Day: August 13, 2007
By Shireena Al Nowais, Staff Reporter / GULF NEWS Published: August 12, 2007, 23:00
In a small corner on the second floor of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), aka the Cultural Foundation, is an invincible time machine.
As you step through this time machine you are transported to a time in the UAE when television, the internet, chairs and other modern-day luxuries did not exist.
Veiled women sit crosslegged in a woollen tent sipping freshly brewed Arabic coffee. One woman is quietly weaving a traditional dress with gold lining. After the dress is completed and she is satisfied with her work, she pins it to a wall made of palm fronds where it joins a colourful array of traditional dresses waiting to be sold.
Mohammad Khalaf Al Mazroui, Director-General of ADACH, says that the authority puts emphasis on traditional Emirati crafts as part of its strategy to preserve Abu Dhabi’s cultural heritage, hence the creation of a “corner” or an outlet where traditional handicrafts are displayed.
“With globalisation and free trade, local products have entered a mismatched competition with imported ones. On the other hand, most of our traditional handicrafts contribute to the promotion of tourism and feature the habits and traditions of the people of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the entire Gulf region,” he said.
The outlet, located at Delma Corner in the Cultural Foundation, features Emirati women performing the arts of sado (wool/cotton weaving), teli (embroidery), palm tree frond weaving and henna.
Samples of Emirati traditional handicrafts are available for sale and all profits are rolled back into the project. Thus visitors directly contribute to the preservation of Emirati traditional crafts, some of which are close to disappearing.
Making a point
Al Mazroui made it clear that through this project ADACH also aims to show visitors how these folk arts are as beautiful and creative as other arts.
“Formal and folk arts have the same roots, and most of the world’s renowned artists have drawn their creative works from folklore. Thus, craftsmen and folk artists deserve from us all respect and recognition,” he said.
Did you know?
The most popular form of craft in Abu Dhabi is sado — the art of wool/cotton weaving. This handwork item is quite popular among tourists.
Teli is another well-known local craft in Abu Dhabi. It is basically the Arab-style embroidery that adorns women’s clothes.
The weaving of palm tree fronds is also a popular craft in the emirate. The end results are beautiful baskets and bags.
Dolphin loads its first cargo of condensate produced in Ras Laffan
By Himendra Mohan Kumar, Staff Reporter/GULF NEWS Published: August 12, 2007, 23:00
Abu Dubai: Dolphin Energy Limited, a joint venture company comprising Abu Dhabi government’s investment arm, Mubadala Development Company, Total of France and Occidental Petroleum of the United States, yesterday said it had successfully loaded its first-ever cargo of 500,000 barrels of condensate, produced from its natural gas processing plant at Ras Laffan, Qatar.
Dolphin Energy, however, did not disclose where the cargo was headed.
“Our customers are all signed up. When we reach full production early next year, we will be transporting two billion standard cubic feet of gas per day to the UAE,” a Dolphin Energy official told Gulf News. However, the official declined to provide the company’s current gas production figures.
“Two additional cargoes will follow in August. About six similar-sized cargoes of condensate are expected to be exported every month once full production is reached,” Dolphin Energy said in a statement.
The Dolphin gas project is the largest single energy initiative ever undertaken in the Middle East.
Dolphin gas, a source of clean energy for the Southern Gulf, involves the production and processing of natural gas from Qatar’s North Field, and transportation of the dry gas by sub-sea export pipeline from Qatar to the UAE.
Through its supply of natural gas from Qatar, it will also bring together the UAE, Qatar and Oman in a regional energy network for the first time.
Long-term customers for the gas from Qatar are Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority, Union Water & Electricity Authority, Dubai Supply Authority and, from 2008 onwards, Oman Oil Company. Each of these have signed gas supply agreements with Dolphin Energy for 25 years.
Dolphin Energy is owned 51 per cent by Mubadala Development Company, on behalf of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and 24.5 per cent each by Total and Occidental.
Dolphin Energy was created with the aim of developing substantial energy projects throughout the GCC and supporting the development of long-term industries throughout the region. It is expected to create wealth, economic growth and employment opportunities for the citizens and residents of the region.