The inaugural Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards were presented today to individuals and organisations, who have extended their generous support to the development of Dubai’s art scene. Together, the awardees had contributed more than AED 220 million towards the arts sector of Dubai over the past three years.
At a prestigious ceremony organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated organisation for culture, heritage and the arts, over 50 art patrons were honoured in four categories – ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Supporters of the Arts,’ and ‘Friends of the Arts.’
The awardees, representing private and public sector organisations as well as individuals, had made financial or in kind contributions towards events in performing arts, literature, visual arts and films or related Dubai-led initiatives from 2007 to 2009.
His Highness Sheikh Majid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “Like all the development initiatives of our city, the Patrons of the Arts Awards is also a unique model in public and private partnership. Patrons are not merely sponsors of art events. They do not seek the limelight but stand as pillars of continued support for the arts community. Indeed, they are the very foundation of cultural initiatives and projects.”
“By recognizing them, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority aims to stimulate further support for the various art disciplines and thus contribute to making Dubai a city where content is created and not merely exhibited,” said His Highness Sheikh Majid.
A highlight of the Awards ceremony was a performance that integrated various artistic media, conceptualised and executed by Emirati and Dubai-based talent.
In a scintillating mix of diverse artforms – ranging from New Media to films and music to performing arts, fashion and painting – the show presented a creative journey into the mindset of the patrons of the arts set against the backdrop of Dubai.
The performance was a testament to the artistic and creative competencies of Emirati and locally based artists, underscoring the shift in Dubai’s appeal as a destination promoting content creation – one of the goals of the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards.
Taking the audience through an amazing audio-visual journey that redefined artistic aesthetics, the performance was led by Ali Mostafa, the acclaimed Emirati filmmaker; Kamal Musallam, the Kuwaiti architect turned musician who plays a new hybrid of the guitar and oud, called Glissentar; Ubik, a Dubai-based Indian visual artist whose works focus on existentialism and absurdism; Mona Fares, an Egyptian-German designer who lived and grew up in Dubai and is the creator of the ‘Neon Edge’ fashion label’; and Meera Huraiz, a multidisciplinary Emirati artist born and brought up in Dubai.
Over the past three years, Dubai has launched several initiatives and hosted a spectacular array of events, affirming the city’s image as a vibrant hub for globally relevant and appealing artistic and cultural endeavours. In addition to hosting visiting artists, the city showcases a rich repertoire of works by Emirati based artists.
These endeavours have benefited immensely from the support of the patrons, who were honoured for their passion and commitment to the arts at the event.
The Award was announced last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture had invited submissions, and received entries from around the world underscoring the support extended to Dubai-based events and initiatives from patrons globally.
The honourees at today’s event included representatives from an array of sectors including the government, banking, telecommunications, hospitality, retail, cultural institutions, and real estate companies, among others.
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