UAE cultural events suspended due to President Sheikh Khalifa’s declared mourning period

Major cultural events due to take place next month have been suspended following the death of Sheikh Khalifa, President of the United Arab Emirates.

The cancellation or postponements follow an announcement by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, indicating that there will be a 40-day official mourning period with flags to be lowered, as well as three days of closure of ministries and official entities. federal and local levels, and the private sector.

An event at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which would have transformed the auditorium into the Royal Opera House of Versailles for a special series of immersive performances inspired by the museum’s latest exhibition, Versailles & the World, has been canceled. Called The Royal Secret Soiree, the experiment consisted of integrating multidimensional theater performances, taking place from Friday to Sunday.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will however remain open to visitors, as will other tourist attractions like the Qasr Al Watan presidential palace. Evening light shows at Qasr Al Watan will however be canceled during the mourning period.

The Dubai Comedy Festival, which kicked off on Thursday with a performance by Canadian comedian Russell Peters and is due to run until Sunday May 22, canceled a performance by Indian comedian Vir Das on Friday. A show by Filipino-American comedian Jo Koy at the Coca-Cola Arena on Saturday was also canceled.

Comedy festival organizers, however, said all other scheduled shows, including Comedy Bizarre and The Laughter Factory, would go ahead as planned from May 17.

“Stay tuned for the new schedule as well as the ticketing procedure for postponed events,” read a statement from festival organizers. “From all of us at the Dubai Comedy Festival, our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan at this difficult time.”

Roots Arts, the weekly series bringing together the UAE’s creative community in art, fashion, food, music and dance, has announced that it is postponing a scheduled performance of the singer on Saturday. Emirati Shelter.

“Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan was an exemplary leader who paved the way for our nation’s success. May his light continue to shine on all those he touched and on the nation. In light of these events, we have postponed our event, Shelter, Rhythm & Grooves, and will share more details later,” Roots Arts posted on Instagram.

A new event called Break the Block, celebrating street food and music, which was due to take place Friday and Saturday at the Dubai Design District, is “postponed until further notice”. What is claimed to be Dubai’s ‘first street food block party’ was to bring together popular hip-hop and RnB artists from the UAE and street food trucks for the two-day event, complete with musical programming including DJ Kaboo, the Egyptian spinner who rose to international fame with his tracks appearing in the new Marvel anti-hero TV series, Moon Knight.

A performance by South African DJ Black Coffee, scheduled for Friday at White Dubai, has also been cancelled.

Jameel Arts Centre, the home of contemporary art in Dubai, said it would remain closed until Tuesday.

“With heavy hearts, we mourn the passing of the President of the country. His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. May his soul rest in peace,” the center posted on Instagram.

Meanwhile, the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival, which kicked off on Wednesday, said it would continue as planned on Friday evening, but workshops and activities will be cancelled. Plans for the next days of mourning are yet to be confirmed.

The event, organized by the Sharjah Book Authority, is taking place at Expo Center Sharjah under the theme Creating Creativity, with a 12-day program designed to instill a love of the written word in young people.

The Abu Dhabi Culture Summit, which was due to start on Monday, May 16, has also been postponed. Organized by the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism, the fifth in-person event will be held under the theme A Living Culture, bringing together thought leaders and experts in arts, heritage, museums, media and technology for a series of round tables. sessions and discussions around the role of culture in a post-Covid-19 world. South African comedian Trevor Noah had been confirmed to attend.

DCT Abu Dhabi said new dates would be announced soon.

Still to be announced

Details of the capital’s main literary event, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which is due to take place from Monday to Sunday May 23-29 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, have yet to be announced. The event will bring together more than 1,100 publishers from around 80 countries, with more than 450 activities including round tables, seminars, cultural evenings and children’s events.

The first International Congress of Arabic Publishing and Creative Industries is also set to take place on the eve of the book fair on May 23, with authors, publishers, filmmakers and bloggers gathering for the event organized by the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Center and the DCT. Abu Dhabi.

Another major event taking place next week is the International Indian Film Academy Awards, set to take place on Saturday, May 21 at the Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi, featuring Bollywood artists set to arrive from India. . The decision to go ahead or not has not yet been made.

Updated: May 14, 2022, 8:46 p.m.

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