Abu Dhabi Festival

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Abu Dhabi Festival is an annual cultural festival in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; established in 2004.[1] The festival is presented by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The event has been held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, since 2007. It was originally under the patronage of HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, then Minister of Information and Culture. Abu Dhabi Festival is the largest classical arts event in the UAE.


The festival seeks to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s becoming a global destination of cultural enlightenment, respect and tolerance. Through new commissions as well as international and regional premieres, it pushes the boundaries of artistic excellence and creative innovation.

Abu Dhabi Festival reinforces the capital’s profile as an international arts metropolis; embedding art, education, culture and creativity into the heart of the Emirate. The festival is a strong advocate of cross-cultural understanding and plays a major role in cultivating the new artistic renaissance across the Middle East.


Abu Dhabi Festival regularly stages world premieres and commissions new works, often in partnership with other international festivals.[2]


Abu Dhabi Festival has an educational programme which brings together participating artists, school, college and university students from across the UAE. It also helps in the positioning of the capital as a place where the world’s leading cultural minds meet and exchange ideas through public, lifelong learning initiatives.


The Abu Dhabi Festival Award is presented each year to participating national university students who have excelled in the fields of performing and visual arts, music, film, literature and communication.

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