H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, said that the UAE is working to promote greater understanding between cultures by creating cultural bridges based on art and creativity.
His Highness’s remarks came as he inaugurated Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai’s first contemporary arts museum. The Centre is located at Jaddaf Waterfront, one of Dubai Holding’s iconic mixed-use destinations, located along the banks of the Dubai Creek.
"The directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, have been instrumental in promoting strategic partnerships that help create the environment for creative thinkers and innovators to take advantage of new opportunities."
He added that creativity is a key element in the growth of civilisations and the development of nations. Creativity requires a conducive environment to flourish, and creating such an environment is critical for a nation to attract a diversity of creative minds.
The UAE has cemented its position as a centre for creativity and a focal point for creative people in the region, he noted.
"Art plays an important role in the cultural heritage of nations. It enriches communities and contributes to their progress and development due to the fact that it is a universal language that can cut across barriers and help find people of different backgrounds find common ground," Sheikh Maktoum further said.
Fady Mohammed Jameel, Chairman and Founder, Art Jameel, briefed His Highness Sheikh Maktoum about the centre, which is the first non-government establishment specialised in contemporary art in the GCC region.
The 10,000-square-metre, three-storey Jameel Arts Centre, designed by London-based Serie Architects, is the first non-governmental contemporary arts institution of its kind in the Gulf region. It comprises over ten gallery spaces, a research centre, library and project spaces that provide an inspiring space for art enthusiasts to think, experience and create. The Centre opens its doors to the public on November 11, providing open access to unique art collections and exhibitions from the region and around the world; inaugural exhibitions include four solo shows and a major group exhibition, ‘Crude’, which features works by 17 artists and collectives and explores oil as a driver of modernity in the Middle East and beyond. Multiple gardens, new commissions and installations are situated throughout the Centre.
Jaddaf Waterfront is also home to the first-of-its-kind sculpture park in the UAE, a joint initiative between Dubai Holding and Art Jameel. Designed by UAE-based, award-winning practice ibda design, Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park features outdoor installations, sourced from the Art Jameel Collection and on loan from local and international institutions. The Park opens on November 11 alongside Jameel Arts Centre, with major sculptural works by Helaine Blumenfeld, Talin Hazbar and Latifa Saaed, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, David Nash, and Slavs and Tatars. Art Jameel will work with Dubai Holding and other partners to deliver a year-round public programme in the Park, which includes an amphitheatre for talks, screenings and musical events.
During his visit, Sheikh Maktoum was accompanied by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Library Foundation Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr, Emirati writer Abdulghafar Hussein and a number of senior cultural officials.
On this occasion, Abdulla Ahmed Al Habbai, Chairman of Dubai Holding, said that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s focus on the continuous development of projects in Dubai, along with his close follow up are the driving forces behind the emirate's development surge, which is in line with His Highness's vision for making the UAE a leading country in the world.
Al Habbai expressed his gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Maktoum for opening the Centre, adding that the great care the leadership shows toward projects and initiatives in Dubai further cements Dubai’s position as a model for future cities, which pays special attention to the role of creative people and their contributions. "Arts and creativity, and their role in shaping communities, were the driving forces behind the Jaddaf Waterfront development, and the opening of Jameel Arts Centre here will further cement this destination as Dubai’s new home for contemporary arts."
Al Habbai added: "Building on our strong track record of innovative projects that respond to the evolving demands and preferences of the real estate market, Jaddaf Waterfront complements our efforts towards building cohesive communities that bring people together - for the good of tomorrow."
With its relaxed creek-side lifestyle and waterfront promenades, Dubai Holding’s Jaddaf Waterfront is a hip, new, family-friendly community that is set to become Dubai’s new neighbourhood for contemporary art. It is currently home to a number of developments including Dubai Wharf, Manazel Al Khor, and Palazzo Versace, and is becoming one of Dubai’s most sought-after pedestrian-friendly and cohesive communities, composed of canals and connected pedestrian bridges with marina and creek views set among lush greens spaces.
On this occasion, Fady Mohammed Jameel, Chairman and Founder of Art Jameel, commented: "We are honoured to open our first centre here in the United Arab Emirates, and to have Dubai as Art Jameel’s international base. Our mission is to nurture talent, provide educational opportunities, and create links between the arts scenes of the region and abroad. In Saudi Arabia, our programmes are aligned with Vision 2030, and the development of a diversified, creative society and economy. Likewise, Jameel Arts Centre takes inspiration from the UAE: its programme is forward-looking, dynamic, and welcoming to all. We would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Holding, and UAE government ministries, for their generous, collaborative support."
Dubai Holding has developed a number of communities that are pivotal to Dubai’s urban fabric, enriching the way people live, work and relax. These include Business Bay, JBR, d3 and the recently announced Madinat Jumeirah Living. Strategically located opposite to one of Dubai’s most iconic landmark, Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah Living will be the first freehold luxury residential development in the area.