Abu Dhabi goes back in time for new coffee house plans

Tourism chiefs launch Bait Al Gahwa initiative to revive the traditional Emirati process of preparing and serving coffee
Abu Dhabi goes back in time for new coffee house plans
The Bait Al Gahwa initiative aims to revive the traditional Emirati process of preparing and serving coffee.
By Sam Bridge
Thu 27 Sep 2018 02:18 PM

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has inaugurated the Bait Al Gahwa (Coffee House) initiative which aims to revive the traditional Emirati process of preparing and serving coffee.

Bait Al Gahwa is a key element of DCT Abu Dhabi’s strategy to revive authentic heritage and traditions, state news agency WAM reported, adding that it aims to provide licences for operating tourism projects.

The initiative is part of DCT Abu Dhabi's commitment to supporting traditional practices, including the art of making Arabic coffee, which was inscribed on UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2015.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, said: "The UAE’s dedication to reviving traditional practices and preserving them has a significant impact.

"With the ‘Bait Al Gahwa’ initiative, we strive to share a cherished part of our identity, to pay our respects to the connections made over a cup of authentic Arabic coffee, to further enhance a cultural dialogue and a profound sense of acceptance and tolerance. Who better to transfer and represent these highly-held traditions than Emiratis themselves."

Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of DCT Abu Dhabi, added: "The Bait Al Gahwa initiative is one of many distinctive practices that enrich the Abu Dhabi cultural tourism experience and provide a space for our heritage to be present in contemporary settings without losing its essential and traditional character.

"It also aims to train Emiratis, on all aspects of its practice, from preparation to serving, as it involves deep-rooted traditions continue to be practiced."

He said a Bait Al Gahwa licence is the first stage of starting a potentially lucrative tourism project, combining heritage practices like hospitality with Emirati etiquette.

Bait Al Gahwa permits will be granted to Emirati youths who are interested in operating independent projects, after receiving extensive training by the heritage experts at the Department of Culture & Tourism. Those wishing to participate in this initiative must follow the traditions of coffee-making and serving as recognised by UNESCO.

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