|Canadian University Dubai|
|Tourism Management, MGT 310|
|Obaid Rashed Bin Hashem, ID # 20190007332
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 endeavors 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.
Government entities have taken and continue to take several measure not only to preserve the heritage but also to create awareness about it. It has achieved this through:
Annual festivals such as Qasr Al Hosn Festival, Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, Sultan bin Zayed Heritage Festival, Sharjah Heritage Days bring alive the UAE’s heritage and gives the chance for the new generation to experience and value it. These festivals are very popular and draw huge crowds.
Clubs such as Emirates Heritage Club and Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage conduct research on the heritage and organize activities to promote awareness about the heritage.
Heritage villages are a complex of structures that include traditional houses, schools, markets and public spaces. It is like a replica of structures in the olden days. All emirates have at least one heritage village. The heritage villages offer a peek into the different aspects of the lives of Emiratis in the olden times. Read about the heritage villages in:
Museums in the UAE have contributed a lot towards preservation of the culture of the UAE. There are several museums in the UAE. They display artwork, rare pictures, utensils, armory, maritime equipment, currencies and other items from the olden times. Museums that have opened in original structures that served as forts or palaces in the olden days reflect the heritage of the UAE in a unique way.
Several new museums such as The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Maritime Museum are coming up in Saadiyat Cultural District of Abu Dhabi.
Each of these museums will have a state of the art building. The Louvre and Guggenheim will exhibit unique collections from all over the world.
Constructing and maintaining mosques
General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments is the federal authority responsible for constructing mosques in the UAE. There are about 4818 mosques in the UAE open all day to call for piety, righteousness and peace.
Al Bidya Mosque in Fujairah is the oldest mosque in the UAE.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi reflects the grandeur of the Mamluk, Ottoman and Fatimid architectural styles. Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the UAE, was laid to rest in the complex of the mosque.
Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai was built entirely from white stone in the medieval Fatimid tradition, with towering twin minarets framing a large central dome. It can hold up to 1,200 worshippers.
All these three mosques are open for visits by non-Muslims.
Tips for non-Muslims to enter a mosque
A non-Muslim wishing to enter the mosque must dress conservatively. His/her clothes should fully cover the shoulders, arms and knees. In addition, women would need to cover their heads.
Sheikh Khalifa approves law setting out fines of up to Dh10 million for damaging antiquities
President Sheikh Khalifa has approved a law that will protect monuments and artefacts from sale, damage and being defaced, with huge fines and potential ail time for those that breach the new legislation.
The Federal Law No 11 of 2017 on Antiquities is aimed at preserving the UAE’s fixed assets ‘in order to promote national identity and preserve cultural heritage, for the purpose of reviving and enriching the national heritage of the country’, news agency Wam reported.
The provisions of the law shall apply to national effects and shall not apply to foreign items except in cases where this is expressly stated, Wam reported.
The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development shall prepare a national registry containing data and information on the effects, registration, provided by the authorities.
When the draft bill was passed by the Federal National Council, it was stated that anyone who defaces or destroys an antiquity or artefact could face a minimum of two years in jail and Dh10 million in fines.
Building on, planting or changing the characteristics of an archaeological site, making excavations without a permit and smuggling items into or out of the country would be punishable with the same penalties.
Preserving plants’ species
In order to preserve its biodiversity and protect and restore the natural habitats of its local plants, the UAE created a database of local plant species and made it available to the public. . An app titled Gherasuae is available on App Store and Google Play.
In 2014, the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment completed the first phase of its date palm tree identification through DNA profiling through a collaboration with the UAE University.
The projects aims to offer all kinds of support to preserve, identify and classify all genetic assets of date palm trees. It also aims to establish a reference database for all types of palm trees found in the UAE, as well as identify and document the extent of their diversity. The project will also help increase the contribution of palm tree planting and date production to the country’s gross domestic product.
In addition, many initiatives were launched to preserve the UAE’s plant species, including the establishment of ‘gene’ banks for plants’ genetic resources. One initiative will be implemented by Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD), which is set to document and preserve plants through establishing Abu Dhabi Plant Genetics Resources Centre. The purpose of the centre is to collect and document native plants so that if any species became extinct in the wild it could be cultivated in captivity and reintroduced back to nature.
The other is being undertaken at the UAE University in collaboration with the Khalifa Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
Sea dumping and pollution
Dumping waste in the sea raises environmental concerns which is life-threatening on the marine ecosystem in the region. The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, in collaboration with its partners in the public and private sectors, continues to work towards greater protection of the marine and coastal environment and the preservation of its vital role through implementing the principles of the integrated management of the marine and coastal environment.
The UAE has enacted laws banning throwing waste and oil sludge into the water by the hundreds of tankers operating in the region.
The UAE Federal Law No. 24 of 1999 on the Protection and Development of the Environment prohibits the following:
Any intentional disposal of pollutants or wastes from ships, aircraft or any other means into the marine environment
Any deliberate dumping from ships or industrial installations or other means into the marine environment.
In addition, Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 and its Ministerial Decree No. 302 of 2001 (PDF, 450KB), were issued to address exploitation, conservation and development of living aquatic resources in the UAE.
Learn how the UAE conserves and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
Reducing the use of plastic
The Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) announced a policy to reduce the amount of single use plastic material in Abu Dhabi and mitigate its harmful effects.
The policy aims to keep plastics out of the environment and eliminate the use of avoidable single-use plastic materials by 2021 through fostering a culture of recycling and re-use and encouraging more sustainable practices in the community.
Through the new policy, the EAD will make Abu Dhabi free of single-use plastic bags by 2021.
The UAE is committed to protecting and managing the rich biodiversity of the state and prevent the extinction of threatened species. The creation of natural reserves intend to improve the environment and protect the wildlife in the country, in addition to the promotion of eco-tourism.
By 2020 there were 49 nature reserves in the UAE. Reserves that have been listed as wetlands of international importance within the framework of Ramsar Convention increased from 2 nature reserves in 2010 into ten in 2019.
Environmental regulations and policies
Environmental protection is considered the main objective of the UAE’s developmental policies aimed at increasing green areas, developing water resources, improving marine environment and protecting it from pollution, preserving fisheries and livestock, developing strategies to protect biodiversity.
The UAE has set a body of legislations to ensure sustainable environment for life. It has introduced many legislations to preserve the environment. These are some of the ways through which the UAE aims to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
Environmental awareness aims at developing the culture of the society regarding environment and promoting environmental behaviour of individuals, which helps to conserve and properly manage natural resources.
The bodies concerned with the environment protection organise educational campaigns at the emirate or federal level in coordination with the respective federal agency.
The type and slogans of these campaigns are based on the needs of the UAE’s community in the areas of environmental awareness and education.
In recent years, environmental education has become one of the salient elements in curriculum development in the United Arab Emirates. Accordingly, efforts have been directed to include environmental content in school curricula and textbooks.
Therefore, Ministry of Education has been keen to incorporate the environmental dimension in school curricula of all stages, by addressing the environmental issues that affect student’s environment, in order to open the way for discussion on sustainable solutions.
As part of the involvement of global stakeholders in the wheel of promoting environmental knowledge, the Eco-Schools Initiative was launched. It is a global initiative led by the Emirates Wildlife Society in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), aiming to encourage environmental action in schools.
Ministry of Economy
Ministry of Economy has a Consumer Protection Department. Competencies of the department include:
Supervising the execution of the general policy for consumer protection in cooperation with the authorities concerned
Co-ordinating with the authorities concerned to confront unfair commercial practices which harm the consumer
Co-ordinating and cooperating with the authorities concerned to spread awareness on the consumption of goods and services and to inform consumers of their rights and the means of claiming them
Controlling prices and striving to limit their increase
Seeking for the achievement of fair competition and combating monopoly
Receiving and resolving consumer complaints or referring them to competent authorities
Publishing the discussions and recommendations that contribute to increasing consumer awareness.
The ministry provides a hotline (600-522-225) to receive complaints related to infringements of the rights of the consumers.
In 2013, the ministry launched a section on their website for announcing the recall of damaged products. This was done to protect the rights of consumers, retailers and manufacturers as well as to maintain stability in the market.
Department of Economic Development (DED) in each emirate deals with consumer rights issues and implement plans and procedures related to consumer protection laws. It receives consumer complaints and raises the consumer awareness about their rights and duties.
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA)
Emirates Authority for Standardization and Metrology (ESMA) is a federal entity that provides safety and quality measures for products, whether made in the UAE or brought in from abroad. The authority imposes mandatory standards on special products related to chemicals, gas and electrical devices. Its measures comply with common international standards adopted in the field of protection of consumers, markets and environment.
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council is responsible for developing quality infrastructure and raising awareness on quality standards in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Council introduced a consumer safety services system, known as ‘Manaa’, which provides reliable information on any product and its compatibility with safety regulations.
The Council also launched a ‘Quality Partner Program’ to encourage businesses to conform to relevant quality, safety and technical standards and regulations through self-assessment and voluntary commitment schemes.
Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority- ADAFSA
Abu Dhabi Agriculture & Food Safety Authority is responsible for food safety and agriculture in the emirate of Abu Dhabi; it is also responsible for animal wealth. It encourages and supports research in all areas of food safety and agriculture that leads to the development of specifications, standards and regulations that match the latest scientific knowledge in its areas of responsibility.
Consumer protection law
The UAE has made keen efforts to ensure the consumer’s confidence in the market and to create a fair relationship between consumers and businesses.
The Federal Law No. 24 of 2006 on Consumer Protection defines consumer’s rights and obligations and outlines certain protection measures to fight monopoly, overpricing and fraudulent commercial activities against consumers.
According to the law, UAE consumers are granted the following rights:
The Right to Safety: to be protected from products, production processes and services that may cause harm to health and safety
The Right to Know: to know the accurate information concerning the goods and services (ex: origin of products, expiry date and ingredients of food items etc.)
The Right to Choose: to have multiple options of items and services at competitive prices and quality
The Right to Representation: to express opinions to develop the goods, services, prices and availability
The Right to Be Informed: to acquire knowledge and skill and awareness of consumer rights and responsibilities through continuous awareness programmes.
A new consumer protection law
In 2019, the UAE Cabinet approved the issuing of a new federal law on consumer protection which is in line with the Unified Law on Consumer Protection of the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC). The new law aims to:
guarantee the protection of consumers and stability of pricesensure the delivery of goods and services according to production and distribution patterns tailored to the consumers’ needslimit practices that may have a negative impact on consumers and control increase in pricesencourage sustainable consumptionprovide adequate protection to consumers in light of the technological advancement seen by the eCommerceregulate the work of suppliers, advertisers and commercial agents with regard to consumer protectionprovide the necessary conditions for creating a free market where consumers are granted the right to choose freely with fair pricesencourage the creation of a code of ethics the producers and distributors of goods and services.
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