ABU DHABI, 12th August, 2020 (WAM) — H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Executive Council of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, today paid an official visit to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), and officially endorsed the strategy for the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, which is part of DCT Abu Dhabi.
During his visit, His Highness was accompanied by Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, and Saood Al Hosani, Acting Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, and was briefed by Ali bin Tamim, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, and Abdulla Majid Al Ali, Director of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, on the Centre’s plans and strategies to promote the Arabic language. His Highness was also briefed on the legislation needed to encourage Arabic’s use for formal and official interactions in the emirate, in coordination with concerned entities.
Sheikh Khalid urged DCT Abu Dhabi officials to continue expanding the Zayed Poetry Encyclopedia to become a leading reference for the Emirati dialect, which the Centre is currently compiling. It will feature the late Sheikh Zayed's poems from a new perspective to highlight Emirati culture. He also proposed launching a comprehensive online platform and a competition, covering stories, poetry, recitation, calligraphy and visual arts, alongside an interactive exhibition that narrates the story of Arabic poetry and Sheikh Zayed’s unique association with this deep-rooted art in Emirati culture.
The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre plays a crucial role in setting policies for reviewing Arabic language curricula, conducting relevant research and periodically assessing implementation, as well as for organising specialised workshops, scientific and intellectual forums, and exhibitions. The Centre also promotes book publishing and translation from and into Arabic, as well as providing support to non-Arabic speakers. It also focusses on enhancing Arabic digital content, and establishing an investment fund for developing Artificial Intelligence solutions to promote Arabic and its use in all cultural and educational aspects.
Al Mubarak said: "The Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre represents a significant addition to DCT Abu Dhabi, as it complements its mission in supporting the sustainable endurance of the emirate’s culture, and confirms Abu Dhabi’s interest in enhancing the role and use of Arabic in our society."
The Centre's strategy is to make a notable impact locally and globally over a period of five years, improving reading amongst school students, increasing the number of papers, research and reports written, and supporting more than 5,000 writers, translators and publishers. The Centre will also launch the first global, standardised Arabic language test for non-native speakers.
In line with the Centre's strategic goals, H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed instructed for multiple programmes to be developed to achieve its objectives. These programmes would be targeted at children, school students, Arabic linguists and academics and innovators, as well as non-Arabic speakers and those interested in Arabic and Arabic culture around the world.
He also officially unveiled ‘History at Home’, a new interactive online experience which will bring UAE history to life for children and young people. With its innovative virtual platform, this initiative reflects DCT Abu Dhabi’s efforts to find new ways to educate and entertain children in their homes and also further the digital transformation strategy of the emirate.
The immersive ‘History at Home’ edutainment platform uses artefacts and videos to teach users about UAE history in a fun and interactive way. Quizzes and games are designed with an inventive motivational and incentive system. As users gain points for completing activities and uploading creative sharable content, they have the chance to win real-life prizes including passes to Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr Al Hosn, exciting experiences at Yas Island, and the chance to work on a real archaeological dig for a day.
The content draws upon History of the Emirates, the flagship documentary series produced by Atlantic Productions and presented by Image Nation Abu Dhabi, and the rich collection of Zayed National Museum, which is currently under construction.
The website will update and present new artefacts periodically. Each piece of new content will be accompanied by a quiz and a creative task that will allow children to acquire points, ‘level up’ in the game, and share their creative generated content.
Sheikh Khalid also commended DCT Abu Dhabi's recent efforts to ensure the health and safety of visitors to Abu Dhabi despite the restrictions on travel and mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the UFC Fight Island activities on Yas Island.
DCT Abu Dhabi established an 11-square-kilometre safe zone for the event, exclusively for staff and participating UFC athletes – amounting to approximately 2,500 people, over a period of five weeks. The event was exceptionally organised, and fights were broadcast on UFC channels with over 22 million viewers tuning in.
HH Sheikh Khalid was briefed on the current state of the tourism sector, and praised DCT Abu Dhabi on its plans to revitalise the sector, especially with initiatives such as the recently launched Go Safe certification, a stringent safety accreditation to award to hotels and tourist establishments in the emirate for adhering to the highest standards of cleanliness and sanitisation.
In addition, DCT Abu Dhabi published a comprehensive preventive measures guidebook to ensure the health and safety of workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors as well as for visitors. The measures included mandatory periodic COVID-19 tests for all employees. DCT Abu Dhabi has also launched the Discover Abu Dhabi campaign, which features attractive offers for hotel stays and visits to distinctive tourist attractions in the emirate throughout summer.
Sheikh Khalid gave directions to DCT Abu Dhabi on its plans to develop tourism infrastructure and to diversify visitor experiences, including desert experiences, as well as focus on sustainability in the culture sector to enhance the social and economic impact of cultural initiatives.
He discussed DCT Abu Dhabi's five-year plan to develop the culture sector, which aims to drive sustainable development, especially through job creation, capacity building, and developing local businesses. The Department’s culture strategy is built around supporting content creation, adopting results-driven benchmarks for success that leads to positive social and economic impact, and expanding the sector's value chain to achieve greater revenue and more jobs.
DCT Abu Dhabi is committed to preserving and promoting Abu Dhabi's cultural heritage, fostering creativity by supporting art and culture programmes, and building capacity across the sector through its 19 strategic initiatives, 72 joint initiatives, and 11 cultural and community sites.
Despite the COVID-19 preventive measures, DCT Abu Dhabi has helped drive the sector's momentum by supporting key players, and digitising its cultural activities, offering virtual content to ensure viewer engagement, and studying public reactions during the pandemic to prepare programmes that are aligned to social needs.
DCT Abu Dhabi also launched the "Culture for All" platform to provide insightful cultural content via social media. This includes virtual cultural discussions, workshops and other interactive activities that gained appeal from across the world.
"Despite the challenges of the pandemic, growth prospects across the tourism and cultural sectors remain promising, especially through virtual interactions, which have led to new trends for audiences," added Al Mubarak. "We are considering these new trends even for the period after we resume natural operations. Revitalising the tourism sector is closely tied to resuming regular cultural activities, and Abu Dhabi offers distinctive tourism experiences, combining rich heritage and cultural elements, modern leisure attractions and environment-inspired experiences. These capabilities provide Abu Dhabi with a lot of potential to boost its momentum for recovery and growth in the tourism and cultural sectors." Source