The dynamic cultural context of the UAE and the country's creative potential were highlighted at inspiring discussions organised by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) during the opening week of Expo Milano 2015 and on the on the eve of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, as part of the third edition of 'Dubai Next.' The events were attended by leading cultural personalities and influencers from the UAE, Italy and abroad, strengthening Dubai Culture's ties with leading international heritage and cultural experts, patrons, artists and professionals.
The third edition of 'Dubai Next' is a collective of highly interactive discussions and cultural talks led by UAE's leading cultural personalities to underline Dubai's global identity as a hub for innovation in the creative scene. The 'Dubai Next' talks presented the next era in the evolution of the country's creative sector, and the tremendous opportunities for collaborations in Dubai's fast-evolving creative economy.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: "While our heritage and cultural diversity is already well-documented, with 'Dubai Next' we highlighted the next era of dynamic creativity that defines Dubai's cultural scene. We have firmly set the template for greater global collaborations and developing creative talent, and we are promoting it to the world, especially as our city prepares to host the Expo 2020 Dubai, which celebrates the theme of 'Connecting Minds. Creating the Future.'
Through 'Dubai Next,' we invited a global community of artists, creative professionals and entrepreneurs to experience the unique differentials that Dubai offers and how they can work with our city's creative community for truly global expressions in the cultural scene."
'Dubai Next' offered an insightful discussion on the 'UAE's Creative Economy,' led by Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi of Sharjah Art Foundation, Ahmed Bin Shabib, Founder of Cultural Engineering and Lisa Chiari, Founder of Middle East Now Festival in Florence. They highlighted the multi-faceted cultural scene of the UAE, which offers unprecedented opportunities in all forms of art. The discussion also presented the Dubai Plan 2021, which aims to establish Dubai as 'a city of happy, creative and empowered people,' underlining the emphasis that it places on fostering innovation and creativity.
Aljoud Lootah of Product & Furniture Design, Nez Gebreel, CEO of Dubai Fashion Council and Ahmed Bin Shabib, discussed at length contemporary design practices. With Dubai and the UAE being home to several architectural icons, a discussion on 'Architecture & Sustainability' by Ahmed bin Shabib and Richard Wagner, Vice President of the Architectural Association & Co-founder of Wanders Wagner Architects emphasized the importance that the nation places on creating enduring and inspiring living spaces.
It also complemented the 'sustainability' sub-theme of Dubai Expo 2020, and underlined the preservation of the UAE identity through an architectural urban master-plan, and examined the impact and challenges of a sustainable city after Expo 2020 Dubai. Following the discussion, the participants toured the UAE's pavilion at Expo Milano 2015.
On the eve of the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 'Dubai Next' hosted a panel on 'Historic Inspirations & Emerging Artists' discussing how emerging artists draw inspiration from their environment, such as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood of Dubai, the city's historic nerve-centre. Giuseppe Moscatello, Artistic Director of Maraya Art Centre, Claudia Scarcella, an Italian Visual Artist and Khalil Abdel Wahed of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, took part in the discussion.
Serving as a vibrant bridge to the rich heritage of Dubai, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is adjacent to the Dubai Creek, regarded as the cradle of the city's heritage and modern growth. Home to SIKKA Art Fair, an artist-led fair of fully commissioned works, organised by Dubai Culture, and featuring several galleries, it also celebrates the unique architectural heritage of the city defined by the wind-towers.
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood also hosts the annual Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai programme that opens doors to Emirati and international artists, and a UAE-based curator-in-residence to work together, underlining Dubai Culture's mandate to promote intercultural dialogue and stimulate creative exchange.
As part of the 'Dubai Next' talks, Dubai Culture organised a VIP lunch and dinner for participating speakers, UAE delegates and many of Italy's leading cultural personalities including: HE Noora Jumaa, Consul General of the UAE in Milan; Dr. Salah Al Qassim, Advisor, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority; Abdul Hamid Seddiqi, Vice Chairman of Seddiqi; Nez Gebreell, CEO of Dubai Design & Fashion Council; Emirati designer Khalid Shaffar; Richard Wagner, Vice President of the Architectural Association & Co-founder of Wanders Wagner Architects; Greg Hobden, Film Director and Robert Butcher, Creative Director of FQC; Leilo Gavazza, Regional Managing Director EMEA of Bvlgari; Mario Bellini, owner of Mario Bellini Architects; Arturo Dell'acqua Bellavities, President of Milan Design Museum Foundation; Francesco Galli, Prof of Design at Politecnico Di Milano; Andrea Cancellato, General Director of Triennale di Milano; Alberto Gorlini, Owner & CEO of Architect Gorlini; Roberto Mararo, Owner & CEO of Mararo Italian Luxury Clothing; Marco Morandini, Director/Curator of Wunderkammer Gallery; Annalisa Zanni, Director & President of Poldi Pezzoli Museum; Rosalba Garuzzo, Founder, and Giorgio Garuzzo, Patron of Instituto Garuzzo per le Arte Visive; Luego Corno Del, Council Member for Culture & Heritage, Municipality of Milan; Giovanni Nani, spokesperson of the Mayor, Municipality of Milan; Aldo Sansone, CEO of Bolognafiere; artist Claudia Scarsella; Rossana Orlandi, owner, Spazio Rosanna Orlandi; and Gisel Laborioli of Superstudio Milano; among others.
'Dubai Next' will continue to host varied activities during Expo Milano 2015. For more details on Dubai Culture's participation, please log on to: www.dubaiculture.gov.ae