CultureSummit 2018 Abu Dhabi Kicks off for Second Edition

CultureSummit 2018 Abu Dhabi Kicks off for Second Edition

From 80 countries, over 400 leaders across arts, policy, technology and media to attend • More than 80 discussions, workshops and performances scheduled

Sunday, April 8, 2018 — CultureSummit 2018 Abu Dhabi kicked off its second edition in the UAE capital with a press briefing attended by the summit’s Steering Committee and media representatives. Entitled Unexpected Collaborations: Forging New Connections Between Heritage and Innovation, Near and Far, Creativity and Purpose, the summit takes place in Manarat Al Saadiyat between 8th – 12th April.

As a response to global challenges including poverty, extremism, climate change and heritage preservation, the summit convenes more than 400 government officials, philanthropists, arts administrators, business leaders, technologists and artists from 80 countries to discuss the role that culture can play in addressing these challenges.

Chair of the Steering Committee and UAE Minster of Culture and Knowledge Development, HE Noura Al Kaabi, said: “It is time to look at a new approach to the role culture plays in international relations, exploring how it can be a tangible force for positive change. The UAE is an example of how cultural integration and tolerance has impactfully built a nation. This summit and its outcomes will be a beacon to those who seek new solutions to pressing global challenges.”

CultureSummit’s Steering Committee announced the full programme of this global event, which is both conference and festival, comprising a four-day programme of keynote speechespanel discussions and workshops, punctuated by musical and artistic performances. The special programming also includes exhibitions by the Summit’s Artists-in-Residence alongside five Emirati artists. 

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, and member of CultureSummit Abu Dhabi Steering Committee, said: “CultureSummit has been created in response to an era of great uncertainty, marked by urgent global challenges. We at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi believe in the necessity of open dialogue, tolerance and global understanding for a more peaceful shared future, and that culture and arts have the power to achieve these things.”

The Summit programme will be accompanied by a series of performances responding to the “Unexpected Collaborations” theme, while the Artists Incubator programme brings together 40 to 50 established artists from various disciplines from around the world in the UAE to experiment, share ideas, and together explore creative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing social and cultural issues.

HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of DCT Abu Dhabi said: “As a centre of cultural dialogue, Abu Dhabi brings experts and professionals from all fields to one place, and strives to cement its position as a key player on the international stage for discussing and developing solutions to global issues that affect the future of communities around the world. By presenting innovative and practical remedies through the use of soft power, Abu Dhabi inspires ideas and notions that promote tolerance, coexistence and cultural exchange amongst all nationalities.”

The Cultural Diplomat of the Year winners will also be announced during the Summit, honouring individuals and organisations leading the field of cultural diplomacy with contributions that address global challenges through the power of culture.

David Rothkopf, CEO, The Rothkopf Group and co-organiser of the Summit, said: “We are thrilled to have this impressive line-up of global leaders who believe, as we do, in the urgent need for crafting new mechanisms that redefine cultural collaborations in a digital world, emphasising the role of cultural diplomacy in bridging the distances between nations.”

Carla Canales, member of the Steering Committee and CEO of TCP-Ventures, said: “CultureSummit strives to change how people view culture and the powerful role it can plan in addressing global challenges. In a world where cultural beliefs are often feared, CultureSummit recognizes the potential to use the arts as a means to build trust and advancing public understanding.”

CultureSummit 2018 Abu Dhabi will run until April 12th at Manarat Al Saadiyat. It is an invitation-only event, but will be live-streamed for the public exclusively on the CultureSummit website and the Abu Dhabi Culture mobile app.

Additional details may be found at

For further information about CultureSummit Abu Dhabi, please contact:

Michael Clyne

Brunswick Arts
Danielle DeMartini, +971 56 503 4852
Muhanad Ali, +971 50 107 4820