Cultural Prosperity in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi CultureThe Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi strives to preserve the cultural heritage and to promote Abu Dhabi as a global tourist destination while implementing a strategy that focuses on preserving and strengthening the identity and culture of UAE citizens and consolidate the reputation of the Emirate as a global centre for tourism, culture and heritage.



Cultural Projects and Achievements

In recognition of its global cultural standing, Abu Dhabi has adopted international and local cultural projects, and one of the most recognised projects in Abu Dhabi is Saadiyat Cultural District, which is considered the centre of culture in Abu Dhabi.


Louvre Museum

The museum hosts many artworks from all cultures from the ancient and modern eras; it is the first of its kind in the region that expresses Abu Dhabi's cultural vision and its openness to world cultures.

Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum is a central platform for the contemporary world culture and art Which aims to promote and build a global concept of art through artworks, exhibitions and educational programs.

Zayed National Museum

It is considered one of the key cultural assets within Saadiyat Island Cultural District. The museum showcases the biography of the founder of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. In addition, the museum also shows the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates and contains a cultural centre and theatre.

In addition to many aspects of the cultural activity, all of which have assured the active presence of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the UAE on the map of the world’s cultural scene; by hosting and organising many of the leading cultural events and festivals such as:

Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Abu Dhabi has stepped steadily in the film industry by organising the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, which has taken an international position among other international and regional festivals. The festival succeeded to attract many international and regional silver screen stars as well as filmmakers and producers.

Abu Dhabi Music Programme

The first of its kind within Abu Dhabi's cultural plan; the programme was launched to promote cultural events in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi with the participation of exceptional international artists. Through Abu Dhabi Classics Programme, Bait Al Oud Series, Umsiyat Series and Local Music Series, the project offers a series of operatic performances and classical music from some of the most renowned orchestras from around the world.

Bait Al Oud

The project of Bait Al Oud in Abu Dhabi aims to provide a platform for creativity and innovation and enhance the role of music in the cultural scene of the capital. In addition, it offers training courses on Middle-eastern musical instruments, as well as programs to preserve the Arab musical heritage, and to present its authenticity, arts and traditions through a series of concerts.

Dar Alkutob UAE (UAE House of Books)

In its quest to match the cultural development with the urban and economic growth, Abu Dhabi set a goal of establishing sources of knowledge and culture. In 1981, DarElkotb was established to be one of the most prominent cultural treasures and a source of knowledge for scientists, researchers and intellectuals; available in various branches in the Emirate. The library contributes significantly to the promotion of cultural communication and the discovery of the world’s cultures through means of publishing and translation of many of the world's literary works, as well as the collection and preservation of Arabic and Islamic manuscripts. The library is a comprehensive electronic encyclopedia that provides its visitors with many services that allow them to learn about events organised by the library as well as books collections and how to use them through the electronic catalogue.

Sheikh Zayed Book Award

In recognition of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan and his pioneering role in the unification, development, state building and human rights; it was decided to establish a scientific award that carries his name “Sheikh Zayed Book Award”, which is an annual award given to creators and thinkers for their contributions in the fields of writing and translation. This award is considered the most diverse and comprehensive award for cultural sectors compared to other Arab and international awards.


Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The Abu Dhabi International Book Fair (ADIBF) offers a number of cultural events that have contributed to the promotion of the publishing industry and enriching the cultural and knowledge movement in the UAE and the Arab world for three decades, whilst supporting writers and intellectuals and fostering creative talent.

Al Ain Book Fair

Features diverse cultural events and celebrates Emirati writers. It holds workshops and seminars and hosts a wide range of Emirati writers to enrich the local cultural and social environment. Every year, the exhibition offers a unique opportunity for the public to communicate directly with the most influential writers in the UAE.

Kalima Initiative (The Word Initiative)

The Kalima Initiative aims to promote cultural awareness and openness to cultures from around the world by translating literary works from different languages into Arabic.



The Arab Academy of Poetry

The first cultural academy of its kind in the Arab world; opened as part of Abu Dhabi's interest in Arabic poetry. The academy offers programmes such as the Poet of a Million, for local UAE Nabati poetry, the Amir of Poets (Prince of Poets) for Arabic Poetry and the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which carries nine categories.

Cooperation with International Organisations

Among other successful cultural projects undertaken by DCT, is the archaeological work being carried out across Abu Dhabi Emirate with its advanced features. The work has recently resulted in the discovery of many new archaeological sites, including the ancient fossils in the Ruwais Western Region, which date back to the late Miocene epoch "6-8 million years", as well as the Neolithic site in Al Sala`a which dates back to 7000 years ago. Moreover, there is the existing cooperation between Al Ain City and the UNESCO to restore and use the archaeological and historical sites to include them on the World Heritage List.

Al Ain Oasis

Al Ain Oasis is famous for the ancient history that dates back to the Stone Age which makes it one of the most vital centres of human civilisation and cultural spots. The UAE and Al Ain, in particular, have always been keen on maintaining the proud heritage of the country; recently gaining a universal achievement which has enhanced the prestigious post of the UAE amongst other countries.

One of these achievements is the inclusion of Al Ain as the first Emirati site on the "UNESCO" World Heritage List.

Among other successful projects, the discovery of archaeological sites such as the ancient fossils in Ruwais, western region of Abu Dhabi, which dates back to the late "Al Mayousini era 6-8 million years", as well as the Neolithic Age site in Al Selaa’ which was not known before (7000) years ago.

The efforts of the Abu Dhabi did not stop at the preservation of the human heritage only, but extended its efforts at a global level as well. Abu Dhabi has hosted the conference of the protection of cultural heritage at stake at Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi.

Besides, the United Arab Emirates declared the Republic of France on the initiative to establish a new international partnership that aims to protect all cultural heritage in times of armed conflicts. It was agreed upon by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the armed forces and The French president, Francois Hollande, and resulted in the establishment of an international alliance to protect heritage in UNESCO.

The General Policy of Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT) Abu Dhabi's cultural agenda is based on understanding the risks facing the culture in a rapidly changing world, threatening the traditional identity of the people. Therefore, the strategic plan of Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority focuses on protecting and preserving the culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi by promoting several cultural projects that serve this objective. That is being carried out within the overall strategy of the Government of Abu Dhabi, and in line with the policy agenda which seeks to build a government sector, that has the skill and effectiveness of performance.

The Department of Culture and Tourism regulates Abu Dhabi Emirate as an inspired global destination which is rich in cultural authenticity, in addition, it provides all family leisure and entertainment attractions, aiming to support Abu Dhabi's evolution into a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction.

Source: Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage website United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) website

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