Tarahum for Gaza2-1701065702477
UAE’s Tarahum for Gaza campaign by Red Crescent: Part of the proceeds of the Abu Dhabi Festival will be donated to the charity drive.

Abu Dhabi: A portion of the 2024 revenues of Abu Dhabi Festival will be donated to the UAE’s Tarahum for Gaza campaign by Red Crescent.

The announcement came as the programme list for Abu Dhabi Festival 2024 was unveiled recently and China was named as the Country of Honour.

Under the honourary patronage of Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Founding Honourary Patron of Abu Dhabi Festival, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation unveiled the programme for the Abu Dhabi Festival 2024, which will be held under the patronage of Sheikha Shamsa bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan.

This marks the 21st edition of the Festival, themed ‘The Will for Hope’, celebrating artistic excellence and cultural diversity.


The lineup features classical ballet, jazz, opera, and traditional Arabic showcases, world and Arab premiers, accompanied by community and educational programme.

This year, Abu Dhabi Festival designated China as the Country of Honour, commemorating 40 years of diplomatic ties between the People’s Republic of China and the UAE.

In 2024, the Festival’s theme, The Will for Hope, focuses on fostering hope and optimism during challenging times.

Elevating Emirati culture

Sheikh Abdullah, reflecting on the Abu Dhabi Festival’s third decade, pointed out its role in elevating Emirati culture globally. He said by celebrating China as Guest Country of Honour, the Festival promotes cultural brilliance and underscores the UAE’s commitment to values of coexistence, peace, and human fraternity.

Sheikh Abdullah added: “The 21st edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival follows the celebration of the UAE’s 52nd Union Day and the hosting of COP28 and showcases the Festival’s role in spreading environmental awareness in the UAE and worldwide. It symbolises collective effort, with institutions and inspirational creatives serving as ambassadors for environmental preservation and combating climate change, for the sake of our natural resources and future generations.

Art to alleviate suffering

Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, expressed gratitude for the leadership’s support, emphasising the festival’s role in promoting enlightenment, coexistence, and peace.

“We are aligned with the UAE’s initiatives and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with the UAE Red Crescent Authority through the campaign ‘Tarahum for Gaza.’ We will allocate a portion of the Abu Dhabi Festival ticket proceeds to this campaign, demonstrating our commitment to the UAE’s efforts in supporting the Palestinian people, in the hope of alleviating suffering, and contributing to easing the severity of the humanitarian crisis by providing essential necessities,” she said.

The contribution to the Tarahum for Gaza campaign aligns with the official efforts of the UAE to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people and aid those affected in Gaza.

Chinese events

The festival is committed to showcasing global masterpieces, with exclusive works and joint productions with China.

Notably, it introduces ‘Chinese New Year’ by the National Ballet of China, featuring Tchaikovsky’s renowned ballet ‘The Nutcracker’ for the first time in the Arab world. The grand finale will feature the China National Symphony Orchestra’s dazzling performance at Emirates Palace on December 8, adding cultural richness to the festival’s diverse programme.

Other highlights

The festival features a line-up of events, including exclusive commissioning and co-productions, along with local, regional, and global premieres, in addition to a series of world-class events that include musical tours, panel discussions, education and community programmes and workshops.

Other highlights include Puccini Opera Gala, one-week Music Residency and Recital with violin prodigy Leia Zhu, and performances by Pablo Ferrández, saxophonist and bandleader Kamasi Washington, soprano Pretty Yende and tenor Francesco Demuro, concertmaster of the Vienna State Opera Orchestra, Yamen Saadi, piano duo Lucas and Arthur Jussen, opera star Lawrence Brownlee, pianist Kirill Gerstein and Inshad master Sheikh Mahmoud El-Tohamy.

Cultural diplomacy

Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture, highlighted the global resonance of the Ministry’s vision, aiming to enrich the local cultural landscape through partnerships, supporting creators, and enhancing dialogue between cultures.

He stressed that cultural efforts reinforce the concept of cultural diplomacy, using arts as a bridge for human interaction.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, highlighted the festival’s role in nurturing creativity, empowering artistic talents, and fostering hope for a better future. The diverse programme, including timeless musical masterpieces, contributes to Abu Dhabi’s status as a beacon of cultural brilliance, he said.

Zhang Yiming, Chinese Ambassador to the UAE, said China is deeply honoured as the Guest Country of Honour, marking the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with the UAE.

The collaboration strengthens cultural ties, showcasing China’s arts and cultural heritage to a global audience.