International Council of Museums Conference to take place in Dubai in 2025

The triennial event will explore how the international museum sector can bounce back from the pandemic

Etihad Museum is one of many cultural hubs in the UAE. The strength of the sector will be discussed at the 2025 International Council of Museums Conference taking place in Dubai. Photo: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority
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Dubai will host the International Council of Museums Conference in 2025.

The announcement was made on Saturday in a tweet by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai.

Held every three years – with the next taking place in the Czech capital Prague in 2022 – the conference is the largest global gathering of museum representatives and professionals for discussions surrounding the promotion and protection of natural and cultural heritage, in addition to examining future industry trends.

Sheikh Mohammed said 20,000 museums from 119 countries will be represented in the Dubai event, with the resulting exchange of experience and knowledge to inject a "strong impetus to the [UAE's] cultural sector".

The International Conference of Museums Conference has released a statement on the theme for the 2025 event, with a particular focus on how the cultural sector can bounce back amid the pandemic.

“The world we live in today is vastly different from the one we used to know not so long ago. A torrent of events – a pandemic, massive protests, natural disasters, soaring inequalities, a technology and digital revolution, to name a few – has changed everything we thought we knew and led to the one thing we can be certain of: tomorrow will be uncertain,” reads the statement.

“We are all trying to learn to cope, adapt, change, progress within a fast-changing environment, with some communities and people better equipped than others to face the changes.

“Our museums have been going through the same process, albeit not always at the same pace. As we seek to transform ourselves and relate to others, so do our museums. And that is the explorative journey we are proposing at the conference: where might we go next, together – museums and communities, hand in hand, for a better future?”

The conversations in Dubai will build upon The Powers of Museums theme of the Prague conference, which will look at ways to strengthen and expand the capacity of museums, and their role in society and the global economy.

The UAE as a cultural hub

The latest announcement comes as the UAE continues to strengthen its standing as a global hub for culture.

This month Abu Dhabi was designated a Unesco City of Music.

The UAE capital was granted the distinction by the Unesco Creative Cities Network, a programme launched by the UN agency to promote co-operation among cities recognised as cultural hubs regionally and internationally.

Abu Dhabi joins more than 50 participating cities, including Liverpool in England, Ramallah in Palestine, Spain's Seville and the German city of Mannheim.

In December Dubai will also host the World Conference on Creative Economy.

Taking place from December 7 to 9, at Expo 2020 Dubai, the event will bring together global experts in the fields of design, heritage, the media, public policy, technology and business, for a series of speeches, panel discussions, case studies, artist talks and performances.

Follow the latest updates on Expo 2020 Dubai here

In announcing the event at the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi in March, Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said: “The core objective behind all the measures is to set up the foundations to aggregate, measure and nurture the sector in the UAE, and to ensure the provision of a required framework and policies for a thriving cultural sector.”

Updated: November 21, 2021, 5:17 AM