Emirati musicians highlight the challenges along their journey to success in an engaging Riwaq Al Fikr – ADMAF Talk

ABU DHABI, 15th March, 2023 (WAM) – The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) brought together a panel of emerging Emirati artists as part of its Riwaq Al Fikr – ADMAF Talk entitled ‘Emirati Musicians: Challenges and Opportunities.’ Since its launch in 2010, the Riwaq Al Fikr initiative has offered the public the opportunity to engage in insightful dialogue with thinkers, diplomats, and leading cultural figures.

Moderated by The National features writer, Saeed Saeed, the panel featured Emirati musicians including composer and Universal Music artist, Ihab Darwish, Emirati/Honduran artist, Fatima Bin Safwan (also known as ‘FAFA’) and Abu Dhabi-based indie artist, Mariam Ayda (also known as ‘MINOVA’). As part of the overarching theme of the 20th anniversary of Abu Dhabi Festival, ‘The Will for Evolution’, the panellists discussed the challenges they have encountered in pursuit of their musical careers as well as the unexpected opportunities that came about throughout their individual journeys.

The panel highlighted the significance of Abu Dhabi’s designation as the “City of Music” by the UNESCO Creative City Network in 2021 and its impact on musicians in Abu Dhabi, as well as the importance of developing international platforms for emerging artists in the UAE and the region. Finally, the panellists discussed programmes such as Berklee Abu Dhabi’s Performance Artistry and Leadership (PEARL) certificate programme that enable young artists to further hone their skills while enabling access to international music industry leaders.

As part of its efforts to nurture emerging artists in the UAE through strategic local and international collaborations, Riwaq Al Fikr has seen 26 sessions, 109 panellists, over 2,850 audience members and more than 44 hours of discourse since its inception, exploring diverse contemporary issues with global cultural leaders. In 2018, the series expanded with participation in the Government Youth Circles, and the conversations moved online through films with key international cultural leaders and ambassadors – gaining their perspectives on cultural diplomacy.