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Did you know

Preserving the Past

Protecting the tangible and intangible heritage of Abu Dhabi is an important way to celebrate the past and pass it on to future generations

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) works to document, protect and conserve the heritage of Abu Dhabi by surveying, recording, assessing and preserving tangible heritage sites. It also endeavours to record, preserve and promote the emirate’s intangible culture.

DCT Abu Dhabi follows international guidelines and principles for the care and protection of cultural resources and is responsible for conducting scientific research, implementing conservation initiatives, developing regulations and policies, and present, interpret and promote its work and its heritage.

Tangible Heritage

Tangible heritage includes historic and modern monuments and buildings, ancient structures, cultural landscapes, as well as objects from prehistoric times to recent history, such as works of art, jewellery, weapons, tools, and objects of everyday life.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s work seeks to document and understand the historic environment of Abu Dhabi, to protect and preserve these heritage resources, and in cases where appropriate, restore or rehabilitate for public enjoyment.

This includes creating a database and inventory of these historic elements and studying them in order to develop a deeper understanding of UAE’s past. It publishes this research locally, regionally and internationally in various journals and other publications. 

To improve the visitor experience in historic environments, DCT Abu Dhabi continually works to improve the presentation and access to these places, in part by adding interpretive resources to help visitors understand these buildings and places, and their role in the UAE and world history and culture.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s building restoration work includes removing intrusive new additions that disfigure the historic structures or locations, and rebuilding or repairing lost or deteriorated components according to the strictest international standards.

Intangible Heritage

DCT Abu Dhabi also manages the collection, preservation, documentation and study of Abu Dhabi’s intangible culture, history and lifestyles, including social and cultural practices, forms of expression, skills, and related tools and objects. These include songs, performances, poetry, handicrafts and daily life practices.

DCT Abu Dhabi promotes the practice of these intangible heritage elements by supporting heritage troupes and associations, and performing them during public celebrations, festivals and cultural events.

Did you know?

The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi collaborates with UNESCO as part of its work to preserve tangible and intangible heritage.