During the award ceremony
At an elite event attended by members of the Royal family and dignitaries that underscored the Emirati artistic heritage of Dubai and its vibrant contemporary art environment, the second ‘Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards’ were presented to 40 individuals and organisations.
Organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the patrons of the arts were honoured for their contribution towards Dubai’s cultural scene.
The awards were presented in four categories: ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Supporters of the Arts,’ and ‘Friends of the Arts.’ While the ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts’ were conferred on organisations and individuals in recognition of their collective contributions from 2008 to 2010, honourees in the other categories were feted for their contributions in 2010.
The honourees, together, contributed over AED 130 million in financial or in-kind contribution towards the cultural initiatives and events hosted in Dubai in just one year in 2010. This was a significant accomplishment, compared with the first edition of the Awards, which honoured patrons for their contribution of about AED 250 million over a period of three years from 2007 to 2009.
While visual arts accounted for nearly 51 per cent of total support, film came next with 33 per cent of the total contributions. Performing arts recorded a robust increase to 11 per cent of total contributions this year, and literature received 5 per cent. Films, performing arts and literature recorded an increase in patronage, a testament to Dubai Culture’s focused efforts to drive the growth of these sectors.
Saeed Nabouda, Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said that the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards is a mark of Dubai’s gratitude and respect to those who work relentlessly to help shape the cultural dynamic of the emirate for the long-term.
“Over the past years, Dubai has underscored its leading position as the region’s cultural hub. The various events in the city have significantly enhanced and strengthened an artistic base of national and international artists. Their creative ventures also enable us to highlight our cultural identity globally.
“Most significantly, the creative pursuits of our artists have touched the lives of our people, providing them with a vibrant environment to enhance their cultural understanding. The growth in Dubai’s cultural and the arts sector indeed owes to the generous support and commitment of the patrons of the arts.”
Compared with last year, the number of government departments honoured increased to an impressive 12 per cent. The honourees, nearly half of them who were honoured last year too, cover the entire spectrum of business and culture – from private business conglomerates to real estate developers, financial institutions, banks, airlines, telecom companies, arts & cultural organisations, advertising agencies, automobile companies and lifestyle providers, among others.
“Nearly half of the honourees were feted for the first time this year, a clear testament to the growing number of individuals and organisations stepping forward to drive Dubai’s cultural and arts initiatives. The continued patronage, as represented by the recurring honourees, underscore their commitment to partner in Dubai’s focus to strengthen the cultural scene. The strong presence of governmental departments further marks the growing interest of the public sector in the arts,” added Nabouda.
The Distinguished Patrons of the Arts Awards were presented to Dr Farhad Farjam, Abraaj Capital, TECOM Investments, Jumeirah, Emirates Airline, Dubai Pearl and Majid Al Futtaim Group. Among the government departments honoured include Dubai Police, Roads & Transport Authority and Dubai Courts.
The live cultural performance that marked the Awards ceremony was a perfect testament to the spirit, commitment and passion for the arts that prevails in Dubai. Under the theme, ‘Let the Trumpet Sound’ the performance was based on the thought that ‘life is contained in a single movement, a sound, a beat, a brushstroke.’
The inspiring performance, highlighting the idea of continuous creation and inspiration, was centred on the traditional Ayallah, a victory dance and one of the most admired and performed danceforms of the UAE.
The performance was crafted such that as the textures, rhythms and tones of Ayallah built up, new sounds and ideas were incorporated. It eventually reached a crescendo where the Ayallah and a performing western orchestra merged seamlessly.
Dubai’s diverse breadth of cultural and artistic events include: Art Dubai and the SIKKA Art Fair, Dubai International Film Festival, Gulf Film Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, among others.