A Gathering of Global Minds Under the Theme ‘A Matter of Time’: Culture Summit Abu Dhabi Opens on 3 March at Manarat Al Saadiyat

This edition unveils the landmark Ministerial Dialogue in collaboration with UNESCO to shape the future of culture as a key component of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Members of the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA) will delve into the transformative challenges and innovations in public cultural institutions amid global crises.

Department of Culture and Tourism

From left: HE Ivo Josipović, HE Joyce Banda, HE Dalia Grybauskaitė, HE Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Culture Summit 2022. Courtesy DCT Abu Dhabi.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The sixth edition of the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), will take place from 3 to 5 March 2024 at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The Summit, which will bring together leaders from over 90 countries, will delve into our evolving relationship with time. Following a specific sub-theme every day, it will explore the significance of the time for the fields of art, heritage, literature, media, museums, music, public policy, and technology.

This year marks the inauguration of the Ministerial Dialogue together with one of the Summit’s key partners, UNESCO. This initiative, a first of its kind for the Summit, gathers culture ministers H.E. Ernest Urtasun, Minister of Culture, Kingdom of Spain; H.E. Mohamed Mehdi Bensaid, Minister of Youth, Culture and Communication, Kingdom of Morocco; H.E. Adriana Ortiz, Minister of Culture, Republic of Paraguay; H.E. Abraão Vicente, Minister of Culture and Creative Industries and Minister of the Sea, Republic of Cabo Verde; HE Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Minister of Culture and Media, Government of Croatia; H.E. Alpidio Alonso, Minister of Culture, Republic of Cuba and H.E. Abakar Rozzi Teguil, Minister of Cultural Affairs, Historic Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, Republic of Chad, providing them with a unique platform to engage with the global cultural and creative ecosystem.

The discussion, with opening remarks by HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi and Ernesto Ottone Ramirez, Assistant-Director for Culture, UNESCO, moderated by Becky Anderson of CNN Middle East, will primarily focus on 'culture as a global public good', a concept highlighted in the Declaration for Culture, unanimously adopted at MONDIACULT 2022 in Mexico. This year's dialogue will reflect on the outcomes of the Declaration and contribute to the preparation for MONDIACULT 2025, with a focus on integrating culture into the forthcoming UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Further emphasizing the Summit's dedication to global challenges, the Sustainability and Decision Making ' session, will convene ex-prime ministers Kim Campbell (Canada), Moussa Mara (Mali), George Papandreou (Greece), and Jigmi Thinley (Bhutan). The panel underscores the critical need for effective governance and cultural advocacy, focusing on sustainable solutions and the essential role of decision-making in creating a climate-resilient future. In the same vein, ’Climate Change: The Catalyst For New Cultural Dialogues?’, featuring Phil Manning, Chair of Natural History at the University of Manchester, Phloeun Prim, Executive Director of Living Arts International, and Adriana Sandoval Trujillo, Head of Press and Culture at the Embassy of Colombia to the United Kingdom with Moustafa Bayoumi, Research Fellow at Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy as host, will explore how climate change acts as a catalyst for innovative cultural exchanges and dialogue.

The 'First People's Knowledge on Living in the Everywhen' panel, moderated by Stephanie Rosenthal of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, will explore diverse cultural perspectives on time, featuring artists Erena Baker-Arapere and Sarah Hudson from Mataaho Collective, Daniel Boyd and Nicholas Galanin.

In the 'Building forever? The new art of sharing' session exploring the evolving concept of museum collections, William Mullally, Arts & Culture Editor at The National, will engage with Kaywin Feldman, director of the National Gallery of Art Washington, Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Mariët Westermann, Vice Chancellor, NYU Abu Dhabi, and Director and CEO Elect, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. They will discuss alternatives to the traditional model of permanent collections in museums, using Louvre Abu Dhabi's innovative approach of rotating long-term loans as a case study in redefining collection permanence and sharing in the museum sector.

The panel ‘The Clock is Ticking: Leading Public Agencies for Culture in Times of Polycrisis’, featuring Magdalena Moreno Mujica, Executive Director of IFACCA, Kristin Danielsen, Executive Director of Kulturdirektoratet and Chair of the IFACCA Board, Nicholas Moyo, Permanent Secretary for Culture of Zimbabwe, Nguyen Phuong Hoa, Director General at the International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Viet Nam, and Stephen Wainwright, Chief Executive of Creative New Zealand, will address the transformative challenges and opportunities facing public cultural institutions in the context of global crises, focusing on innovation, diversity, and sustainable practices.

In the session ‘What can a tree, a balcony and a fish teach us about human centred cities?’, Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture & the Creative Industries, London, Juliet Yaa Asantewa Asante, CEO of the National Film Authority, Ghana, Saulo Barretto, Ideas Engineer at Instituto de Pesquisas em Tecnologia e Inovação, Brazil, and Ahmed Bukhash, Chief Architect and Founder of ARCHIDENTITY, Dubai, will discuss the impact of the pandemic on urban cultural planning.

In the ‘Innovation, Disruption and Diversity: Shaping the Future of Entertainment Across Cultures’ panel, William Mullally, Arts & Culture Editor at The National, along with industry leaders Simon Fuller, CEO and Chairman, XIX Entertainment, Adam Roth, SVP of Partnerships and Business Development, The Recording Academy, and Steven Schneider, Co-founder of Spooky Pictures and CEO of Room 101 Entertainment, will discuss how storytelling, technology, and the integration of diverse voices are driving innovation, fostering cross-cultural connections, and crafting new immersive experiences. 'Reimagining entertainment diplomacy' session will feature Michael Uslan, known as the 'modern father of Batman', while Alexandra Patsavas of Netflix will join ‘The Emotional Music in TV and Film’ panel to explore the profound impact of emotional music in visual storytelling.

The panel ‘Time Travelling with Artificial Intelligence: Is the Journey Worth the Cost of Human Creativity?’ led by Tom Wainwright of The Economist, global media specialist and consultant Hans Fraikin, and Harvey Mason jr. of the Recording Academy, will explore AI's expansive data processing capabilities, critically assess its impact on human creativity, and discuss the ethical and intellectual property concerns raised by its growing influence in various industries. Tom Wainwright will continue delving in the world of tech in the ‘Creating A New, Valuable 'Time Economy' Through The Metaverse’ session, where Catherine Henry of Media.Monks, and Mic Mann of Africarare will discuss how the metaverse's unique time manipulation capabilities present new opportunities and challenges for businesses and media consumption.

Alexandra Munroe of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, artist and curator Jitish Kallat, Ella Saltmarshe from The Long Time Project, and artist-writer Himali Singh Soin will get together for a ‘Deep Time’ conversation to examine the intersection of art, technology, philosophy, and science in understanding the universe's age and the implications of long-term thinking on environmental crises and human consciousness, challenging conventional European thought systems and historical narratives.

Notable speakers, panellists and performers include Adonis, leading thinker from the region, Prof. Homi Bhabha, a prominent figure in contemporary postcolonial studies, choreographer Wayne McGregor CBE, Nobel Prize of Literature laureate Wole Soyinka and artists Abeer Seikaly, Ayman Zedani, Ahaad Alamoudi, Kader Attia, Nujoom Alghanem, Sarah Morris and Pascale Marthine Tayou, among others.

Culture Summit Abu Dhabi will also offer to its participants and visitors an exceptional series of artistic encounters, encompassing small exhibitions, performances, and a rich array of creative talks featuring visual artists, designers, architects, and authors.

The event’s key global partners include UNESCO, Economist Impact, the Design Museum, Google, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and the Recording Academy®.

Additional Culture Summit Abu Dhabi partners include Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, Arab World Institute, Berklee Abu Dhabi, Club de Madrid, Cultural Foundation, IFACCA, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi, NYUAD, The National and World Cities Culture Forum, among others.

For more information on Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, its full programme, and sessions available to watch online, please visit www.culturesummitabudhabi.com.

Culture Summit Abu Dhabi Press Kit, including imagery, is available here.

Anastasia Lander, Pelham Communications

About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate’s position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate’s potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture, creative and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the emirate’s people, heritage, and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought.

About Club de Madrid
Club de Madrid is the world’s largest forum of democratic former Presidents and Prime Ministers, who leverage their individual and collective leadership experience and global reach to strengthen inclusive democratic practice and improve the well-being of people around the world. As a non-partisan and international non-profit organisation, Club de Madrid counts on the hands-on governance experience of more than 100 Members from over 70 countries, along with a global network of advisers and partners across all sectors of society. This unique alliance stimulates dialogue, builds bridges and engages in advocacy efforts to strengthen public policies and effective leadership through recommendations that tackle challenges such as inclusion, sustainable development and peace, at the national and international levels.

The International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies refers to the Membership, the Board and the Secretariat. Collectively we are committed to international dialogue and exchange, undertaken in a spirit of solidarity, inclusion, reciprocity, and mutual learning. The Federation represents plural voices and perspectives, unified in the belief that arts and culture are a public good – with the potential to further inclusive social transformation – to be shaped and accessed equitably by all peoples. As an international Federation, we respect national governance and commit to the promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions.


With 194 Member States, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization contributes to peace and security by leading multilateral cooperation on education, science, culture, communication and information. Headquartered in Paris, UNESCO has offices in 54 countries and employs over 2300 people. UNESCO oversees more than 2000 World Heritage sites, Biosphere Reserves and Global Geoparks; networks of Creative, Learning, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities; and over 13 000 associated schools, university chairs, training and research institutions. Its Director General is Audrey Azoulay.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/1289191b-5c36-4a69-a3d9-5de429166121