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.
Bringing the best of the world to Abu Dhabi, the Festival also takes the very best of Abu Dhabi to the world. In collaboration with leading global organisations, Abu Dhabi Festival enables the creation of cultural initiatives that bring countries together. The latest cultural diplomacy endeavours by the Abu Dhabi Festival also seek to further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position on the global cultural map.
Since 2008, the Festival has been advocating cultural diplomacy by reaching out across the world, co-commissioning new works of global significance and presenting artists of Arab origin in renowned venues on several continents.
Not only does this activity enable the Festival to reach audiences with whom it would not necessarily engage but also concerts, exhibitions and performances enable it to engage in creative dialogue with different countries, enabling societies to better understand each other.
Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation, the Festival continues its legacy of international cultural cooperation.
The Festival Composers’ Platform supports the development and release of new works by Arab artists. Previous beneficiaries have included Faisal Al Saari (UAE), Naseer Shamma (Iraq), Bechara El Khoury (Lebanon/France), Hiba Al Kawas (Lebanon) and Macadi Nahhas (Jordan). The creations are made available to audiences through a listening post at Emirates Palace.
Each year, the Abu Dhabi Festival commissions new work by leading visual artists, creating a legacy of artistic expression rooted in the culture of the United Arab Emirates. The works are displayed at Emirates Palace during the Festival and become part of the ADMAF Art Collection. Previously commissioned artists include Jalal Luqman, Mattar Bin Lahej, Mohammed Kazem, Bill Fontana, Sawsan Al Bahar, Fatma Lootah and Noor Al Suwaidi.
In 2017, The Abu Dhabi Festival Exhibition, The Art of Nature will see new commissions by artists resident in the UAE