TDIC and the prince of wales’ school of traditional arts to shape contemporary Abu Dhabi

Published July 15th, 2009 - 03:28 GMT

TDIC and the prince of wales’ school of traditional arts to shape contemporary Abu Dhabi

The Prince of Wales and His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan join forces on traditional arts initiative for Abu Dhabi

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), a master developer of major cultural, residential and tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi, and The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA) based in the UK, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a joint feasibility study to establish a centre for traditional arts in Abu Dhabi.

The signing of the MoU took place between TDIC’s CEO Lee Tabler and PSTA’s Director Dr Khaled Azzam, at Clarence House, The Prince of Wales’ official residence in London. The ceremony took place in the presence of an official delegation from Abu Dhabi headed by His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC, and HE Mohammed Al Bowardi, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi. The delegation was then received by The Prince of Wales (Prince Charles), Heir to the British throne, to discuss the long-term aims of the new partnership.

Talking on the proposed plans for the new centre, HE Sheikh Sultan emphasised on Abu Dhabi’s clear ambition to become a global cultural hub. “As reflected through the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the direction of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi aims to develop into a unique and culturally inspiring destination. We anticipate that the new centre would address the need among the emerging generation of young UAE nationals and residents, to better understand the cultural heritage of the region and appreciate it in the context of their contemporary lives.”

Lee Tabler commented on the joint initiative with much enthusiasm: “This feasibility study will ensure our new cultural arts centre will be positioned as a leading educational hub for traditional arts and a regional cultural resource. Specifically, the new centre will position Arab culture within a global context while allowing visitors to experience the significant influence it has had historically and continues to have on contemporary world culture.”

Outlining PSTA’s role in the joint study, Dr. Azzam explained: “Our proven experience can add tremendous value to Abu Dhabi by providing self-sustaining educational platforms, which help support the regeneration of local crafts and communities. Our international outreach programme will allow for engagement with the Abu Dhabi community with the mutual objective of the renewal of the arts and crafts tradition.”

The study, initiated through the MoU, aims to capitalise on TDIC’s continued commitment to the development of culture in Abu Dhabi and PSTA’s insight into the principles that underpin traditional arts. The study will commence in various stages. The first stage will provide a comprehensive evaluation and assessment on Abu Dhabi’s needs for arts and crafts as well as academic requirements that would best benefit the community.

Subject to the outcome of the study, stage two would further expand on the research study where PSTA would plan a series of workshops and exhibitions, which would then be held throughout Abu Dhabi in the fall of 2009. The third stage would then include the creation of a Crafts Production Centre followed by accredited programmes that would be supported and approved by academic authorities in the UAE.

The Prince’s School for Traditional Arts - established by The Prince of Wales, to continue the living traditions of the world's sacred and traditional art forms - is one of The Prince’s Charities, a group of non-profit organisations of which His Royal Highness is President.

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