Emirati Students Become the Voice of Qasr Al Hosn Festival
Qasr Al Hosn Festival Ambassadors ensure visitors get the most from their festival experience
Almasalla Arab Travel Portal News – Abu Dhabi – A number of Emirati university and college students become the voice of Abu Dhabi s most important historic and cultural celebration – the Qasr Al Hosn Festival, which comes under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. The Qasr Al Hosn Festival started on February 20th and continues till March 1st, 2014 on the site of Abu Dhabi’s oldest structure dating back to the second half of the 18th century.
Over 160 students will be on-site during the festival days to ensure visitors gain the maximum experience during their visit. This will also be a learning real-life experience for the students, as they will enhance their communication and visitors services skills while they prepare to become Qasr Al Hosn Ambassadors.
As ambassadors, students interact with the audience and introduce them to the festival’s public programme which includes an array of workshops, cultural activities and interactive learning experiences, as well as performing arts programmes including music, story-telling and poetry.
The Ambassadors support the curators, artisans and experts in running the workshops and activities, providing additional guidance and informative details to the visitors. They are present throughout the festival’s themed zones – Desert, Oasis, Marine and Abu Dhabi Island – helping with activities including dhow building, palm weaving, sea chanting, falconry, tree climbing, making Gahwa (the traditional Emirati coffee), besides a number of other Emirati-themed activities.
The Ambassadors programme is vital in increasing awareness among Abu Dhabi’s young generations of the history, traditions and culture of the Emirate dating back to when Qasr Al Hosn became the first permanent structure in Abu Dhabi.
Reem Al Mansouri, Public Engagement Officer at TCA Abu Dhabi said; “We wanted to engage different segments of the community with the Qasr Al Hosn Festival and this is a great way of strengthening the historical importance of the fort among the young generation, as well as embedding a spirit of giving back to the community,” Al Mansouri added, “The Qasr Al Hosn Festival is a celebration of our true cultural identity and a chance for everyone to cherish Qasr Al Hosn – the birthplace of Abu Dhabi. We also want people to learn about the fort restoration plans.”
The Qasr Al Hosn Ambassadors are selected from a number of Abu Dhabi’s main educational institutions, including Higher Colleges of Technology, Al Hosn University, Emirates College of Advanced Education, Zayed University Abu Dhabi, Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi University, UAE University and Al Ain University of Science and Technology. Selected students were then given a full-day training session on the festival site that included general guidance as well as specific roles distribution and training.
The selected Qasr al Hosn Ambassadors themselves were excited to participate in the program. Amna Al Zaabi, an ambassador at the Oasis zone said: “I am thrilled to be chosen as a Qasr Al Hosn Ambassador. I can’t wait to learn all about the history of the fort and why it’s so important to the development of Abu Dhabi,” Ameer alKendi, another Qasr al Hosn Ambassador, added, “I’m hoping that this opportunity will help me to communicate to large groups of different nationalities and be confident around visitors. These are important skills that will help me in life and work.”
The full programme for this year’s Qasr Al Hosn Festival includes guided tours of the fort, traditional workshops, live performances, exhibitions and ‘Cavalia at Qasr Al Hosn’, an internationally renowned show adapted specially for the festival audience.