Abu Dhabi: The Mother of Giving Festival kicked off on Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen Beach on Wednesday with performances by the Philippine School Choir, Abu Dhabi Police music band and dance troupes from Egypt and South Korea.
The 11-day cultural festival, organised by the General Women’s Union, is featuring an array of activities including a fashion show, poetry recitation, traditional dances from the UAE, Kazakhstan, Sudan and Kuwait, a traditional Emirati cooking contest, and an Abu Dhabi Police K9 show. The entry is free to the festival.
Raisa Al Mansouri, head of the Media and PR Department at the General Women’s Union, said: “The Mother of Giving Festival celebrates benevolence, humanity, tolerance and coexistence in the ‘Year of Giving’.
“It will highlight the vision and contributions of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the General Women’s Union, Supreme Chairperson of the Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.”
Park Kang-ho, Korean Ambassador to the UAE, and wife Cha Kyeong-Eun were present at the opening ceremony of the festival.
“It’s a great opportunity to participate in the festival, as it shares values of benevolence, goodwill and giving — values similar to that of the Korean culture,” Kang-ho told Gulf News.
The traditional band ‘Salmunori’ came all the way from Korea to perform at the festival.
Eunjee Kim, public relations manager at the Korean Culture Centre, said: “The band members come from a farming culture and, in their break time, they perform such traditional mix of percussion and dance music,” Kim said.
Kiosks set up along the beach had Arabic perfumes, abayas, oriental sweets and a range of food dishes including homemade pink pasta, French fries, vine leaves and burgers.
Fatima Al Daheri, 28, coordinator of strategic planning at a government entity, exhibited a collection of ladies’ night gowns and men’s jellabiyas.
Visitors who were at the festival on the opening day wanted to have a nice meal and enjoy at the beach.
Abdul Rahman Al Khoury, 20, came along with his friend Khalifa Al Nuaimi, 19. Al Khoury said he had some Nakhi — a traditional Emirati dish made of hommos and read beans with some paprika.
“It tasted delicious,” he said.
Fay Al Mehraibi, 15, and her cousin Assia Al Mehraibi, 11, enjoyed a bite of doughnuts while watching the Korean show.