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Ayyala

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The folk dance Al-Ayyala has long been established as a popular art throughout the United Arab Emirates
The folk dance Al-Ayyala has long been established as a popular art throughout the United Arab Emirates , having been passed down through successive generations. It is practiced primarily by males from all ages, with the addition of the participation of a small number of female participants known as na'ashat, who toss their long hair from side-to-side, signifying their faith in the protection offered to them by their chivalrous male counterparts.

Historically, Al-Ayyala has always been linked with the culture and gallantry of the desert, and is considered among the significant social rituals that contribute to the spirit of dignity and honour of the coastal and domestic social groups and communities. Moreover, it has become an integral part of their celebrations of identity and history, a heritage-based tradition, and a cultural show embodying their past and symbolising their national identity.

Al-Ayyala is commonly practised throughout the year, especially during national celebrations and social events. The performances are often held in the presence of heads of state-during their welcome ceremonies, for example-as well as at a variety of conferences and heritage festivities, owing to its high status in society as a key means of social recreation and entertainment.

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