(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM)) The Dubai Culture '&' Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as the Emirate's dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, is marking its fifth year with an unprecedented celebration of cultural and artistic initiatives and events to be held over the course of the year.
Mandated with spearheading the growth of the city's cultural and artistic fabric, in line with the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015, Dubai Culture, under the Chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has made significant strides in establishing Dubai, which is home to over 200 nationalities, as a global centre for arts and culture through path-breaking initiatives. A principal focus of Dubai Culture has been to promote grassroots talent development, which will be underlined through the diverse calendar of activities to be held at various locations in the city during the course of the year.
His Highness Sheikh Majid said: "Over the last five years, Dubai Culture has launched and supported a remarkable repertoire of initiatives that have strengthened the city's national identity and cultural infrastructure. We have also continuously inspired the local artistic community to create original content to achieve the goals of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2015. The various initiatives of Dubai Culture have been central to the evolution of Dubai as a hub for culture and arts, facilitating international artistic exchange and enabling several talented artists to gain international recognition.
"In line with the Authority's mandate to further energise the city's cultural scene, Dubai Culture is bringing the largest showcase of arts and cultural initiatives in the city. This is an opportunity for the world to explore the artistic achievements of our city, interact with our artists, and further promote the spirit of intercultural dialogue that defines Dubai's identity. Our vision is to underline Dubai's position as the region's cultural capital, and to give a significant platform for emerging talent to express their creativity, in line with the UAE Vision 2021, under the visionary leadership of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and my father, Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum," he added.
The various initiatives led by Dubai Culture are aimed at enhancing cultural and heritage awareness and offering unique platforms for Emirati and UAE-based artists, identifying and nurturing talent, strengthening access to the arts, and setting the ground for improved regulatory frameworks to lend momentum to the growth of the arts, national heritage and cultural scene.
The cultural calendar kicked off with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAFL), the city's flagship literature initiative, which was held during the first week of March, and has been supported by the Authority since its inception. During EAFL, the Authority hosted the inaugural ¿Dubai Doors Project,' inspired by the renowned Liverpool Doors.
Featuring artworks by three Emirati artists, all of whom have derived their inspiration from Arabic poetry, the ¿Dubai Doors Project' celebrates the collaboration of visual arts and literature, while shedding light on the beauty and essence of the Arabic language, linked intricately in the country's heritage and national identity, underlining the Authority's recently-launched initiative, Holal.
A crowning glory in the cultural calendar will be the contemporary artist-led fair, SIKKA, developed by Dubai Culture to promote local talent. SIKKA has now expanded its scope to encompass of visual arts, performing arts, film, and music, to showcase 72 commissioned works, 14 initiatives and multidisciplinary collections, from March 14 to 24, at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, the cultural and heritage nerve-centre of the city.
SIKKA will also host the annual Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) programme, which is organised by Dubai Culture, in partnership with Tashkeel, The Delfina Foundation, and Art Dubai, aimed at encouraging intercultural dialogue among Emirati and international artists. The works of the artists will be showcased in an Open Studios exhibition at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. The fair will serve as the anchor event of Art Week, Dubai's premier umbrella arts initiative also comprising Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai. A strategic partner of Art Dubai, Dubai Culture will present the Global Art Forum_7, during the course of the event.
Apart from extending support to Design Days Dubai, Dubai Culture will also mark the conclusion of the Design Road Professional programme, held in partnership with Tashkeel and the Creative Dialogue Association (CDA) in Barcelona, where the selected artists will showcase their concepts developed through extensive training and interaction with renowned designers at Design Days Dubai.
Complementing the artistic buzz during Art Week is the ArtBus initiative held in partnership with Dubai Culture. Four artists have been commissioned by the Authority to create mobile art that will travel around the city during Art Week, transporting visitors from one artistic destination to another.
This year also marks the fourth cycle of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards, aimed at underlining the need for patronage in the arts. Dubai Culture has opened submissions for all patrons and beneficiaries in March, for financial or in-kind support towards driving the city's cultural landscape.
In addition, Dubai Culture has forged strong ties with a number of initiatives that will take place in March, including the partnership to establish the Emirates Literary Foundation, the Majid Bin Mohammed Youth Media Award, the International Emerging Artist Award, the inaugural Dubai Sculpture Symposium with the Cultural and Scientific Forum in Dubai. In addition to supporting over 70 art galleries, cultural and heritage related artistic institutions, centres, and organisations. The Emirate's cultural agenda includes prominent activities for children organised by the various branches of the Dubai Public Library, which is owned and managed by the Authority.
Dubai Culture has played a pivotal role in driving awareness of and strengthening Emirati heritage and national identity, as witnessed through its recent MoU with Watani; the ongoing Heritage Centres across public schools, which have been set up in collaboration with the Ministry of Education to instill an understanding of heritage among young students. The Authority plans to host poetry sessions at the House of Poetry in Al Shindagah, in addition to supporting the activities at the House of Literature in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Dubai Culture also organised an array of maritime-related activities to instill the understanding of the city's rich maritime culture amongst visitors and the youth.
The Dubai Culture '&' Arts Authority is committed to cultivating the cultural landscape of Dubai by building on its rich Arabian heritage, nurturing and promoting talent, and encouraging intercultural dialogue between the city's communities.