In celebration of the nation’s 39th National Day, the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington, DC welcomed a first-of-its-kind delegation of artists to the United States from the UAE, and recognized their work at a gala reception hosted by UAE Ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba. The event took place at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and featured the unveiling of new works by ten Emirati artists.
The gala was attended by senior US government officials, Ambassadors from other nations, business executives, notable academics, and prominent members of the Washington press corps. Distinguished guests included, Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ambassador Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, and Undersecretary Rand Beers of the Department of Homeland Security.
The new pieces of art, inspired by traditional Arab proverbs, were commissioned by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC. They represent the energy, openness and creativity radiating through the UAE arts community and will be displayed at the Embassy.
"We are honored to host the inaugural delegation and unveil these works in Washington DC,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba. “The UAE has an increasingly vibrant arts scene, as evidenced by the emergence of local galleries and shows where Emirati artists can showcase their works. Furthermore, new branches in Abu Dhabi of the Guggenheim Museum and Louvre will establish the UAE as a world-leading destination for art.”
The Embassy partnered with the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) the master developer of key cultural, development and tourism projects including the Saadiyat Cultural District, to arrange the showcase of works and subsequent visit to the US.
His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC spoke about the initiative saying, “On a day dedicated to the celebration of our Emirati heritage, we are proud to support these 10 Emirati artists who are at the forefront of our burgeoning cultural scene. We hope Washington enjoys their work and we look forward to greater cultural exchange in the future.”
During the tour, the UAE delegation will visit leading US cultural institutions, including the Corcoran College of Art and Design, affiliated with the acclaimed Corcoran Gallery, which houses one of the best American art collections in the world. The artists will partake in a panel discussion with faculty and students at the college and will also meet with curators, local artists and the leadership from the Smithsonian Institution.
During the National Day event, the UAE Embassy hosted a raffle of two round-trip business class tickets to the UAE, graciously donated by Etihad Airways. Chief Executive Officer of Etihad Airways, Mr. James Hogan, attended the event and announced the raffle winners.
Ambassador Al Otaiba congratulated UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the Federation's other leaders on the occasion of the UAE's 39th National Day. He also noted the strength of the bilateral relationship, highlighting cultural exchanges between the US and UAE as another means to enhance the partnership.