement by various stakeholders, different sectors of society and age groups.
‘Our Emirati heritage’ contest is held in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, as a research competition to select the best research papers about the traditions of the UAE people in their economic, social and cultural life. Students from schools, universities and graduate researchers can submit studies and analysis detailing the rich traditional components through Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014.
‘Sheikh Zayed our idol’ contest is also held in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, selecting the best research papers on achievements made during the reign of the founding father Sheikh Zayed, may God rest his soul. Students from schools, universities and graduate researchers can submit their proposals during Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014.
It is noteworthy that both competitions are open to all students pursuing general education, university studies and graduate studies, and both UAE citizens and residents are eligible to present their proposals and win the prizes.
The ‘Best heritage image’ competition is held in collaboration with the Emirates Photography Society, to encourage greater participation by all segments of society who make up the festival-goers. The most beautiful and aesthetically captivating photos will be selected to reflect the beauty of Emirati heritage, illustrating that a photo is indeed worth a thousand words.
As the media is a vital mirror for any event or activity, the Higher Organizing Committee is launching the ‘Best heritage press coverage’ competition, showcasing diversity through the four environments of the living museum and their exhibitions, workshops and many other attractions over the 22 days. Therefore it is necessary to incentivize exceptional press coverage of these events through traditional or digital media.
Meanwhile the ‘Best supporting hotel for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’ and ‘Best supporting tour operator for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’ are held in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority and the National Council of Tourism and Antiquities.
Al AlNeyadi explained that the ‘Best supporting hotel for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’ opens the gateway for the participation of all hotels, as hospitality is a vital pillar in attracting visitors to national events. This will give tourists in the UAE an authentic historical view, driven by the same vision that has seen the upgrading of the festival into an interactive living museum. Festival visitors can see the various elements of UAE civilization in ancient times within the four environments of mountains, desert, oasis and sea. Traditional activities associated with these environments and these periods will be portrayed in the most minute detail, as epitomized by the ‘Memories of a Nation’ wing that stands witness to many historical events and facts presented for the very first time to the public.
The ‘Best supporting tour operator for Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014’ targets tour operators offering heritage activities related to the festival. The Higher Organizing Committee of the festival looks forward to a long-term partnership with these tourist institutions in the UAE, as they play a pivotal role in the frontline of promoting the UAE’s cultural history to tourists and painting an authentic image of the UAE’s past – which was the springboard for the current chapters of the nation’s success story.
In this regard, Al Neyadi stressed that the festival offers a wealth of opportunities for tour operators, as it is a major umbrella for diverse events that have made it the biggest heritage event of its kind in the region. It is opening new doors for these organizations to enrich their tourism offerings with first-class interactivity, harnessing the latest technological innovations in which tourists can engage with on-the-ground activities. This will leave a lasting impact on the tourism industry and create a unique experience for visitors to the UAE. It will also highlight the UAE’s success globally, building on a solid base of the past.
It should be noted that each of the six competitions will select three winners, as the Higher Organizing Committee aims to create a culture of positive competition where everyone can be part of the ongoing success story of the Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival.
Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival 2014 will run over 22 days and feature a wide variety of attractions of educational, historical and cultural simulations of the UAE’s past. The festival also features various elements reflecting the interests of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, may God rest his soul, in various fields that played a crucial role in the foundation of the current prosperity of the UAE.