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June 2021
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Reviving cultural heritage of the Emirati perfume and dukhoon

With the support of Dubai Culture

  • Celebrating Emirati heritage and introducing it to younger generations.
  • Activating the partnership with specialists to support the cultural movement in the emirate.
  • Supporting creative talents in the field of traditional perfumery.

With the support of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Dubai will host a specialised lecture on the history of perfumes in local heritage, accompanied by an exhibition titled ‘Perfumes: History and Authenticity’ for local entrepreneurs working in the production of Emirati perfumes. This is in an initiative to revive the Emirati cultural and social heritage among current generations and to familiarise the public with this authentic craft Dubai has always been known for.

The specialised lecture will be held in House No. 19 in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood on Thursday 17 June at 4 p.m., with the participation of 25 in-person individuals and 1,000 virtually via Zoom, allowing society members with the desire and interest to learn about the secrets of mixes of Emirati perfumes and dukhoon to join. Participants will receive certificates approved by Dubai Culture and will go on a virtual tour around the Perfume House. The exhibition accompanying the lecture will be held over three days from 17 – 19 June, 4 – 9 p.m. in houses No. 19, 20, 31, 38, 40, and 43, where 30 Emiratis exhibitors will showcase their aromatic concoctions they excelled at creating to introduce this traditional craft and authentic Emirati customs and traditions to visitors.

The participants in the lecture, which will be presented by Ali Al Awadi, a cultural guide, trainer and designer specialised in perfumes approved by the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, will be able to learn about the sources of raw aromatic materials that were used by ancestors in the past, the methods that were adopted in the manufacture of perfumes, and the development stages of local aromatic mixtures over time.

Nasser Juma bin Sulaiman, Manager of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, said: “Dubai Culture’s support for this lecture stems from its cultural and societal responsibility as the government entity responsible for empowering Dubai’s culture and creativity sector as well as from its keenness to support all efforts, initiatives and projects that would activate effective participation, revitalise the cultural and artistic movement in the emirate, and shed light on its heritage treasures and cultural areas, especially heritage neighbourhoods, such as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.”

Bin Sulaiman added: “The lecture and exhibition constitute an opportunity to emphasise the importance of perfume among residents and citizens in the emirate and their practice of these traditions, in addition to introducing Dubai visitors to the types of authentic Emirati perfumes as well as to the exotic spices of the Emirati society. Through this event, the Authority seeks to activate its partnerships with specialists in the perfume industry to allow the new generation to learn more about the creations of our ancestors and the treasures of our heritage.”

Bin Sulaiman explained: “Perfume is an essential element in daily Emirati life and is present on all occasions. The design of the scents of perfumes, dukhoon or incense is a type of art that Dubai was known. Due to its important role in the lives of the people of the emirate, one of the museums of the Shindagha Historic district, under the name ‘The Perfume House,’ has been dedicated to celebrate the history of Perfumes in Dubai.

Bin Sulaiman concluded: “The exhibition accompanying the lecture is also part of Dubai Culture’s keenness to protect this craft from extinction, support Emirati talents who have excelled in this field, and provide a platform to present their concoctions to visitors to the region who seek to learn about the local cultural heritage, which contributes to empowering the cultural and creative sector and strengthening Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.”

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