Global Culture Summit to Be Held in Abu Dhabi to bring together creative leaders from over 80 countries

12th Apr

CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi, the world’s first truly global cultural leadership forum, will kick off in just one month, and will bring together an extraordinary group of the world’s top creative minds to discuss culture and the significant role they play in addressing the universal challenges faced in our present time.

Over the course of five days, from April 9 – 13, 2017, at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, nearly 300 participants from over 80 countries around the world, including key players involved in the fields of government, arts, philanthropy, heritage preservation, education, media, science and technology, will explore in a multidisciplinary approach a wide range of topics all focused on answering how cultural tools can be used to help address significant international challenges and seize emerging opportunities.

In tune with Abu Dhabi’s growing cultural presence in the region and the world, CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi will be shaped by the global nature of its audience and participants, its action-driven program, and the live performances it will feature by some of the world’s leading artists. The international initiative seeks to indicate the foundation for a new cultural platform that would encourage new collaborations, bridge cultural gaps between communities, and become an advocate for the arts and artists across the world. The summit will also celebrate and honor the achievements of distinguished leaders for their crucial contributions to cultural diplomacy, and the vital influence their accomplishments have had on the world.

The CultureSummit will be structured into plenary sessions in the morning and interdisciplinary workshops in the afternoon. Giving first-hand accounts from international cultural experts, its program will inquire three main directions: Universality and Uniqueness; Change Agents, Healers and Advocates: The Why of the Arts and Media in the New Global Cultural Reality; and A Day of Vision.

“The UAE may be a relatively young nation,” HE Noura Mohamed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of State for the Federal National Council, and Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority and TwoFour54, commented: “but we have been steadily growing and emerging as a foremost regional and world-class hub for culture, technology, and media. The country has blossomed into a melting pot for people from more than 200 different nationalities and backgrounds, all the while preserving our own long history and rich heritage. Moreover, the UAE is now home to A-list international cultural organizations including the Louvre, the Guggenheim, and New York University, among others. The inaugural Global Cultural Leadership Summit, set to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, further cements the UAE’s status as a prestigious international cultural destination. This, in turn, provides ample support for our efforts to start building the future we want right now, as directed by our wise and forward-thinking leaders.”

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of TCA Abu Dhabi said: “It is our mandate and responsibility to promote Abu Dhabi’s rich cultural heritage and sustain its growing art scene, side by side with the diverse vibrancy of cultures it embraces, and from within its distinctive location in the world. It is through international events like the CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi, that Abu Dhabi’s unique and tireless efforts towards the preservation of culture and advancement for arts are naturally revealed. The program of this summit was carefully and thoroughly curated to ensure a balanced and diverse audience, likely to result in real collaborations and making a long-term difference on shaping cultural outcomes worldwide.”

The global event, presented by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), in conjunction with The FP Group, publishers of Foreign Policy magazine, and TCP Ventures, LLC, a global arts advisory firm, will revolve around defining new ways to promote creativity, and support social development for future generations, all through a constructive and timely engagement of culture. For further information about CultureSummit 2017 Abu Dhabi, please go to

A small, illustrative sample of those who will be attending and participating in the invite-only event include:

Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State

Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation

Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO

Panmela Castro, Graffiti Artist

Julian Crouch, Award-Winning Director & Designer

Tan Dun, Academy Award-Winning Composer

Idris Khan, Internationally Acclaimed Visual Artist

Aaron Koblin, Digital Media Artist & Entrepreneur

Liz Lerman, MacArthur Award-Winning Choreographer

Taylor Mac, Performance Artist

Simon Majumdar, Chef & TV Personality

Emeline Michel, Haitian songstress & Red Cross Ambassador

Mutabaruka, Jamaican Rastafari Dub Poet, Musician, Actor, Educator & Talk-Show Host

Young Paris, Rapper & EDM Performer

Deborah Rutter, President, Kennedy Center

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

Sherrie Westin, Executive Vice President, Global Impact & Philanthropy, Sesame Workshop

Dustin Yellin, Acclaimed American Artist

Among the other organizations already committed to sending senior executives or artistic representatives to the event are: Arab Fund for Arts and Culture | Ashoka Europe | Barefeet Theater (Zambia) | Berklee Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship | Bulgaria Women’s Choir | Berkeley | Carnegie Hall | Design Museum of Finland | Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir | Festival Au Desert (Mali) | Found Sound Nation and One Beat | George Mason University | Gwenga (Zimbabwe) | Invisible Borders | Kenya National Theater | Kolkata Saved (India) | Latin American Association of Linguistics | Market Theatre (South Africa) | National Dance Theater (Jamaica) | National Sawdust (USA) | National Symphony Orchestra (Belarus) | National Youth Orchestra Foundation (South Africa) | Noor Educational and Capacity Development (Afghanistan) | Northwestern University (Qatar) | NYU Abu Dhabi | Office of Cultural Development (Egypt) | Orchestre des Pays de la Loire (France) | Rhodes University | Royal British Columbia Museum (Canada) | Royal Drummers of Burundi | Slovenian National Opera | Teatro La Fenice (Italy) | UCLA Center for the Art of Performance | UNESCO Liberia Commission | WITS Theater (South Africa) | Zimbabwe Author Association.