More than 300,000 attend UAE Culture Days in Moscow - GulfToday

More than 300,000 attend UAE Culture Days in Moscow

Top officials during the opening ceremony of the UAE Culture Days in Moscow.

Top officials during the opening ceremony of the UAE Culture Days in Moscow.

Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor

From June 28 to July 2, the UAE Culture Days were held at Manezh Square, one of the central venues of the Summer in Moscow project. The rich programme, filled with colorful performances and workshops, acquainted guests and residents of the capital with the country’s specific traits.

The event attracted more than 300,000 visitors who showed keen interest in the UAE’s cultural programmes.

“The co-operation between our countries in the field of culture is based on a solid foundation of mutual respect, careful attitude to the preservation of their heritage and spiritual values of the peoples. Holding the UAE Culture Days in the heart of the Russian capital is a landmark step in strengthening and developing such co-operation. The residents and guests of Moscow have a unique opportunity to plunge into the magical atmosphere of the Arab East, get acquainted with the bright original culture of the UAE, learn about traditions, costumes, cuisine, attend master classes and, of course, enjoy the performances of excellent musical groups,” said Olga Lyubimova, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, who welcomed the guests at the official opening of the event.

Over the course of five days, festival visitors enjoyed performances by Al Otaida and Al Mazyoud bands, admired fashion shows accompanied by traditional Emirati music, sampled popular national dishes, and explored Emirati crafts. During the UAE Culture Days, anyone could get temporary henna tattoos and stroll through an outdoor photo exhibition showcasing unforgettable vistas of this Eastern country. Additionally, guests experienced an Emirati wedding show and gained insights into the celebratory traditions.


“The UAE Culture Days were held at Manezh Square for the first time. These events carry great educational and historical importance, reflecting the cultural wealth of the Emirates. Event attendees had the opportunity to deepen their understanding of our country’s heritage and discover its treasures,” said Dr Mohammed Ahmed Sultan Essa Al Jaber, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Russian Federation.

The festival is designed to be part of a larger cycle of events held on a reciprocal basis within the framework of bilateral interaction between the countries. It is being developed within the framework of the strategic dialogue between Russia and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States (GCC). The two sides are also actively developing relations in the tourism sector. Travellers from the UAE do not need a visa to enter Russia. In 2023 alone, 42.2 thousand such tourists visited Moscow. As of early February, there were 150 flights a week from the capital to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

“The Moscow government is making great efforts to promote the capital’s tourism potential in the Middle East and African countries. The Moscow City Tourism Committee team visited many Arab countries over the course of a year and a half. And what is pleasant to note is that as a result of the visits, we see both the first contracts and tourists who come to Moscow for the first time after a long break. We also see a friendly attitude towards our delegates and our Moscow business from the tourism community of the Middle East. I am sure we have a great future together ahead of us. At the end of 2023, the flow of tourists from the UAE increased 8 times; in the first quarter of this year, growth was also recorded compared to the previous one. I am sure that when citizens of the United Arab Emirates see how hospitable and friendly Moscow is, how multifaceted it is and how open it is to accepting friendly cultures, they will decide to visit our capital,” — said Evgeny Kozlov, First Deputy Head of the Office of the Mayor and the Government of Moscow, Chairman of the Moscow City Tourism Committee.


Students from the Al Hadara cultural center assisted residents and visitors of the capital in communicating with Arab participants during the festival. They greatly valued the opportunity to engage with UAE culture. “I have always been fascinated by the Middle Eastern countries. I’ve known about many of its traditions and the culinary delights of Arab cuisine for a long time. But thanks to the festival, both I and many other city residents were able to firsthand encounter the cultural and ethnic customs of the United Arab Emirates. For example, we learned about al sadu — an ancient and beautifully intricate weaving technique. Many learned for the first time about the burqa and understood why Arab women wear this adornment, as well as how henna is made. Festival visitors also could taste traditional Arab coffee enhanced with dates or cardamom, the sweet dish harees, regag bread, jabab, khamir, and other traditional delicacies,” — said one of the students, Arina Tulebaeva.

Moscow is a significant tourist destination on the international stage. Foreign tourist traffic in 2023 totalled 2.3 million people, most often coming from China, India, CIS countries and the Middle East. To strengthen international ties, the capital participates in major profile exhibitions, organises projects and events aimed at foreign audiences. This year alone, a business mission to the UAE was held on 7 February, and in May the Moscow delegation took part in the ATM exhibition in Dubai.


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