Impact of COVID-19 on creative industries among core topics of Culture Summit Abu Dhabi

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Mar 2021

Held under the theme 'The Cultural Economy and the Economy of Culture' the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi kicked off on 8 March

Abu Dhabi summit
H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) [L] and Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO [R]

Mohamed Khalifa Al-Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) inaugurated Culture Summit Abu Dhabi yesterday with the announcement of the launch of a major new study which aims to assess the impact of the current pandemic on cultural and creative industries globally.

According to the summit’s press release, the study will be conducted by DCT Abu Dhabi in collaboration with UNESCO.

Commenting on the announcement, Al-Mubarak said “for any nation and society to blossom, it is imperative that art and culture are [at the forefront] of its policy and decision makers. The cultural and creative industries were one of the hardest hit during this pandemic.”

Held under the theme ‘The Cultural Economy and the Economy of Culture,’ The summit’s inaugural and virtual edition spans over three days, between 8 and 10 March, with numerous talks and panel discussions featuring 100 global experts discussing a wide range of regional and international cultural issues. 

The summit’s activities are aligned with the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021.

“Discussions will explore the post-COVID-19 sector recovery and transformation, envisioning a new system that is more resilient and adaptable to ongoing crises. It will also focus on the International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development 2021, with the aim to showcase how the creative economy can advance the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in education, economy, innovation, infrastructure, reduced inequality, and sustainable cities and communities,” the press release reveals.

Among the numerous components of the summit, the event includes speeches by Noura Al-Kaabi, UAE minister of culture and youth; Audrey Azoulay, director-general of UNESCO; Achille Mbembe, philosopher, political scientist, and public intellectual; David Chipperfield, architect; Sir Antony Gormley, OBE; Tim Marlow, OBE, director of the Design Museum London; Roger Brown, president of the Berklee College of Music; András Szántó, sociologist; and Charlie Puth, American singer, songwriter, and record producer.

Among the performers taking the stage during the summit are Naseer Shamma and Bait Al-Oud Abu Dhabi, Omar El-Amin, Anqelique Kidjo, Oum, and Ghalia Benali, music legends and international Berklee Alumni, etc.

The summit will also include a film screening by contemporary artist Lawrence Abu Hamdan.

All events of the summit are free of charge and accessible to all internet users.

The full programme can be viewed upon free registration via the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi website.

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