Abu Dhabi’s Heritage village is a must go for culture lovers.
Located on the Corniche Breakwater, and a few minutes walk away from Marina Mall, the tourist hot-spot provides us an insight into an Abu Dhabi far different than its present skyscrapers.
As well as its in house souq, vintage mosque, spice shops and various displays showcasing a pre-modernised Abu Dhabi, the heritage centre is also home to number of Emirati artisans.
Working without heavy machinery, these artists make the most of the material at their disposal to create evocative pieces of such as pottery and fabric designs.
A popular stop in the heritage village is the artisans skilled in the practice of glass blowing.
It is an environmentally friendly practice that transforms unwanted glass - from discarded bottles, jars to windowpanes - into eye-catching ornaments.
This is achieved by first melting the glass in a furnace at over 1,000 degrees centigrade before blowing to them in a desired shape.
Glass blowing is gaining popularity by a new generation in the UAE. Over the years, the country hosted various workshops on the practice and exhibitions by masters such as French glass-blower extraordinaire Jean-Claude Novaro.
Speaking to The National back in 2012, Novaro explained that his acclaim derived from his unique working method.
"I use my protected hands to shape the molten glass, which is different than cooling and shaping the glass on a marver, for example," he said.
"Instead of this, I use wet newspapers to guide and form the glass. The coolness of wet papers absorbs the heat of the glass and allows me to shape it, creating my own art form."
To learn more about glass blowing, check out the local experts at work at Abu Dhabi's Heritage. The venue is open daily from 9am to 4pm, except Friday when doors open from 3.30pm to 9pm. For details go to www.torath.ae