BlackFacts Details

What does the UAE’s art and cultural scene look like post COVID-19? | Africanews

Vibrant, diverse, and plentiful are a few words that describe the UAE’s culture and art scene, which also serves as a hub for regional creatives stemming from the Middle East and North Africa to share their work, before the pandemic.

To maintain this active community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the country supported residing artists across 25 fields of innovation in the creative sector by giving out about 140 financial grants.

Leading these efforts is the country’s Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura Al Kaabi.

The young minister is a staunch advocate of cultivating the arts locally and globally, seeing the culture and innovation industry as a way to promote UAE culture and innovation across the globe, in addition to contributing the emirate’s economic sustainability and growth.

Creative access

Noura Al Kaabi speaks to Inspire Middle East

Despite facing the challenges of empty cinemas and previously locked down art venues, Al Kaabi believes culture is never on hold, with the UAE’s response to the pandemic being proof of cultural resilience.

Looking at a post-COVID art scene the minister believes it will be reconstructed in a better way, taking advantage of practices developed during the pandemic.

“The advantage of getting your content or getting your work [to] transcend beyond a gallery border ... is how can we utilize such a platform,” Al Kaabi told Inspire Middle East, speaking about digitisation. “Isn't the role of culture for it to be accessible to everyone? Not make [it] just [for] the ones who are privileged to be able to travel or be able to enjoy visiting a museum?”

Intellectual property protection

With many artists sharing their work online, the question of intellectual property has been a heated topic of debate. Al Kaabi says the Ministry of Culture and Youth is working closely with its economic counterpart to develop IP protection and other policies to secure the original ideas of artists.

The minister also highlighted the importance of spreading awareness to artists about how they can protect their own artwork, which she hopes will encourage them to share their work more frequently.

“Nowadays it’s a sector that is very vibrant, and it’s a sector that is even ahead of other sectors that are contributing to the GDP,” says the minister.

When asked about how the creative industry collaborates with the economy, Al Kaabi cited the job of licenses for freelancers and microbusinesses which include filmmakers, editors, make-up artists, etc.

“The license is a business license, therefore it's a business environment,” Al Kaabi explained. “Therefore, there are job creations that are happening in that sector, yet having the right measurements for the sector and identifying the creative jobs that the sector will provide. There are the institutions and there are the thousands of media and creative agencies that are within the UAE that require us to look very closely and focus on the sector.”

Communicating cultures

A bird’s-eye view of Hagia Sophia

Last year, the UAE became o

Politics Facts