Watch: Nostalgia reins as Abu Dhabi names ‘Urban Treasures’

Still from video played during the ceremony revealing the recipients of the 2024 edition
Image Credit: Screengrab/X

Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) has announced the recipients of this year’s Urban Treasures awards, an annual initiative that honours long-running establishments that have shaped Abu Dhabi’s urban and social fabric, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Get exclusive content with Gulf News WhatsApp channel

2024 edition’s recipients

During a ceremony held at the Cultural Foundation on June 6, Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, presented the award to 15 businesses selected from across the emirate: Abu Dhabi Pottery Establishment, Al Ain Pharmacy, Nasruddin Perfumes Shop, Persian Carpets and Antiques Exhibition, Salem Al Shueibi Jewellery, Al Ajayeb Bazar, Al Jazeera Studio and Stores, Al Mandoos, Rubou Zahla Trading Establishment, Ayoob Exhibition, AlFarah Restaurant, WOSTB Legal Translation, Al Qadi Pharmacy and Est, Alareesh Restaurant and Cafeteria, and Paris Textiles.

Evoking nostalgia

Al Mubarak said: “Our Urban Treasures initiative preserves and promotes Abu Dhabi’s unique cultural identity, and reflect the great emotional significance these 15 establishments have held for our community for over 20 years. They hold a nostalgia for times past, while remaining anchors of the community to this day.”

also read

He added: “These establishments have witnessed the capital’s growth and contributed to the identity and vitality of our neighbourhoods, strengthening the social and cultural fabric of the emirate. Through Urban Treasures, we aim to further raise the profiles of these establishments and ensure they thrive for generations to come. This initiative is in line with our strategy to preserve and promote Abu Dhabi’s unique cultural identity and share it with the world – while also celebrating it locally.”

Now in its third edition, the Urban Treasures initiative was launched with the aim of recognising the city’s landmark small businesses – including restaurants, bakeries, tailors, fabric stores, perfumeries, jewellers, pharmacies, photography studios and similar establishments – which have thrived in Abu Dhabi for 20 years or more. Seeking to further raise the profiles of these treasures and preserve them for future generations, the award aligns with DCT Abu Dhabi’s Modern Heritage Initiative, which celebrates and safeguards the emirate’s more recent past.

Nominations for Urban Treasures 2024 were opened to the public last year, allowing them to be part of celebrating the efforts of these establishments. Those were then filtered and evaluated by a committee, which reviewed each establishment based on set criteria.