First Published: 2008-01-13

Bedouins to have own museum in Abu Dhabi

Mazrouei: museum is the first of its kind, comprises tangible and intangible heritage.


Middle East Online

Abu Dhabi wants to preserve its cultural identity

ABU DHABI - The Bedouins are to have their own museum in Abu Dhabi. This is the latest of a long list of projects to be added to Abu Dhabi, the city with a declared aim to be the cultural capital of Middle East.

Bedouins Heritage Museum in Abu Dhabi is the first of its kind in the world. It is to preserve tangible and intangible heritage of the Bedouins, document their history in the Arab World, and will be the vehicle to promote Bedouins' culture and authentic values.

Unlike typical museums were tangible heritage figure on its displays, the plans for the Bedouins is to include much of the intangible unique heritage, and to organize cultural events related to Bedouins as well.

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the main cultural body in Abu Dhabi in charge of promoting the emirate culture and heritage, wants to found the new museum based on world standards of the kind.

We are carrying out a study about the feasibility of establishing a Bedouins Heritage Museum, said Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of ADACH.

The Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, the world's largest museum complex, started preparing a comprehensive study about the goals of the project and challenges which might face its establishment, added Mazrouei.

The research is carried out in collaboration with experts at ADACH.

Bedouins communities will take part in the process of planning, designing and devising the museum mission and activities.

The concept of the museum goes in line with ADACH strategy of preserving the cultural heritage of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, namely the values of hospitality, dignity, pride, eloquence, poetry, loyalty, identity and respect of all the people in the world, said Mazrouei.

The plans for the museum will make sure that it is well connected with schools, educational institutes and universities within the country and abroad.

The project will produce cultural programs utilizing modern technology to attract people from all walks of life to the museum.

It will also hold lectures, workshops and maintain an archive to document the Bedouins collective memory and will have research section and audio-visual halls to demonstrate Bedouins heritage through three ways: historical display; educational approach and profound research.

Many of the standards set by Smithsonian Institution will be used in the new project as part of the intended collaboration.

We will use Smithsonian Institution expertise to train our staff to work in the museum, and to identity the current potentialities, locations and devise a provisional plan, said Dr. Sami Al Masri, Head of the Strategic Planning Department, at ADACH.

Early 2007, Abu Dhabi announced a massive plan to build world class museums on its Sadiyat island. The Louvre of Paris and The Guggenheim of New York are among the most famous museums to have branches in Abu Dhabi.


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