Abu Dhabi Festival returns in 2021 with a strong line-up of local and international artists.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has announced the programme for the 18th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival (ADF) under the theme ‘The Future Starts Now’.

ADF has returned in 2021 as the region’s leading celebration of creativity and the arts, with stunning performances and remarkable exhibitions locally and internationally. This cornerstone of the capital’s annual cultural calendar brings UAE and international talent together, adapting to the current Covid-19 climate through a unique hybrid programme of virtual and in-person performances, exhibitions and events. The Festival will span an entire year with 16 exciting world premieres, 12 festival productions, eight global co-productions and four creative commissions. This continues the Festival’s efforts to further Abu Dhabi as a cultural hub and foster cultural diplomacy between the UAE and the world.

Underscoring its commitment to expanding global cultural exchange, creativity and innovation in the arts, ADF this year celebrates all the countries that have collaborated with it in the past to highlight the values of tolerance, openness and humanity that Emirati people hold for everyone.

The line-up was unveiled through a virtual panel featuring H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, Founder of ADMAF and Artistic Director of ADF; Ihab Darwish, Emirati Composer; Amer Salmeen Al Murry, Founder and General Manager of Al Ain Film Festival; Roxane Zand, Co-curator and Executive Director of Portrait of a Nation II: An Odyssey and Jalal Luqman, Co-curator and ADMAF Visual Arts Consultant and moderated by Giselle Khoury.

The panel also included video messages from Farouk Hosny – Egypt’s Ex Minister of Culture, Nadine A. Ghaffar, Founder & Curator of Art D’Egpte, Pierre Audi – Director of Aix-en-Provence Festival, Nasser Al Dhaheri – Emirati Filmmaker, José Cura – Argentinian tenor, Amanda Lee Falkenberg - international award-winning composer, Nicola Benedetti - violinist, Paul Dujardin – Director of Bozar and Naseer Shamma – Oud master and composer.

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