Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival’s RAKFAF landmark 10th edition was opened by H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) on Friday night with an array of local, regional and international VIP guests invited to mark the occasion.
The annual arts festival, which is now established as one of the region’s leading cultural events, held its opening night at the historic 17th century pearling village of Al Jazirah Al Hamra against the backdrop of a dazzling fireworks display.
H.H. Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi said: “Art unites people across borders and brings positivity and hope to the community. In Ras Al Khaimah, one of the region’s oldest cultural destinations with a proud legacy of traditional arts, we are focused on promoting the artistic pursuits of our community.
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival not only showcases their creativity but also provides a platform for them to engage in cultural exchange with international artists. Our patronage of the arts further underlines our values and cultural ethos to connect people, promote creativity, enrich their lives, and celebrate the spirit of harmony.”
In addition to many of the festival’s activities taking place at Al Jazirah Al Hamra – a symbolic bridge between Ras Al Khaimah’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene – the 2022 edition once again incorporates exciting satellite exhibition sites at two of the Emirate’s most iconic locations: the public viewing deck of the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, and the Open Park on Al Marjan Island.
The outdoor exhibition of art, photography and sculpture is organized by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research and is presenting a diverse collection of work from over 150 artists hailing from more than 45 countries. Included as part of the festival is a vibrant program of film screenings, workshops, guided tours, and other events held across the Festival’s various locations.
Emirati artists participating this year include Yousef Al Zaabi and Abdullah Lutfi, while among the event highlights are a weekend of outdoor cinema and indoor screenings at Vox. A dedicated pet-friendly weekend for animal lovers and with an array of family activities for all ages, Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is a weekend dedicated to celebrating the UAE’s rich culture and heritage.
Festival Director Suqrat bin Bisher, said: “We are honored to have such a prestigious line-up of artists participating with us again this year, with the talent on display reflecting how the Festival is truly becoming a destination for regional and international talent.”
This year, the Festival boasts new partnerships with the NYUAD Art Gallery, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, reaffirming its commitment to connecting and developing the UAE’s wider cultural community.
The U.S. Mission to the UAE, which has been a key Festival partner since 2016 through its grant program for cultivating cross-cultural understanding and supporting local talent, is providing a range of performances throughout the Festival. U.S. Consul General Meghan Gregonis said: “The U.S. Mission to the UAE is once again proud to partner with Al Qasimi Foundation at Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival. Our partnership with Al Qasimi Foundation promotes mutual understanding and cultural exchange between the United States and the UAE and enhances Ras Al Khaimah’s vibrant, creative economy.”
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival, which runs until March 31st, is presented by Marjan and supported by additional local partners including Stevin Rock LLC, Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ), RAK Ports, RAK Tourism Development Authority, RAK Hospitality Holding, RAK Transport Authority, RAK Hospital and Vox Cinemas.
Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival is free for all to attend. For the full schedule and registration, please visit: www.rakfinearts.ae.
Once Again, A Strong Kuwaiti Presence At RAKAF, Thanks to An Irish With An Eye
Once again, it has been another wonderful year searching for and finding the most talented artists not only in the GCC but across the globe. I never cease to be blown away by local talent. Of course, it goes without saying that Kuwait will always be close to my heart when it comes to promoting talent in the region. However, a close contender is now Oman ! I was blessed enough to spend a lot of time in this wonderful country which is so full of culture and outstanding artists that I cannot wait to see some of my favourites in Oman submit their work to RAKFAF 2023 !
As always, it is a huge honour and pleasure for me to work alongside the amazing Suqurat Bin Bishr, Director of RAKFAF as well as the ever astounding Dr Natasha and Aisha. RAK is truly blessed to have such a wonderfully distinguished gentleman such as Sheikh Saud continuously promote the talent of both regional and global artists.
A Statement by PR PASSION Director Tara Sillery
Outdoor Film Screening
In association with Cinema Akil and Vox, the Festival will host a diverse array of short films from the region and beyond including documentaries, foreign language and drama. Local and international featured films include Wajib, directed by Annemarie Jacir, Dheepan, directed by Jacques Audiard, Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) by Gianfranco Rosi, and Sabeel by Khalid Al Mahmood.
Date: February 11th, 12th & 13th.
The Cultural Weekend is set on the last week of February. Highlighting and celebrating the UAE’s diversity and rich culture, this weekend includes Ghawa (Arabic Coffee) making, traditional storytelling, camel rides, and an immersive local theatre performance from the talented members of the National Theatre of Ras Al Khaimah.
Date: February 25h, 26th & 27th.