Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, organised the first international retrospective of Emirati artist Abdulqader Al Rais. The exhibition took place at the Institut du Monde Arabe (The Arab World Institute) in Paris as part of the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue 2018/2019.
Thousands of art enthusiasts, visitors, and interested people in the history and culture of the UAE attended the exhibition, which also saw a number of panel discussions were also held during the exhibition, attended by art aficionados who highlighted the rich components of Dubai’s cultural life, and a live-drawing session for visitors conducted by Abdulqader Al Rais.
Notable attendees from the UAE delegate to the French capital were Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development for the UAE; His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Library; His Excellency Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State; the writer Abdulghaffar Hussain; Ahmed Al Sarkal, Chairman of Alserkal Group; and Ali bin Thalith, Secretary General of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award. Other VIPs in attendance included Jean-Yves Le Drian, Secretary General of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, and other ambassadors.
His Excellency AbdulRahman bin Mohamed Al Owais, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Dubai Culture, commented: “It is with pride and honour that Dubai Culture organises the first international retrospective for celebrated pioneering Emirati artist Abdulqader Al Rais in Paris. His prosperous artistic journey reveals his determination to preserve the UAE’s culture and heritage, consolidating its national identity, reflecting the nation’s development and originality, and underpinning the dedication of its leadership and people to perpetuate its identity. At Dubai Culture, we always seek to promote Dubai as a global centre for creativity, strengthening the United Arab Emirates’ global reputation, and sharing Dubai’s thriving creative scene with the world. This exhibition has helped build bridges of trust and understanding with France and the world. The exhibition was a platform for introducing our values and culture, and a way to express our pride in our identity and heritage.”
His Excellency Al Murr, said: “Last month, we inaugurated the first international retrospective of Emirati artist Abdulqader Al Rais at the Arab World Institute in Paris with the presence of His Excellency Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute and former Minister of Culture of France. Dubai Culture organised the exhibition in a creative and professional manner, and on par with other exhibitions held for Arab artists in Paris. The artist's paintings were lent from various special UAE collections, such as the special art collections of Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Nahyan, and His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, as well as from my collections and those of other artists. The exhibition covered various periods in the artist’s career.”
Abdulqader Al Rais said: “I am humbled to have been granted the opportunity and privilege to showcase my work to an international audience. I have consistently devoted my career to highlighting the rich culture of the UAE through my art and through this retrospective, I was able to share my stories and experiences with an audience who was eager to discover the land I call home. I am filled with gratitude for Dubai Culture and for the Arab World Institute in Paris for not only helping me accomplish a milestone in my career, but for allowing me the chance to fulfil my dream.”
HE Jack Lang said: “The Arab World Institute was proud to have hosted this exceptional and first-of-its-kind exhibition for the esteemed Emirate artist Abdulqader Al Rais. We are honoured to have welcomed all visitors, aficionados, and distinct delegates who graced our exhibition and helped consolidate the creative spectrum of the UAE through the prominent work of this influential artist.”
As part of the retrospective, HE Mohammed Al Murr gifted HE Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute in Paris, a special painting by an Emirati calligrapher that features the famous poem ‘Le lac’ by La Martine that was translated into Arabic.
Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the UAE’s rich heritage. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilizations and cultures to enhance Dubai's position as a creative and sustainable global city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature, with the aim to empower these sectors by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally.