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Dubai Culture hosts 3rd ‘Dubai Next’ at Expo Milano 2015, la Biennale di Venezia

Series of talks by UAE’s leading cultural figures at Expo Milano 2015 and 56th International Art Exhibition - la Biennal di Venezia pavilions.

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated authority for heritage, culture and the arts, is presenting the third edition of its ‘Dubai Next’ initiative, a dynamic platform aimed at highlighting the vibrant creative scene of Dubai and its cultural ethos, at the opening week of Expo Milano 2015 and at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia.

‘Dubai Next’s programme complements the presence of the UAE at the two global events, and also marks the first in a series of activities to be organised by Dubai Culture at Expo Milano 2015.

Featuring a series of engaging cultural talks and networking activities, ‘Dubai Next’ will underline the emirate’s global position as a hub for collaboration, creativity and innovation, with this year’s edition showcasing insights and perspectives on the progress and opportunities of the UAE’s growing creative scene through discussions with leading cultural figures in the country. The third ‘Dubai Next’ follows the success of its second edition held in 2013 in Paris in support of the UAE’s bid to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai.

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “The UAE pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 and 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia are significant platforms to demonstrate the cultural diversity, all-round development and creative talents of the UAE to a global audience. Our participation at both events enables us to reach out to the wider international community and discuss the tremendous growth and opportunities offered by the UAE’s creative economy.”

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa added: “Dubai Next is a true cultural representation of Dubai Plan 2021, led by the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to establish Dubai as a city of happy, creative and empowered people by presenting the cultural framework of the city and its commitment to nurturing established and emerging talent. It draws on the power of the creative industries to bring people together, celebrate the creative skills of our citizens and residents, encourage the next generation of creative entrepreneurship, and promote intercultural exchange.

“As we prepare to host the World Expo 2020 in Dubai and with the emergence of the city as a global hub for culture, our participation at the two high-profile events will further contribute to fostering artistic and cultural collaborations globally.”

‘Dubai Next’ will be present at two of the biggest cultural and social events in Italy with the Expo Milano 2015 to be held from May 1 to October 31, and the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia from May 9 to November 22, 2015.

The UAE has a dedicated pavilion at Expo Milano 2015 under the theme, ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’ while at the 56th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, the National Pavilion of UAE presents a diverse assemblage of work by key figures in the country’s art history. Titled 1980 – Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, the exhibition features 15 artists from the UAE.

The ‘Dubai Next’ talks, at its third edition in Milan and Venice, will present the heritage and vision of the UAE, and its focus on promoting intercultural knowledge exchange. It will also put the spotlight on the cultural context of Expo 2020 Dubai, underscoring the potential for cultural collaborations and the creative economy.

The talks will be held in Milan on May 4, 5 and 6 on topics including ‘UAE’s Creative Economy,’ ‘Contemporary Design Practices’ and ‘Architecture & Sustainability.’ The talk on May 8 in Venice focuses on ‘Historic inspirations & Emerging Artists.’ In addition to the talks, there will be network evenings to be attended by VIP delegates and prominent Italian artists.

On May 5, the talk on ‘Contemporary Design Practices’ will focus on telling the story of traditional crafts and how to contemporise these ideas through different disciplines of design such as fashion, product, and furniture design.

The talk on ‘Architecture & Sustainability’ on May 6 will discuss the future of the UAE from a cultural focus. It will underline the preservation of the UAE identity through an architectural urban wider plan, and examine the impact and challenges of a sustainable city after Expo 2020 Dubai.

On May 8, ‘Dubai Next’ travels to Venice on the eve of the Biennale’s official public opening to host a panel on ‘Historic Inspirations & Emerging Artists’ discussing how emerging artists draw inspiration from their environment, such as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood of Dubai, the city’s historic nerve-centre. The panel will discuss how to progressively grow the creative scene as a collective by preserving the cultural and historical soul of the city.

Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi of Sharjah Art Foundation will take part in a discussion on UAE’s Creative Economy with Lisa Chiari, Founder of Middle East Now Festival in Florence and Ahmed Bin Shabib, Founder of Cultural Engineering as speakers. The talk on ‘Contemporary Design Practices’ will be addressed by Aljoud Lootah of Product & Furniture Design and Nez Gebreel, CEO of Dubai Fashion Council.

Ahmed bin Shabib and Khalid Shaffar, Founder of Khalid Shaffar, along with Richard Wagner, Vice President of the Architectural Association & Co-founder of Wanders Wagner Architects, will talk on ‘Architecture & Sustainability,’ while Guiseppe Moscatello, Director of Maraya Art Centre, Claudia Sacarcella, Italian Visual Artist, and Khalil Abdel Wahed of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, will discuss the topic, ‘Historic Inspirations & Emerging Artists.’