The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival begins at the Heritage Village

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The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival opened with a spectacular fireworks display against the backdrop of the historic Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village.

The month-long event features work by emerging and established UAE artists and was opened by Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.

Artwork is on display in the village, where a maze of outdoor exhibition aisles showcase work by local and international artists until March 31st.

In the 10th year of the exhibition, it is the largest to date, spread over three locations in the emirate.

I wanted to show the UAE’s ever-changing skyline and show how children played, back before screens existed, as opposed to now

Abdulla Lutfi, Emirati artist

“Art unites people across borders and brings positivity and hope to the community,” said Sheikh Saud.

“In Ras Al Khaimah, one of the region’s oldest cultural destinations with a proud heritage of traditional arts, we are focused on encouraging our community’s artistic pursuits.”

In addition to the Heritage Village, two satellite exhibitions will be open to display artworks at the public viewing platform of the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, and at Al Mariam Open Park on Al Marjan Island.

Organized by the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the open-air exhibition of art, photography and sculpture features work by more than 150 artists from 45 countries.

It includes a program of film screenings, workshops, guided tours and other events taking place at the festival’s various locations.

This year’s participating Emirati artists include Yousef Al Zaabi and Abdullah Lutfi, while highlights of the event include a weekend of outdoor cinema and indoor screenings.

New partnerships with NYUAD Art Gallery and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands were also formed to further promote international art installations during the festival.

Abdulla Lutfi is an autistic artist whose work is inspired by the rapid changes in the region.

“I wanted to show the UAE’s ever-changing skyline and depict how children were playing, back before screens existed, as opposed to now,” he said.

After graduating from high school, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do as there were few adult opportunities on the spectrum.

“My mother found out about an art studio for adults with disabilities and my life changed.

“I chose art as my career option because I was doing it before I could speak.

“Art is my passion.”

On Friday 18 February, the Collaboration Weekend is the first in a series of walking tours of Old Ras Al Khaimah’s gastronomic and historical sites.

Tours are between 5:00 PM and 7:00 PM and start from the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Salim Al Qasimi Mosque.

Meanwhile, a pet-friendly weekend begins Saturday, February 19th with a special obstacle activity for dogs between 1pm and 2pm and a pet fashion show from 2pm.

A cultural weekend on Friday 25 February includes an immersive local theater performance from the National Theater of Ras Al Khaimah between 18:00 and 19:00.

“We are honored to have such an acclaimed lineup of artists with us again this year, with the talent on display reflecting how the festival is truly becoming a destination for regional and international talent,” said Festival Director Suqrat bin Brauch.

Updated February 6, 2022 at 9:08 am

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