Abu Dhabi — A Cultural Development Fund has been launched to boost local cultural activity, enhance cultural heritage and encourage initiatives aimed at developing creative industries in the country. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the fund while attending the Future of Culture Retreat, on Monday at the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
The fund, overseen by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, aims to ensure the participation of all segments of UAE society in the implementation of cultural development plans, and encourage the role of the private sector in the process of cultural and knowledge development.
Shaikh Mohammad instructed the ministry to work on the launch of the “Creative Industries Contributions Index”, which will reflect an unambiguous structure of the economic returns of cultural activities and highlight the role of the cultural sector in supporting economic development within the country.
“Our culture represents the identity of our generations, and reflects the depth of our history. It is our message that we want to convey to the world in the most creative way. Our Emirati culture promotes the spirit of love and tolerance, and calls for openness to other cultures. The spirit and identity of our culture is inspired from the Arabic and Islamic civilisations,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
“Arabic language is the linchpin of our culture. Preserving our language is a pivotal prerequisite to developing our knowledge to enhance our identity and develop our culture,” he added.
“The UAE’s drive towards the future and its pursuit to position itself among the most advanced countries in the world cannot be realised unless we enhance our cultural heritage. The future of our cultural development should be based on creativity and innovation,” he said. “Economy, culture and politics are components that interact to create a nation, and build a state … The development of our country depends on a well-established and forward-looking culture.”
The retreat was also attended by Lieutenant General Shaikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The event brought together a number of ministers and senior government officials, in addition to some of the most prominent politicians, diplomats, cultural leaders, business leaders and media professionals to work on the implementation of a comprehensive development plan for innovative cultural initiatives and projects.
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, expressed her gratitude and thanks to Shaikh Mohammed for his ongoing support and acknowledgement of the role of culture, knowledge and intellectuals. “The Future of Culture Retreat marks the start of a new phase in the future of culture in line with the role of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in realising the UAE Centennial 2071 Vision. The ministry is taking an active role in the development of a cultural and intellectual society to keep pace with the rapid cultural and technological developments witnessed within the UAE,” she said.
Al Kaabi highlighted the ministry’s keenness in cooperating with various ministries, governments, private bodies and institutions to develop capacities of the cultural sector and UAE society in line with global cultural development and the technological advancement witnessed within the UAE.