Dubai and Abu Dhabi Compete for Business and Prestige with Festivals

Vacation News » Vacation & Leisure Real Estate Edition | By Alma Kadragic | March 23, 2010 9:30 AM ET

(DUBAI & ABU DHABI, UAE) -- As one cultural festival ended in Dubai, another began in Abu Dhabi, and that's not unusual in the UAE where the two leading cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, sometimes described as New York and Washington DC, compete in culture which also means tourism, business, and real estate.

From March 17-20 at Art Dubai more than 18,000 international and regional visitors viewed works from 72 galleries and participated in the Global Art Forum, a three-day meeting of artists, museum managers, and gallery curators who interacted with the audience of expatriates and their Emirati hosts.

Art Dubai is sponsored by the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC). According to Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, DIFC Governor, the presence of galleries from 30 countries means the festival "has yet again provided a powerful platform for a cultural and artistic dialogue between the east and the west."

John Martin, co-founder of Art Dubai, said that after four years, "Art Dubai has matured into a highly regarded art event on the world stage shown by the diversity of the work, the significant increase in attendance, strong sales from institutional and private buyers and the greater involvement of Dubai's art community during the week of the fair."

Meanwhile, in the capital, the 18-day Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 was starting with a tribute to Chopin for the bicentennial of his birth. The National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra was directed by Grammy Award winning and renowned composer, Krzysztof Penderecki, in his Middle East debut.  The highlight of opening night was Chopin's Piano Concerto in E minor Op.11 No. 1 by piano virtuoso Krzysztof Jablonski accompanied by the orchestra.

The Abu Dhabi Festival runs from March 20-April 7 and includes the Salzburg Marionettes, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the first complete performance of an opera in the UAE when the Puccini Festival Opera presents La Boheme on March 25 and 26. Artists from the Middle East like Naseer Shamma and Magida Al Roumini are also featured.

Continuing a recent tradition, the Festival incorporates art with the Middle East Modern Masters exhibition of works by two masters of contemporary Middle Eastern art - sculptors Parviz Tanavoli and Adam Henein.

The 7th Festival showcases more than 40 events in traditional, classical, and jazz music, drama, fine arts, and ballet.  According to a press release, "The visual art exhibition and rich community and education programs will assert the position of the festival as the emirate's premier celebration of culture."  The primary sponsors are Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi company that leads business development, and Etihad Airlines. Culture means business.

Real Estate Listings Showcase

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using our website you consent in accordance with our Cookie Policy. Read More