STRONGER TOGETHER

Abu Dhabi 2017 | TOURISM & LIFESTYLE | FOCUS: CULTURE FOR ALL

In the UAE, where 85% of the population is of foreign origin, the Culture for All campaign illustrates the continued development of cultural diversity.

Embracing cultural diversity has brought many benefits to the young Emirati nation in the shape of multinational businesses that range from industrial to financial and media to telecoms. It was therefore unsurprising when the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development launched the “Culture for All” campaign in 2016, which, in the words of HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, aims to “refer to the complex pattern of behaviors, knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, customs, values, and any other capabilities and habits of the people comprising the society.”

The campaign comprises seven strategies: overseeing the delivery of the UAE's national Youth Strategy; overseeing the community development agenda for the country; contributing to the spread and mastery of the Arabic language within the country; contributing to the diffusion, understanding, and appreciation of Islamic civilization and the teachings of tolerant Islam; contributing to the development of the country's creative arts and entrepreneurial creative enterprises; and undertaking a series of important cultural events for national citizens and non-national residents of the country.

The campaign has been partnered with the announcement of the Arab Youth Strategy during the World Government Summit 2017 and the designation of 2017 as the Year of Giving, an ambitious initiative looking to nurture charitable actions among public and private entities alike. Moreover, the Culture for All campaign has been presented as the Ministry of Culture's core activity to develop during 2017 and beyond as the UAE aims to present itself as a global center for the creation and development of the arts.

The campaign also aims to go beyond the facilitation of cultural interaction and the formation of a diverse society; it also embodies the recognition of different religious beliefs under one single soil, the promotion of Arab and Emirati cultures, and respect among the various number of nationalities living together in the federation today. This is one of the tasks the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development has embraced as one of its ambitions for the upcoming years and to turn the concept of Culture for All into a productive feature of life in the country.

Part of the campaign's mission also involves the organization of cross-cultural events between the UAE and its closest allies. In that sense, 2017 has been named the Year of Creative Collaboration between the UAE and the UK, through which a comprehensive agenda of collaboration between a wide range of British and Emirati partners will create a diverse program that spans the arts, literature, education, society, sports, science, and trade to be developed throughout 2017. Similarly, this year also marked the announcement of “UAE-India Cultural Celebrations: a cultural partnership for a positive future,” a commemoration of the extremely intertwined links between the UAE and the country where its largest diaspora comes from.
Further events such as the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi 2017 and the upcoming opening of Saadiyat Cultural District, with the Louvre Museum Abu Dhabi, the Sheikh Zayed Museum, and the Guggenheim Museum as its three cultural beacons, also form part of the ambitious plan of expanding cultural activity in the UAE to unprecedented levels in the Middle East.
The Culture for All campaign looks set to be one of the most innovative tools of Emirati soft power and aims to propel the country as a referent for arts and culture in a region largely misunderstood.