Theme – ‘Culture of Determination’

“No matter how many buildings, foundations, schools and hospitals we build, or how many bridges we raise, all these are material entities. The real spirit behind the progress is the human spirit, the able man with his intellect and capabilities." – Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Welcome to the 16th Abu Dhabi Festival, the leading celebration of arts and culture in the Arabian Gulf. This year the Festival’s central theme is the ‘Culture of Determination’, as it joins forces with the Special Olympics World Games that are also taking place in the UAE capital during the month of March, in celebration of everyone who battles against the odds to make a positive impact on society. This theme is one each of us can relate to, and the brave Olympians who will be competing here are inspirational human beings whose drive and determination, in the face of often great adversity, should bring joy and hope to everyone.


Abu Dhabi Festival commissions new works across the spectrum of art forms. From international performances which promote the culture of the Arab World and music releases encapsulating the best of regional music talent, to visual arts pieces that celebrate the depth of locally based practitioners, each year new work is brought to audiences in Abu Dhabi and across the world.


Presented with Chopard, the Abu Dhabi Festival Award is given annually to individuals for outstanding lifetime contributions to arts and culture.