Turning Dubai Into A Culture Capital
Gulf Business|Gulf Business April 2018

At the midway point of March and April’s Dubai’s Art Season, and in the wake of this year’s successful SIKKA Art Fair, the two events’ project manager Walid Moosa Ahmed discusses Dubai’s growing arts and culture landscape

Neil King

How has the arts and culture landscape changed in recent years? Is the environment more supportive of individuals and businesses in this sector?

One of Dubai Culture’s primary aims is to enhance Dubai’s arts and culture landscape by supporting and nurturing talent in this sector, and over the past 10 years, our efforts have indeed created an environment where both individuals and businesses can flourish in line with our leadership’s vision for cultural development.

We support this vision with major initiatives like Dubai Art Season, which is our flagship umbrella arts event and holds pride of place in the city’s busy cultural calendar, featuring a two-month citywide activation of arts events including the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, SIKKA Art Fair and Art Dubai, among hundreds of other creative initiatives and activities across Dubai. Dubai Art Season strengthens Dubai’s cultural fabric by providing local, regional and international talents with myriad platforms for showcasing their work, collaborating with one another, and reaching out to the public and the wider world, which is the essence of a thriving arts and culture sector.

SIKKA Art Fair plays a particularly important role in this endeavour as it is the first annual initiative of its kind to focus on showcasing and celebrating Emirati, UAE and GCC-based artists, which reflects our mandate to support local talent.

How important to a society is a thriving arts and culture scene? How can this be encouraged and sustained?

Dubai Culture believes that a thriving arts and culture scene is an essential element of the happy society imagined in the Dubai Plan 2021. In fact, bringing happiness to our society is the purpose behind our mission to empower the culture, heritage, arts and literature sectors.

We encourage a thriving arts and culture scene by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally and globally, and by partnering with other government entities and private organisations to sustain momentum and progress.

SIKKA Art Fair is an excellent example, because it is an innovative initiative that provides local and regional emerging talent with a unique platform for showcasing their work via a range of exciting exhibitions, art installations, workshops, film, music and performing arts. At the same time, SIKKA Art Fair works to raise happiness and positive energy across all communities within Dubai by immersing visitors in the joy of art and giving them an opportunity to experience and celebrate the home-grown talent that is driving Dubai’s thriving arts scene.

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