Ras Al Khaimah: His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, inaugurated Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival’s landmark 10th edition with an array of local, regional and international guests. Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, and diplomats from various countries, including the United States and France, attended the opening ceremony.
The annual arts festival, which is now established as one of the region’s leading cultural events, held its opening night at the historic 17th-century pearling village of Al Jazirah Al Hamra against the backdrop of a dazzling fireworks display.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi said: “Art unites people across borders and brings positivity and hope to the community. In Ras Al Khaimah, one of the region’s oldest cultural destinations with a proud legacy of traditional arts, we are focused on promoting the artistic pursuits of our community. Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival not only showcases creativity but also provides a platform to engage in cultural exchanges with international artists. Our patronage of arts further underlines our values and cultural ethos to connect people, promote creativity, enrich their lives and celebrate the spirit of harmony.”
Satellite exhibition sites
In addition to many of the festival’s activities taking place at Al Jazirah Al Hamra — a symbolic bridge between Ras Al Khaimah’s cultural heritage and the contemporary art scene — the 2022 edition once again incorporates exciting satellite exhibition sites at two of the emirate’s most iconic locations: The public viewing deck of the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, and the Open Park on Al Marjan Island.
The outdoor exhibition of art, photography and sculpture is organised by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and is presenting a diverse collection of work by more than 150 artists, hailing from more than 45 countries. Included as part of the festival is a vibrant programme of film screenings, workshops, guided tours and other events held across the Festival’s various locations.
UAE’s rich culture and heritage
Emirati artists participating this year include Yousef Al Zaabi and Abdullah Lutfi, while among the event highlights are a weekend of outdoor cinema and indoor screenings at Vox. A dedicated pet-friendly weekend for animal lovers and with an array of family activities for all ages, Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is a weekend dedicated to celebrating the UAE’s rich culture and heritage.
Festival director Suqrat bin Bisher said: “We are honoured to have such a prestigious line-up of artists participating with us again this year, with the talent on display reflecting how the festival is truly becoming a destination for regional and international talent.”
This year, the festival boasts new partnerships with the NYUAD Art Gallery, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, reaffirming its commitment to connecting and developing the UAE’s wider cultural community.
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Range of performances
The United States Mission to the UAE, which has been a key festival partner since 2016 through its grant programme for cultivating cross-cultural understanding and supporting local talent, is providing a range of performances throughout the Festival. US Consul-General Meghan Gregonis said: “The US Mission to the UAE is once again proud to partner with Al Qasimi Foundation at Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival. Our partnership with Al Qasimi Foundation promotes mutual understanding and cultural exchange between the United States and the UAE and enhances Ras Al Khaimah’s vibrant, creative economy.”
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival, a free-to-attend event which runs until March 31, is presented by Marjan, a leading master developer in the emirate, and supported by additional local partners including Stevin Rock LLC, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), RAK Ports, RAK Tourism Development Authority, RAK Hospitality Holding, RAK Transport Authority, RAK Hospital and Vox Cinemas.