Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism, inaugurated the 11th edition of Abu Dhabi Art at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The opening ceremony was witnessed by Minister of State Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, Mohammed Al Murr, Under Secretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, Saif Saeed Ghobash, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Mubarak Al Nakhi, and Assistant Undersecretary for the Heritage and Arts Sector at the Ministry of Culture and Development. This year, 50 leading galleries from 21 cities around the world will be participating alongside new and existing activities in the interactive show program.

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development inaugurated the Burda Grant Exhibition, which celebrates contemporary Islamic arts through the work of 10 artists, selected among the first batch of the Burda scholarship: Jude Lootah, Ibtisam Abdulaziz, Khalid Al Banna, Amar Al Attar from the UAE, as well as Saudi artists Dana Awartani. , Nasser Al Salem, Pakistani artist Aisha Khaled, Algerian Zulekha Bouabdallah, Russian Fatima Azdinova and Stanley Sue from Hong Kong. The exhibition is co-ordinated by Sam Bardwell and Till Filrath. The artists' works explore many elements of Islamic art, such as geometric patterns, virtual reality installation, textiles, painting and sculpture.

“The Burda Initiative has rapidly expanded since its launch and is today a major platform for celebrating traditional, classical and contemporary Islamic art and heritage,” said Sheikh Salem Al Qasimi. The Burda process started with the 2004 award honoring international poets and calligraphers and fine arts masters of Islamic art. In 2018, we launched the Burda Festival, where we felt the need for funding in the field of contemporary Islamic design and art, and as a result, the Burda Scholarship was launched.

Through the Burda Scholarship, the Ministry seeks to invest in talent and explore Islamic arts through a multi-striped approach. It is an invitation to all to interact with this exhibition, and to see what works of art to explore culture, arts and designs through the opportunities of interactive dialogue provided by the exhibition, and I am pleased today to open this exhibition, which offers the work of artists from the region and the world, which highlight the diversity of Islamic cultural visions and methods of expression about her".


Burda is an initiative launched by the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in 2018 to stimulate creativity in the arena of Islamic arts, highlighting outstanding artists in this field from all countries of the Islamic world and beyond in general. The initiative takes its name from the poem of Burda organized by Imam al-Basiri, one of the most famous Sufi sheikhs in the 12th century, in praise of the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him.

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development launched the Burda scholarship in 2018, following a study carried out with artificial intelligence technology commissioned by the ministry during the past year.The study reviewed the status of Islamic arts globally with the participation of a number of experts. The study revealed that there are a number of major challenges faced by practicing artists of various Islamic arts, including the lack of funding and public interest in understanding the Islamic arts, hence the launch of the Al-Burda grant to support artistic talents in this field. The first batch of recipients were selected through a committee. Specializing from the Ministry, based on comparative research.