A senior citizen at work at the InexhaustibleTalents workshop.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
The Ajman Department of Tourism Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development and its Senior Citizen Happiness Center, along with Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort, recently organised Inexhaustible Talents, a workshop dedicated to senior citizens to help them improve their artistic talents and connect better with the community.
The event, which took place at the Zoya Health & Wellbeing Resort in Al Zorah, Ajman, was attended by Sheikh Abdullah bin Majid Al Nuaimi, Director General of Ajman’s Citizens Affairs Office, Hessa Tahlak, Assistant Undersecretary of Social Development at the Ministry of Community Development, Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi, Director General of the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, and Mohamed Obaid Alghumlasi, Director of Senior Citizen Happiness Center, along with representatives and other stakeholders.
The workshop was conducted by three artists - Sara Ahchouch, Aliya Attar and Fares Alhamadi - with the participation of more than 30 senior citizens, who tackled a number of major themes such as unveiling the artistic capacities of the senior citizens, supporting the art of drawing and developing innovative methods that are beneficial for the wellbeing of seniors, and organising initiatives and events that provide a sustainable revenue for them.
The workshop was held following the directives of the Ajman Culture Center that falls under the Ajman Department of Tourism Development and in collaboration with the Ministry of Community Development that handles the matters concerning senior citizens.The programme aims to offer senior citizens an effective plan to integrate and engage themselves with their community by motivating them to invest in their skills, and ensuring their participation in civic activities.
On the occasion, Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Ajman Department of Tourism Development, said that serving senior citizens is a national duty, and for that, every department and authority in Ajman will fully support them and develop plans and activities that enable them to live a fulfilling life, as they are considered symbols of virtue and kindness in society.
“The senior citizens have a special role in our community. Their support and aspirations are the pillar of our country’s success. For that, organising this workshop and other social events come in line with the directives of our wise leadership and its national policy to provide full care for these esteemed citizens, involving them in many social activities, and providing them with all the services they require,” Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Humaid Al Nuaimi added.
Hessa Tahlak said that “the senior citizens are of great importance and are a priority to the Emirati community that appreciates the great role they played in establishing stability, forming unity, and providing happiness to our families. The vision and directives of our wise leadership stresses on providing a high quality of life to the senior citizens by involving them in various social activities and events to achieve the objectives of national policies.
“We would like to extend our thanks to the Ajman Department of Tourism Development for organising this workshop, and we praise its continuous efforts to launch initiatives that support the integration of senior citizens in their community. We would also like to thank all the stakeholders and partners who are providing their superior services to support similar social events.”
Mahmood Khaleel Alhashmi said that the Inexhaustible Talents artistic workshop had a good resonance, as it aligned with the directives and vision of the leadership, and aimed primarily at acknowledging the role that the elders played in preserving the stability, unity, and happiness of families and society.
In addition, he said it highlighted their artistic, cultural and creative flair, supported their living standards and encouraged them to adopt an active lifestyle within the community, as per the national policy set for senior citizens.
Researchers are highly interested in examining if and how participating in arts activities may be linked to improving cognitive function and memory and improving self-esteem and well-being of older adults. Several studies have shown that art can reduce the depression and anxiety that are often symptomatic of chronic diseases.
Art activities, it has been proved, help individuals relax; provide a sense of control; reduce depression and anxiety; assist in socialisation; encourage playfulness and a sense of humour; improve cognition; offer sensory stimulation; foster a stronger sense of identity; increase self-esteem; nurture spirituality; and reduce boredom.
The Ajman Department of Tourism Development is investing its efforts to increase the number of events and activities that aim to improve the quality of life for senior citizens, seeking to establish more partnerships with concerned authorities to create a wider impact in society.
The Department also aims to promote touristic attractions across the emirate, shedding light on the elements that Ajman has to offer as one of the leading travel destinations in the UAE. It works on developing strategies to improve local, regional, and international tourism in the emirate through planning and implementing global campaigns for tourism promotion, organising and participating in conferences and exhibitions, regulating and developing the tourism industry, and improving the capacities and services of tourism facilities and businesses operating in the emirate. The Department is responsible for setting regulations and legislation required to organise the tourism sector in the emirate, finding appropriate tourism standards and services provided to tourists, and issuing licenses for travel and tourism agencies, besides administering their efficiency.
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