Abu Dhabi hosts inaugural Blue Week to celebrate UAE maritime traditions

The week of activities will begin on Saturday in the lead up to the World Ocean Summit

A dhow at sea off Abu Dhabi's Corniche. Blue Week will celebrate the UAE's maritime traditions. Courtesy DCT
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A special week of activities is being held in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the UAE's seafaring traditions, as the capital prepares to host the World Ocean Summit.

Abu Dhabi Blue Week begins on Saturday, March 2, and runs until Thursday, March 7.

The World Ocean Summit is also scheduled to take place in Abu Dhabi, for the first time, from March 5-7. The summit is expected to host discussions on how nations can adopt environmental conservation strategies to boost economic output, as well as how innovative methods can address environmental crises.

In the lead up to the summit, Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development will host a series of events to showcase the UAE’s maritime culture and traditions.

“Led by the EAD Youth Council and youth councils from other entities, the event will highlight the commitment to ​the development of a sustainable blue economy, as well as promote coastal eco-tourism in the region,” said a spokeswoman for EAD.

The Blue Week will kick-off with a seabed clean-up on March 2 at Mina Port, managed by EAD in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi International Marine Club.

The activity is being held to highlight the importance of maintaining a clean marine environment and the adverse effects of marine pollution and litter on public health and natural ecosystems.

The next day sees a Beach Marathon taking place along Saadiyat Beach. The starting point will be the beach at St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort and it will end at Jumeirah Saadiyat Island Resort in Abu Dhabi.

A heritage village will be open to the public from March 4 which will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the country’s traditions such as Emirati cuisine, handicrafts, sports and arts.

"At the same time, a Blue Technology Exhibition will highlight environmentally-friendly innovations used by various government entities in Abu Dhabi to enhance the health of the ocean,” EAD said.

On March 5, the Abu Dhabi Sailing Club will organise a traditional Dhow Boat Show along Saadiyat Beach that will “shine the spotlight on the UAE’s deep fishing and pearling history”.