Intangible Cultural Heritage
unesco detail banner

Al-Azi

OverView

Gallery

Did you know

Al-Azi poetry in Abu Dhabi

LISTEN TO THIS PAGE
Al-Azi is inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding

Al-Azi, an important part of the intangible heritage of the United Arab Emirates, consists of rhymed verses in the style of traditional Arabic poetry, with sayings and proverbs sometimes interspersed into the poem.

Al-Azi is a poetic performance without musical or percussion accompaniment. The lead performer is accompanied by a group of men standing behind him who respond to him with specific sentences, while waving.

This traditional art depends on the strength of the performer’s voice, and is practised on national occasions to spread the spirit of loyalty and pride in national values. In addition to singing, it is custom to express a welcome and to praise achievements. The focus is on the performer’s voice and fellow performers behind him, who provide the ‘answer’ in a scene symbolising synergy.

Al-Azi was inscribed in 2017 on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.

Did You Know ?

Al-Azi is recited, not sung, and is performed without drums or other musical accompaniment.

Postcard

Craft a postcard to send to a friend or family member, online or through the post.

Select an image

SELECT AN IMAGE

Write note

WRITE A NOTE

Email

ENTER EMAIL/ POSTAL ADDRESS

Send A postcard

HAVE YOUR SAY