This is the last post in this series about the arts and culture scene in the United Arab Emirates – the first featured events, and the second highlighted museums and galleries in the UAE. This third post focuses on government establishments throughout the UAE that supplement and support the arts and culture sector in the UAE by organizing and overseeing major cultural and artistic projects as well as preserving heritage sites. This post also highlights universities that have provided exceptional educational opportunities in the field of art to both UAE nationals and residents.
The Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (ADTCA) strives to preserve and promote the rich cultural and historic heritage of the emirate, as well as to shape the future of the UAE. At the same time, through an extensive program of cultural events, exhibitions, and museum development, ADTCA places this legacy in a global context, fostering international understanding while promoting Abu Dhabi as a cultural and sustainable destination worldwide.
Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is devoted to Abu Dhabi’s vision of creating a cultural and scientific hub through its role in realizing Abu Dhabi’s economic 2030 vision by delivering the future Emirati and international workforce, while also contributing to the UAE’s economic diversification. Highlighting the importance of dialogue between cultures and the exchange of knowledge, the university organizes year-round lectures, roundtable discussions, and colloquia in a wide range of fields, as well as art exhibitions and cultural events. Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi combines the legacy and experience of three significant and legendary French universities – Paris-Sorbonne, Paris-Descartes, and Pierre and Marie Curie University.
Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a government entity at the forefront of the Emirati culture and arts scene.Dubai Culture is the driving force of the 21st century cultural and arts renaissance in Dubai and the region. Established on March 8, 2008, by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai Culture reflects the ambition of the city to benchmark itself as the cultural thought-leader of the Arab world. We bring together the artistic community, the patrons, the facilitators and the public at large – in active dialogue. Its mission is to actively support and drive Dubai’s development as a dynamic cultural, heritage, and arts center by creating an environment that facilitates and inspires cultural activity. Projects support by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority include the Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, Artists in Residence A.i.R Dubai, Sikka Art Fair, and the Dubai Outdoor Art Project.
Zayed University prepares students who are able to contribute to building the nation by offering specialized programs of study which match international standards. The university also provides an excellent learning environment to strengthen its role as a leader in progressing scientific research and community service. The College of Arts and Creative Enterprises aims to make students creative leaders in the arts. Its mission is to provide student artists and designers with an opportunity to explore and develop their own creative ideas while contributing to national initiatives in culture.
With world-class facilities and a dynamic and highly qualified faculty, it is no wonder that the reputation of the College of Architecture, Art and Design at American University of Sharjah has spread far beyond the shores of the UAE. The college offers five undergraduate programs – in architecture, interior design, visual communication, multimedia design ,and design management – and a graduate program in urban planning. Program curriculums are based on the North American model, which integrates liberal studies with professional education.
The University of Sharjah, College of Fine Arts and Design was established in 2002 and has five undergraduate programs for degrees in Fine Arts, Interior Architecture and Design, Graphic and Multimedia Design, Jewelry Design, and Fashion Design with Textiles. All students begin their first year in the College’s Foundation Program and all courses are taught in English. Sheikha Al Mazrou, one of the featured artists in Past Forward, graduated from the College of Fine Arts and Design and now teaches there.
The Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF) brings a broad range of contemporary art and cultural programs to Sharjah, the UAE, and the region. Since 2009, SAF has built on the history of cultural collaboration and exchange that began with the first Sharjah Biennial in 1993. SAF works with international partners to create opportunities for artists and artistic production through their core initiatives that include the Sharjah Biennial, the annual March Meeting, residencies, production grants, commissions, exhibitions, research, publications, and a growing collection. The foundation’s education and public programs focus on building recognition of the central role art can play in the life of a community by promoting public learning and a participatory approach to art. Sharjah Art Foundation is funded by the Sharjah Government’s Department of Culture and Information.
This blog post was inspired by Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates – the first major touring exhibition of Emirati artwork abroad. The exhibition showcases core elements of life in the UAE, further informing American audiences of Emirati art, history, and tradition.