ABU DHABI // An FNC member is concerned that traditional Emirati dress is disappearing from shopping centres and schools.
At Tuesday's session, Ahmed Al Amash (Ras Al Khaimah) voiced his concerns to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
With such a high expatriate population and more than 200 nationalities in the country, Mr Al Amash considered the deterioration of cultural identity as a real threat.
“Schools have their own school uniforms,” he said. “The house is now in the hands of a maid and not the mother. She picks the children’s clothes.
“If they want to go out they ask the maid to pick something for the child to wear.”
But Sheikh Nahyan said there should be no concern. He said local dress was not in danger and was a source of pride for Emiratis.
“The ministry focuses on national identity and loyalty to the nation,” he said. “We are aware of the importance of this completely.”
Sheikh Nahyan said there were competitions for national dress with awards given to designers.
He added that the ministry would carry out a study on UAE national identity.
"National identity is not just dress and appearance, but also etiquette and behaviour," Sheikh Nahyan said. "But it is national dress as well."
Mr Al Amash stressed that when it came to national dress and identity, the council would not accept “globalisation of principles”.
He called for a proposal to be passed to the Cabinet on developing a strategy to protect national dress.