The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Patrons of the Arts Awards, a key initiative announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Matkoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, honoured 47 organisations and individuals for their contributions towards the city’s cultural scene at a prestigious event in the presence of members of the Royal family.
An initiative by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage, the awards are aimed at encouraging patrons of the arts to further strengthen the evolution of the city’s cultural landscape through patronage.
In its third edition, the Awards honoured patrons in four categories: ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Patrons of the Arts,’ ‘Supporters of the Arts,’ and ‘Friends of the Arts,’ for their financial or in-kind contributions towards the four disciplines of art – visual arts, performing arts, film, and literature – from January to December 2011.
The honourees together contributed over AED 165 million towards the arts, an impressive 24 percent increase compared with 2010, reiterating the invaluable support from the patrons to inspire artists and make art more accessible to wider audiences.
Forty-four percent of those honoured in the third cycle were new patrons, with a 17.5 percent overall increase in patrons, underscoring an increased interest among organisations and individuals in driving the arts sector; while 15 percent of the patrons comprised Government departments and organisations, a 75 percent increase compared with the first cycle.
Visual arts accounted for 50 percent, followed by a remarkable increase in patronage for film, which accounts for 42 percent of total contributions. Performing arts and literature accounted for four percent of this year’s patronage, each.
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “Patronage for the Emirate’s cultural scene has grown rapidly over the last few years, underlining the impressive achievements recorded by Dubai in launching and hosting diverse cultural initiatives. The third cycle has seen increased support from Government departments and organisations, in addition to a vast pool of new patrons, reinforcing interest in extending patronage to culture and the arts.
“Today, Dubai has firmly positioned itself as a destination for culture and arts as a result of sustained support from the patrons, the unsung heroes, who highlight the artistic potential in the city. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority is privileged to honour these individuals and organisations who contribute to further consolidating the city’s status as the region’s cultural hub,” he added.
The ‘Distinguished Patrons of the Arts’ honourees are: His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council; the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD); Jumeirah Group; Emirates Airline; Dr. Farhad Farjam and Abraaj Capital.
Honourees of the ‘Patrons of the Arts’ are: Her Highness Sheikha Manal Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Women Establishment, and wife of His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs; Sheikha Lateefa Bint Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum; Dubai Police; Dubai Duty Free; Al Serkal Family; Barjeel Art Foundation; Mr. Ramin Salsali; AGMC – BMW; Dubai Pearl and Van Cleef & Arpels.
The third cycle of the awards opened with a performance titled ‘Music of Dubai’ by The Fridge, inspired by the heritage of the UAE, and featuring an old Emirati melody that rekindles the nostalgia of the 1970s. An artistic collaboration between Dubai-based artists, the performance reflected on the evolution and harmony of the local communities, underlining Dubai’s multicultural essence and spirit.
Dubai’s diverse breadth of cultural and artistic events include: Art Week, comprising SIKKA Art Fair, Art Dubai, and Design Days Dubai; Dubai International Film Festival, Gulf Film Festival, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre, which are a testament to the support from patrons towards the culture and arts scene of the city.