Are you looking to buy an oud, the lute-like stringed instrument used in Arabic instrument? Or would you like to find you like to find out the visiting hours at Qasr Al Muwaiji, the birthplace of UAE President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in Al Ain? Better yet, are you writing a paper about falconry, listed as an element of the UAE’s intangible heritage?
The newly launched Abu Dhabi Culture may just become your go-to source for all things cultural in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The application was launched by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism in the capital today (February 27) as part of its efforts to propagate and create better awareness about the UAE’s invaluable heritage.
“Abu Dhabi has a deep treasure trove of culture, both contemporary and historic, and the richest heritage. What makes this [launch important] is our opportunity to bring all of this information, the richness of this immersion, together for the first time in an easy-to-use, accessible form,” said Saif Saeed Gobash, director general at the Department.
“By using the latest digital techniques, and by understanding how people view technology as an enhancement of experience, Abu Dhabi Culture is a perfect ‘go-to’ solution for every Abu Dhabi visitor looking for inspiration, as well as all of those academics and researchers delving deep into the emirate’s rich culture,” he added.
The application is available on both Android and iOS for smartphones and tablets. In addition to content in Arabic, English and French, the digital platform is also accessible for visually impaired users through the ‘Listen to this Page’ feature, and more languages are due to be added soon.
One of the most striking aspects of the application is the virtual tours, with 360-degree views, that are provided of cultural sites and landmarks.
“While visitors and tourists will undoubtedly be able to use the platform to learn about our heritage and book visits, we believe the content will be invaluable for researchers and academics who are delving into UAE culture. It will also help strengthen Emirati pride in our history and values,” Gobash told Gulf News.
“It is not just a cosmetic resource, but an in-depth exploration of culture in Abu Dhabi,” he added.
The director general emphasised that the content will constantly be updated, and that there will be new podcasts released every week. In addition, while the content currently focuses on the Department’s initiatives, it will soon grow to include information about all kinds of cultural activities and events in the emirate.
The Department will also enhance its social media presence through engagement with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.