The Oil Economy and the Perpetuation of Musical Heritage in Abu Dhabi
Edited by Isso Boulos, Virginia Danielson and Anne K. Rasmussen
Celebrations of weddings of members of the royal families and other, celebratory governmental events in the United Arab Emirates typically took place in large outdoor spaces to which the public had access and were encouraged to attend. Many different musicians were invited to perform as part of these celebrations. These pictures were taken at the events by Mary Corrado, a long-time resident of Abu Dhabi, who generously shares them here.
This brief and informal videorecording (below) gives a sense of what it is like to watch a performance of al-`ayyāla, this one at the Qasr al-Hosn Festival in Abu Dhabi in 2016. The performance is led by an `ayyāla group from the city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi and you can see the young girls serving as na `ishāt, as well as other local people, including children, joining in. Participation is encouraged, if not expected. Of note is the number of Emiratis watching and also filming the performance and the situation of the performance on the ground, right in the middle of the crowd, rather than apart, on a stage (although sometimes, especially for broadcast performances, stages are used).
The video application prepared by Oman and the United Arab Emirates for its successful application for inscription on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list appears here. This video includes clips from a number of different performing groups in both the UAE and Oman.