Wed 01-03-2017 14:47 PM

Abu Dhabi Festival 2017: month-long series of cultural events kicks off today

ABU DHABI, 1st March, 2017 (WAM) -- Under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, the Abu Dhabi Festival 2017 starts today. Now in its 14th year, the Abu Dhabi Festival is the leading celebration of arts and culture in the region and takes place throughout March.

Organised annually by the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, ADMAF, the festival features a variety of events, exhibitions, and workshops. Actively supporting emerging Emirati talent and advocating the importance of arts and culture in all aspects of life, this year’s sublime programme includes renowned artists and musicians from across the region and the world.

2017 sees Saudi Arabia as the Abu Dhabi Festival Country of Honour. Continuing its legacy, this year’s festival celebrates the values of Culture and Tolerance set by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, founding father of the UAE. In celebration of the Country of Honour, the festival welcomes the renowned Saudi Arabian musician Mohamed Abdo on 14th March. This illustrious performer, whose significance resounds across the region and internationally, has a particularly storied connection with the UAE, first performing in the early 1970s at the behest of the late Sheikh Zayed.

The celebration of arts and culture will also see the festival hosting globally renowned performers and artists, including five-time GRAMMY award winner Tomatito on 23rd March, Asia’s finest orchestra, China’s National Centre for the Performing Arts Orchestra on 24th and 25th March, jazz legend Wynton Marsalis with a special guest appearance by Naseer Shamma on the 27th, the highly acclaimed Queen Of Fado, Mariza, on 29th March, and the sensational, electrifying and GRAMMY award-winning Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, on 31st March.

Commenting upon the theme, Huda Al Khamis, founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and the Abu Dhabi Festival, said, "The Abu Dhabi Festival is unique in that it harnesses culture to bring the people of the UAE together. Since its inception, ADMAF has been at the heart and forefront of the UAE’s cultural sector and it is our privilege to present this array of cultural initiatives in the UAE as part of the Abu Dhabi Festival. The incredible range of artistic talent within the festival is testament to the creative spirit of the UAE. In our eyes, the Abu Dhabi Festival is a gateway for culture to the rest of the world and conversely that brings the world to Abu Dhabi. Launched in 2004, the festival continues to attract the highest calibre of artists to the UAE capital each year, bringing together artists, students, community groups and cultural organisations from across the UAE."

Further information on schedules, venues and performances can be found on the festival's website and social media accounts.