A vibrant musical celebrating the Kolis, the indigenous inhabitants of Bombay, and their profound connection with the sea at the Green Zone of COP28 at Expo City Dubai in December 2023

Avid Learning is the cultural arm of the Essar group, a family-owned conglomerate headquartered in India, with businesses spread globally. Established in 2009, Avid Learning has positioned itself as one of India’s leading arts and culture programming platforms.

With an extensive portfolio of over 1,650 versatile programmes across India, New York, and Dubai, the platform has cultivated a community of 1.8 million learners and followers.

Avid Learning has the potential to transform perceptions and thought.

- Madhu Ruia, Founder & Chairperson, Avid Learning

Since October 2016, Avid Learning has been at the curatorial helm of the Royal Opera House, Mumbai, presenting over 871 programmes spanning diverse artistic disciplines. Through this multidisciplinary programming, featuring the finest Indian and international artists, Avid Learning has provided a vibrant space for dialogue, discourse, and dance, revitalising the architectural heritage as a creative hub.

Driven by the transformative power of arts as a catalyst for social change, Avid Learning’s curatorial vision encompasses cultural diplomacy and the growth of creative industries. This vision is exemplified through enduring partnerships with the diplomatic corps in Mumbai, hosting multi-stakeholder conferences including those under India’s G20 Presidency. A testament to its commitment to sustainability was its participation in the Green Zone at COP28 UAE — United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Avid Learning hosted a panel discussion on World Environment Day in June 2024

While, it has had a familiar presence in Dubai since 2012, having participated in events like Art Dubai in 2012 and 2013, COP28, the Sikka Art Fair and the Seoul to Dubai event in February 2024 at Alserkal Avenue, Avid Learning is taking it to the next level by formalising its permanent presence in the UAE.

Avid Learning’s upcoming operational launch in the UAE marks a significant milestone in its strategic expansion. Avid kicked off its most recent foray by presenting a panel discussion on sustainability at Alserkal Avenue on World Environment Day on June 5.

Now in partnership with Delta Skills Academy a GEMS Education Company, Avid has taken a significant step in the region by hosting 3-Module Intensive Summer Workshops at GEMS Modern Academy and GEMS Winchester School.

Madhu Ruia, Founder of Avid Learning, says, “Being a firm believer in the developmental strength of lifelong learning, combined with confidence in the soft but persuasive power of the arts, Avid Learning has the potential to transform perceptions and thought. Through constant dialogue, we are confident of adding a unique dimension to the UAE’s global and cultural landscape to build a society of passionate change-makers.”

The organisation’s expansion in the UAE will include the continuation of its IPs like Beyond Contemporary Arts, Sustainability Now, Blurring Boundaries, and Across Cultures.

These programmes will cater to diverse audiences, including adults and children, through formats like panel discussions, symposiums, conferences, workshops, masterclasses, and stage performances.

With its rich trade history and cultural ties with India, the UAE is a natural fit for Avid Learning’s expansion. The strong Indian diaspora in the UAE and existing political and trade relations make this move strategically sound.

Avid Learning’s vision to democratise the arts aligns with the UAE’s vibrant cultural scene, including institutions like the Louvre Abu Dhabi and events like Art Dubai.

For more information on Avid Learning’s upcoming programmes and to be part of this enriching cultural journey, visit