UAE celebrates the success of the nation’s first national pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Published November 24th, 2009 - 10:40 GMT
Following the close of the 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition, the Office of the UAE Pavilion has announced that more than 376,000 people – an average of 2000 a day – visited the UAE Pavilion during its five and a half months at the world’s most prestigious contemporary art event.
Located prominently in Venice’s Arsenale, the UAE National Pavilion was the first to have been created by an Arabian Gulf state at the Biennale since the international event began in 1895. Through visual arts, performance, video and its own architectural design, the Pavilion offered visitors, including some of the most influential members of the global art community, a unique view into the creative ferment taking place in the UAE today.
“We are thrilled that an extraordinary number of international visitors were able to gain a greater understanding of the UAE’s cultural panorama and view the work of some of the most exciting and talented artists based in the UAE,” said Dr. Lamees Hamdan, Commissioner of the UAE Pavilion.
“It has been an historic and incredibly successful undertaking for the UAE and we are grateful and wish to thank all of our supporters, partners, and sponsors of the UAE Pavilion, including His Excellency Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Emirates Foundation, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Emirates Airline, and members of our Executive Committee.”
In addition to showcasing the UAE as a platform for vibrant cultural exchange, a significant part of the mission of the Office of the UAE Pavilion was to help people based in the Emirates to have a better understanding of the arts, and to provide infrastructure to support the nation’s diverse and thriving art scene. This was demonstrated through the establishment of the UAE Pavilion Volunteer Programme and by investing in future artists, arts administrators and audiences with the creation of the UAE Art Archive.
A long-term initiative, the UAE Art Archive was launched by the Office of the UAE Pavilion in July 2009, providing a much-needed permanent resource dedicated specifically to the arts in the UAE. As the Emirates’ most comprehensive online database, the platform allows artists to showcase their work and contains information on artists, arts organisations, and related events. It also offers a network through which the contemporary arts community can communicate.
The UAE Pavilion Volunteer Programme was established to broaden the artistic and cultural exposure of UAE-based students, practitioners of the arts, and people interested in the UAE’s art and architectural scene from the Emirates. Over 40 volunteers were selected to travel to Venice, serving as gallery managers and assistants in the UAE Pavilion, and participating in an art appreciation programme which included free admission to Venice’s many museums and cultural attractions.
The UAE Pavilion was initiated and supported by His Excellency Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Emirates Foundation, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and Emirates Airline.

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