Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (second from right) meeting ICOM Director-General Peter Keller (extreme left) in Dubai on Monday Image Credit: Dubai Media Office/Twitter

Dubai: Dubai is keen to host the ‘27th ICOM General Conference 2025’ for the first time in the Middle East, said Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Finance.

Dubai is one of three cities shortlisted to host the 27th edition of the largest international conference in the field of museums. Members of ICOM (International Council of Museums) will vote in November to decide the host of the event

Sheikh Maktoum’s comments came on Monday during a meeting with Peter Keller, Director-General of ICOM, in the presence of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

The two sides discussed bilateral collaboration, opportunities for new partnerships in the museum sector and ways to promote cultural dialogue and knowledge exchange through museums.

Sheikh Maktoum welcomed Keller and the accompanying delegation and expressed his appreciation for ICOM’s efforts to preserve the cultural heritage of nations across the world, which is aligned with the UAE’s and Dubai’s own objective of protecting Emirati culture and raising awareness about the country’s heritage.

The meeting was also attended by Abdulla Mohammed Al Basti, Secretary-General of The Executive Council of Dubai; and Hala Badri, Director-General of Dubai Culture.

Sheikh Maktoum also highlighted Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and exceptional track record in organising mega global events such as Expo 2020 Dubai, which make it one of the ideal venues for the ICOM General Conference.

Full support

Sheikha Latifa said the museum sector in the UAE has seen remarkable development due to the leadership’s keenness to enrich the cultural scene and enhance cultural exchange. World-class museums have been integral to Dubai’s development into an international cultural metropolis where creativity and the arts flourish. Dubai will provide the highest level of support to ensure the success of the 27th ICOM General Conference 2025, if the city is selected to host the event, she added.

In April, the UAE chapter of ICOM (ICOM-UAE), in cooperation with three government entities — Dubai Culture, Dubai Municipality, and Dubai Tourism — had submitted the UAE’s bid to host the ICOM General Conference 2025 under the theme ‘The Future of Museums in Rapidly Changing Communities’. Dubai will be competing with Stockholm (Sweden) and Kazan (Russia) in the final round of voting.

The ICOM General Conference is held once every three years. The 25th edition held in 2019 in Kyoto, Japan, saw the participation of nearly 4,500 specialists in the field of museums from across over the world. The 26th edition is scheduled to be held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2022.