In the heart of Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood is a new building reflecting Dubai’s past and present, but also what the country hopes for the future.
Turath Centre for Traditional Handicrafts is the educational arm of Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai’s largest heritage museum and what promises to be the world’s largest open-air museum complex.
The new centre celebrates and preserves authentic Emirati heritage through a diverse programme of craft courses and heritage workshops.
In particular, it is focusing on three traditions: talli crafting, Al Khoos weaving and burqa sewing.
There are also workshops on silversmithing, dukhoon making and the sewing of clothes.
Talli is an Emirati handicraft where the twisting and braiding of strands of threads create long strips of textiles with fine, elaborate patterns.
Talli is used to decorate the collars and sleeves of traditional Emirati dresses.
“The centre is a reflection of our cultural mission, which is at the heart of our projects and programmes to highlight our traditions, heritage and culture,” said Fatma Lootah, director of the Cultural and Heritage Programmes Department at Dubai Culture.
“The centre will provide the appropriate environment to discover, encourage and develop talents, and we look forward to active community participation towards empowering the younger generations who wish to get acquainted with our culture and learn of our civilisation that was woven by our ancestors.”
Handicraft workshops are organised for people of all ages and visitors can register their interest online via a registration form.
Ultimately, the centre ensures the sustainability of heritage industries as the country aims to diversify its sources of national economy, all while supporting cultural tourism.