Prague: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council, attended the opening ceremony of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) General Conference 2022 in Prague, Czech Republic.
Sheikha Latifa is being accompanied by a high-level UAE delegation including Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, as well as officials from the cultural sector in the UAE.
As head of the UAE delegation participating in the 26th ICOM General Conference, Sheikha Latifa led conversations around cultural exchange and called for knowledge sharing and collaboration during her meetings with Czech officials and various ICOM members.
The visit to Prague reflects Dubai’s commitment to advance the emirate’s creative economy and its keenness to establish the city as a hub for the creative and cultural sector, in the lead up to Dubai hosting the ICOM General Conference in 2025. The emirate will be the first city in the MENASA region to host the prestigious international conference.
Sheikha Latifa said: “Dubai continues to invest in its cultural and creative industries and considers museums an integral pillar within this ecosystem. We are honoured that Dubai has been selected as the host city for the upcoming ICOM General Conference in 2025, which will bring together thousands of museum experts to discuss the latest developments in the field and the future of this industry. The insights shared during the conference’s sessions this year and the rich discussions we had in meetings held on the sidelines of the event have been invaluable. We look forward to future collaborations that will enrich the cultural and museum sector globally.”
She added: “The Dubai Government has invested more than Dh1 billion over the past five years to develop the city’s historical sites and transform the emirate into an open-air museum, as Dubai, and the UAE, is aware of the value and importance of preserving cultural heritage and the role museums play in that regard. We look forward to welcoming thousands of museum leaders and professionals from over 120 countries, covering 20,000 international museums, especially as Dubai will be the first city in the MENASA region to host the conference.”
As part of the event, Latifa also attended a number of sessions, including keynote addresses and panel discussions.
Latifa and the UAE delegation also met with Czech officials, members of ICOM International and ICOM Czech to exchange experiences on being an ICOM host city and explore potential opportunities for collaboration in the museum and the wider cultural sector.
The meeting was attended by Ondřej Chrást, Deputy Minister of Culture; Jiří Sulženko, Director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Prague; Jiří Slavík, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the UAE; Petr Hnízdo, Director of the Department of International Relations at the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Culture; Alberto Garlandini, President of ICOM; Peter Keller, Director General of ICOM; Francesca Pollicini, ICOM General Manager of Institutional Events; Gina Renotière, Chair of ICOM Czech Republic; Hana Třeštíková, Prague Councilor for Culture; Martina Lehmanova, Managing Director of ICOM Prague 2022; and Jan Holovský, Head of the Department of Museums at the Czech Republic’s Ministry of Culture.
Alberto Garlandini, President of ICOM, said: “A rich cultural heritage mixed with a leading spirit of innovation: this will be the driving and transformative force that ICOM Dubai 2025 will bring to the legacy of the ICOM General Conferences. We are delighted to have started the preparations with our colleagues from ICOM UAE and our partners, and are looking forward to a journey towards the 27th ICOM General Conference.”
ICOM is a leading international organisation of museum professionals committed to protecting and promoting tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Held under the theme ‘The Power of Museums’, ICOM 2022 is being held in Prague from 20 to 28 August. The ICOM General Conference is held once every three years, with the upcoming 27th edition of the event to be hosted in Dubai in 2025.
The UAE delegation participating from Dubai Culture includes Muna Faisal AlGurg, CEO of the Culture and Heritage Sector; Mariam Al Afridi, Executive Director of the Chairperson’s Office; and Maryam Mudhaffar Ahli, Project Manager in the Museums Department. The delegation also consists of representatives from the UAE’s chapter of ICOM (ICOM-UAE), including Rashad Bukhash, and several ICOM-UAE members from the country’s museum sector.