As a means of promoting the cultural and creative sector and the diversity of cultural expression, the UAE has launched one-year cultural dialogue platforms with its partners France and the Republic of Korea. These platforms allow for creative and cultural cooperation and engagement on a governmental, institutional, and individual level and consists of a series of creative, cultural and innovative initiatives and events that foster mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries. The success of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue 2018-2019 led to the announcement of the UAE-Korea Cultural Dialogue 2020 which is currently underway.
Key highlights from the UAE-France Cultural dialogue included:
* The launch of "Co-Lab: Contemporary Art & Savoir-Faire" in Louvre Abu Dhabi, featuring creative collaboration between French manufacturers and 4 UAE-based artists.
* The participation of Sharjah as a special guest of honor in the Paris Book Fair 2018 in recognition of its rich literary contribution.
* The reintroduction of French language in public schools across the UAE through a pilot phase program for the first time since 1988, with the support of the French Government and the UAE Ministry of Education. Seven French-accredited schools in the UAE have participated in this program.
* The launch of Abdelqader Al Rais Retrospective Exhibition at Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, celebrating the artist's work as an Emirati pioneer in contemporary Arab art.
* The UAE Cultural Week in Paris by the Ministry of Culture and Youth from October 12-14, 2018, which introduced diverse elements of Emirati culture through design, art exhibitions, film screenings and a series of interactive talks.
* The 2nd edition of L'Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels at Dubai Design District in March 2019, presenting a public program of talks, exhibitions, screenings, classes and workshops on the history and culture of fine jewelry and watchmaking.
* The restoration of Chateau de Fontainebleau's Imperial Theatre- renamed The Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Theatre - funded by the Department of Culture & Tourism - Abu Dhabi. The theatre was inaugurated on June 18th, 2019.
Some of the highlights from the currently underway UAE-Korea Cultural Dialogue 2020 include:
* The production of the Emirati rendition of Arirang to mark the 40th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations.
* The inclusion of the UAE-Korea Cultural Dialogue series within the Ministry of Culture and Youth's Digital Summer Camp, featuring Emirati and Korean creatives in conversation in 5 varied talks on design, animation, poetry, art and student experiences.
* Also as part of the Digital Summer Camp, a cultural exchange project entitled "Starters: Cultural exchange through design and food" was implemented by Seoul-based Paju Typography Institute and Sharjah-based Fikra. Six Korean and six Emirati students were invited to interpret national foods through design mediums. The experiment and cultural exchange project aimed to shed light on the commonalities and differences related to design practice and culture. The students' work was presented during the summer camp and will potentially expand into an exhibition and publication.
Based upon the success of the UAE-France Cultural Dialogue and the flourishing UAE-France relations, the Dialogue, initially launched for 2018, was officially extended into the first half of 2019, with a specific focus on Artificial Intelligence and the protection of endangered cultural heritage.
The rich cultural exchange that has been possible through the Cultural Dialogues serves to reinforce the value of this platform as a means of cultural exchange between the UAE and its partners.