A new cultural initiative, UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018, has been announced on February 10th and will endeavour to continue to strengthen the long-standing and successful relationship between the two countries. This ongoing affiliation was reaffirmed during the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, a creative impetus which reflects strategic partnerships, a strong economic bond and projects in the fields of culture and education.
The inauguration was attended by His Excellency Edouard Philippe, Prime Minister of France and accompanied by Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Minister of State. During the visit, His Excellency highlighted that the long-standing relationship between the United Arab Emirates and France was built on solid foundations by the Founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in 1971.
As part of the visit, His Excellency took a tour of the parts of the museum that reflect the perfect harmony between East and West cultures, as well as the UAE’s message of tolerance, peaceful coexistence and openness to the world’s cultures.
The French Prime Minister discussed with the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development about expanding the scope of mutual cultural collaborations in line with the Year of Zayed and the Founding father’s vision for a brighter future. The launch of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018 is testament to this.
Following the tour, His Excellency Edouard Philippe said: “I have just discovered an exceptional museum, with its architecture and originality. Three months ago this museum was inaugurated by the French President, Emmanuel Macron, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
This was the fruit of ten years of exceptional cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates. The result, as you can see, reflects our common ambition to utilize culture in better understanding the world and its diversity.” Talking about the introduction of teaching French in Emirati schools, he explained: “Language is the bond that unites us, each in his own language.”
The Prime Minister of France added: “I am pleased to announce with Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, the launch of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018. I would also like to highlight that art, artificial intelligence, cultural heritage preservation, in addition to the promotion of the French and Arabic languages are priority areas in our countries. We also support common French and Emirati values such as youth, innovation and creativity.”
“This collaboration comes in line with the Year of Zayed 2018, to renew the long standing relationship initiated by the Founding father Sheikh Zayed in 1971. Several events in France will raise the profile of the United Arab Emirates, its people and artists.” He concluded.
Her Excellency addressed an audience at the inauguration and reiterated that the significant initiative reflects the strong cultural, economic and political ties between the UAE and France – it also highlights the ongoing mutual cultural development and embodies the global position of the UAE.
H.E. Al Kaabi stated that that the launch of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018 highlights mutual efforts of cooperation in the fields of youth, creativity, innovation, knowledge exchange and the position of Arabic language: “In line with our continuous efforts to ensure culture development, the UAE-France future cooperation will include empowering talents, promoting values of creativity, innovation and artificial intelligence with a particular focus on the UAE’s youth community.”
The Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development concluded her speech by applauding the role of French educational institutions such as Al Sorbonne for developing the global cultural scene, and raising the awareness of culture to both Arabic and French speakers.
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The year of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018 will include:
- “Co-Lab: contemporary art and savoir-faire” at Louvre Abu Dhabi, an exhibition which showcases the result of a collaborative project giving the opportunity to four UAE-based artists to work with four historical French manufactures
- “From One Louvre to Another” at Louvre Abu Dhabi, an exhibition which narrates through more than 150 masterpieces the birth of the Louvre museum, from the royal collections, from the end of the 17th century to the 19th century, relying on the collections of the Louvre as well as those of the Versailles palace
- “The World in Spheres”, an exhibition which explores the representation of the world from antiquity to the present day through a collection of important globes, relying on major loans from the Bibliothèque nationale de France
- “Open the album of the world, photos, 1842-1896” at Louvre Abu Dhabi, a presentation of the first photography in different parts of the world. The exhibition reunites the images created by western explorers as well as the first local and international photographers and relies on the collections of the Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac Museum
- “The Nabis and the modern decorum: an East-West dialogue” at Louvre Abu Dhabi: an exhibition which will showcase thirty decorative paintings by the group of the Nabis
- Lyon and Sharjah’s Light Festivals
- My French Film Festival and Francofilm: two cinema festivals offering a selection of French and francophone films in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
- The project of a francophone radio
- The Talking Series : a series of debates organized all-year-round in partnership with Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, mainly focusing on the themes of heritage, art, and artificial intelligence
- Livre Paris: the Parisian book fair will welcome the Ruler of Sharjah as special guest of honour
- Artist residency exchanges between the UAE and France focusing on art and innovation
- Abu Dhabi Festival: the trans-disciplinary Emirati cultural festival, in partnership with the French Embassy in the UAE, brings to the public several concerts by French musicians
- Art Dubai: the international fair of contemporary art of Dubai welcomes a French-Emirati panel which will highlight the cultural cooperation between France and the UAE with a focus on Co-Lab
- International Cultural Summit: an international summit will bring together worldwide cultural leaders in Abu Dhabi. A UAE-France day will be scheduled focusing on the protection of heritage and new technologies
- Abu Dhabi International Book Fair: a selection of French books in French and in Arabic will be made available to the public
- Sheikh Zayed and the Europeans: France is co-producing an exhibition with the European Union Delegation in the UAE, within the Year of Zayed, at Manarat al Saadiyat (Abu Dhabi)
- Design exhibition: an exhibition will highlight French and Emirati emerging talents in the field of design, during Dubai Design Week