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Thu 16-02-2017 12:52 PM

UK/UAE 2017 Year of Collaboration spring programme announced

ABU DHABI, 16th February, 2017 (WAM) -- The UK and the UAE have always shared common values, a devotion to their own cultures coupled with a deep respect for and appreciation of other cultures, ethnicities, languages, religions and beliefs, according to Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, who was speaking at an event announcing the spring season of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration, #UKUAE2017, at the Ministry headquarters in Abu Dhabi.

Attending the event with Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak were Philip Parham, British Ambassador to the UAE, Gavin Anderson, Director of the British Council in the UAE and other strategic partner representatives.

The cultural exchange programme between the UK and the UAE celebrates the long-standing relationship between the two countries and looks to strengthen existing cultural and economic ties.

Events will be taking place throughout 2017, and will span the arts, literature, education, society, sport, science and trade. They will explore the three main themes of community, inclusion and the next generation through musical performances, craft showcases, masterclasses and educational workshops.

During his address, Sheikh Nahyan said, "The Ministry is honoured to be partnering with the British Council in full support of this imaginative cultural venture. When the joint patrons of UK/UAE 2017, H.R.H. The Prince of Wales and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, inaugurated this creative collaboration at Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain last November, we knew that a great adventure was on the horizon.

"The UK/UAE 2017 initiative is cultural diplomacy at its best, using the creativity and passion of our brightest talents to forge a new and lasting collaboration and engage and inspire future generations. I look forward to seeing the public engage with the programme and am confident that we can further build on the friendship and mutual understanding between our two nations," the minister added.

Mr. Parham extended his appreciation of the UK/UAE event's strategic partners, Abu Dhabi Tourism and Cultural Authority, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, saying, "I am proud of the depth, breadth and strength of the ties between our countries, people, businesses and institutions. Those ties have deep historic roots, but are also modern, creative and dynamic. The Year of Creative Collaboration is an opportunity to inspire the next generation and pave the way for our two great nations to grow and develop further together."

Hannah Henderson, Head of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Culture at the British Council, introduced the spring programme, including the Cultural Excellence Fellowship programme, and the Science Collaboration Symposium: Smart Cities, among others. The spring edition will run until May 2017, with the autumn programme to be announced later in the year.

During a panel discussion at the event, Randa Haidar, Cultural Programmes Manager for TCA Abu Dhabi, elaborated on the important role of culture within society, saying, "Culture does not only manifest itself at festivals or exhibitions, but transcends into other knowledge areas and fields that are very much needed for the continuing progress of our fast developing nation," reiterating TCA Abu Dhabi's commitment to nurturing a cultural environment and preserving the UAE's heritage.

The diverse programme of events is structured into four main groups looking at the future of heritage, concepts of future in science and imagination, the future of audiences, and the future of the business culture.

#UK/UAE 2017 is organised by the British Council under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and his Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.