Earlier this month, President Sheikh Mohamed shared his thoughtful message of hope and inspiration with all the people of the UAE, nationals and residents alike. As the UAE embarks on the next 50 years of evolution of the country’s achievements as a global leader, the challenges will be met with compassion and innovation at every level consolidating the legacy of the Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, that the UAE is Bilad Al Khayr, the "Land of Blessings" based upon the values of respect, enlightenment and co-existence.
Sheikh Mohamed’s vision builds on the outstanding foundations established by Sheikh Zayed and the late president Sheikh Khalifa through their unlimited confidence in the people of the UAE. This belief in the capabilities and skills of the people will inspire future generations to contribute to the nation’s continuous progress and remarkable accomplishments.
Focusing on the development of our youth is key in this regard and will inspire them to embrace a knowledge-based economy, drive digital transformation and use modern technologies and AI. In other words, Sheikh Mohamed is leading us towards a paradigm shift, highlighting the notion that our greatest resources are not only on the ground, or even in factories and banks, but rather within us. Our minds, especially those of our youth who are the beneficiaries of the ambitious drive in education and empowerment our leadership has undertaken, play a vital role in propelling the nation’s exceptional growth. These essential skills gained by our youth will enhance private and public sectors across all industries as they work together towards a better future.
Since its inception, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (Admaf) has recognised that the path to our nation’s future lies in the potential of our youth – a potential that must be nurtured and cultivated. Admaf serves as a gateway to knowledge, investing in the youth of the nation and empowering them to realise their dreams and ambitions. In partnership with academic institutions, and through numerous programmes that develop creative skills and free thinking, Admaf drives innovation, supports artistic growth and rewards excellence to foster the development of the UAE’s culture and creative industries.
Another key element of the wise vision set out by Sheikh Mohamed, and one that is aligned with Admaf’s own vision, is that co-existence and peace empower us to project these important human values beyond our borders. A vital part of this encompasses cultural dialogue between the UAE and the world. This was affirmed by Sheikh Mohamed in the establishment of real global humanitarian discourse, resulting in Abu Dhabi’s Document on Human Fraternity signed during Pope Francis’s historic visit and the Abraham Accords, emphasising the UAE’s policy to always support peace, stability and harmony among all.
Again, this vision is key to the UAE’s regional and global leadership as it establishes that culture can be viewed as the continuation of diplomacy through creative means. Both tell the world – each through their own tools – what values we stand for, who we are and how we see the world. Admaf affirmed this vision throughout its history and has led efforts to share our story with the world. By partnering with more than 35 prominent cultural organisations abroad on co-commissions and co-productions, Admaf’s flagship Abu Dhabi Festival advocates for cultural diplomacy, fostering mutual understanding between nations and expanding Abu Dhabi’s contributions on the global stage which in turn strengthens both the city and the nation’s presence in the international creative scene.
Music is a very powerful tool that helps spread the message of peace, tolerance and co-existence. Understood by all, it transcends borders to bring people together in shared experiences. As part of our mission to build bridges to connect people from across the globe, Admaf seeks to commission and produce works that highlight the beauty of cultural diversity, such as the upcoming Abrahamic Symphony: Unity of Three, which commemorates the grand opening of the Abrahamic Family House – yet another of our nation’s magnificent achievements in advocating for peaceful co-existence among humanity. The first interfaith symphony in the history of music, Admaf’s ambitious commission brings together gifted Emirati composer Ihab Darwish in collaboration with Emmy-winning composer John Debney and Academy Award-winning composer David Shire as well as musicians and vocal ensembles from Christian, Jewish and Muslim backgrounds to celebrate the UAE’s belief in peace, love and tolerance among different faiths, nationalities and cultures.
Now more than ever, empowered by Sheikh Mohamed’s words and vision, we pledge to double our efforts with determination to continue to support our culture and the creative innovation of all who love the UAE. We are honoured to be part of this story, proud of our leaders and of our beautiful country as we follow our President’s vision into the future.
Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo is founder of the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival