The UAE plans to launch a national orchestra by the end of the year, the Minister for Culture announced.
Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said the country’s rich, musical heritage and talent should rightly be celebrated.
Speaking in front of 4,000 young Emiratis, Ms Al Kaabi reminded her audience that the culture of the UAE was a huge asset to all.
She said plans were under way to attract both home-grown and international expertise to the orchestra, which she hoped would be running by 2019.
“Some may ask, why an orchestra and why music,” she said. “I don’t know how many of you listen to the music, but there should be a culture [for it] and music has no borders.
“It makes one emotionally relaxed and happy; imagine our life without music? So we want people to participate and to help raise the name of the country.”
Ms Al Kaabi spoke out at a forum organised by the Federal Youth Authority in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
Seventeen government ministers took part in the event, each giving a brief seminar on their ideas for the future of the UAE.
Ms Al Kaabi said every young person should try to have a clear idea of what they want to get out of life, and how they could work to enhance the country’s image abroad.
“There will also be an Emirati Week in Paris,” she told the audience. “Many will ask why, but we have to be present everywhere.
“You will not be distinguished by the bag you carry, or the game you play, or car you drive.
“You will be distinguished by your national identity; your cultural dialogue is your asset.”
In July, Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh, who was a translator and close adviser of UAE Founding Father Sheikh Zayed, launched the Office for Public and Cultural Diplomacy, to build cultural ties and highlight Emirati culture to other nations.
Its focus will be using the Emirates' 180-plus embassies around the world to promote cultural talent among Emiratis and non-Emiratis here alike, including artistic and musical achievements.
Ms Al Kaabi went on encourage young people to study hard and to appreciate their families.
“When I was in school I spent most of my time studying,” she said. “I hope you are doing the same.
“The most important thing is that you spend time with your family.”
The minister then played a news clip from 2004 announcing the death of Sheikh Zayed.
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She asked the audience to consider how much of his vision had been accomplished since, while stressing how important preserving the UAE culture and tradition continued to be.
“In the future there will be a creative industry,” she said. “Think how you will build apps, how you will build electronic games, how you will develop coding and how you will create products to enrich the UAE’s creative sector.
“You are the youth of the future and you will continue Zayed’s legacy.”
Suhail Al Mazrouei, the Minister for Energy, also laid out how his plans to help preserve energy, water and power for decades to come.
He said a huge challenge that remained to be met was to reduce water consumption in the country.
“The strategy is to have 50 per cent clean energy, and 44 per cent of the power from solar energy,” he said.
“We are a country that is considered the poorest in the world in terms of water. We don’t have rivers and rain is rare.
“When we looked at the strategy, we saw that we are also irresponsibly wasting this water.”
He pleaded with the audience to use water more sparingly, “I want every one of you to think about how to save water,” he said.
“When I take a shower, I don’t have to stay there for 20 minutes. The amount of water we are wasting is unbelievable.”
Editorial comment: New national orchestra will bring its harmonies to the world