17 Muharram 1446 - 23 July 2024
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Eye of Dubai
Culture & Education | Thursday 1 February, 2024 9:18 am |

The Ministry of Culture announces the grant recipients of the first cycle of the National Grant Program for Culture and Creativity

The Ministry of Culture has announced the grant recipients of the first cycle of the “National Grant Program for Culture and Creativity,” which was launched in August 2023. The first cycle of the program received a great deal of interest from the creative community and a large number of applications. 

This program aims to strengthen the country’s commitment to supporting and enabling its cultural and creative industries (CCI) in addition to investing in Emirati creatives who play an essential role in building the UAE’s creative economy. The grants are designed to bolster cultural and creative production in the UAE while also promoting the UAE’s position as a global cultural hub. 

The program which will invite applications every year, announced a list of 26 grant recipients for 2023 within four program categories namely: Creation and Production; Distribution and Local Participations; International Travel and Mobility, and Capacity Development. Encompassing fields such as Books and Literature, Music, Film and TV, Performing Arts and Theatre, Visual Arts and Design, Video Games and Cultural Heritage. 

In a statement, His Excellency Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture, said: “We take great pride in the invaluable contribution of creatives, a distinguished segment of our society who have dedicated their efforts in the pursuit of their dreams and aspirations. Their commitment to serving the country by contributing to its cultural and creative landscape is truly remarkable. The Ministry is committed to supporting these creatives by investing in their talent, enabling and empowering them to represent the UAE on the global stage.”

From the supported creatives include: the designer Azza Al-Qubaisi who was selected for the International Travel and Mobility grant, as part of the Visual Arts and Design field. Through the grant, she was supported to participate in Art D'Égypt 2023 to showcase her large-scale artwork to international audiences. 


Ahmed Al Hashemi, a talented musician and the youngest grant recipient from the first cycle, also received an International Travel and Mobility grant in the field of Music to participate as a pianist in performances held in Egypt and Latvia.

Hanan Ghaith, director, received support in the Creation and Production category for her animation project in the field of Film and TV. The film was produced in alignment with the Year of Sustainability and the UAE hosting COP28.

The list of recipients also included the following categories and names: Film and TV: Khalid Al Mahmoud, Waleed Al Shehhi, Abdulrahman Al Madani, Bader Mohammed; Performing Arts and Theater: Reem Al Menhali, Ahmed Al Dhanhani; Visual Arts and Design: Dr. Karima Abulaziz, Afra Al Dhaheri, Hassana Arif. The list of authors in the Books and Literature category included Ayesha Al-Badi, Hessa Ali Al-Joker, Fatima Al-Mazroui, Alia bin Omair, Sara Ahmad, Salha Obaid, and Mohammed Al-Rais. The Cultural Heritage category included: Fadhel Al-Ali, Dr. Alyazia Khalifa. Grant recipients in the Video Games category included Hamdan Al-Ali, and Music category included Mohamed Al-Mubarak, Ibrahim Al-Juneibi, Elham Hussein, and Safeyya Al-Blooshi.


Many of the selected projects focused on inspiring topics that highlight themes such as the UAE’s culture and heritage, history, the pillars of national identity and Arabic language. In addition to sustainability and climate change, people of determination, early childhood development, experimental sound art, and other societal topics. These themes have an important role in advancing and growing the cultural and creative industries in the country.

The Ministry announced the grant recipients of the first cycle through a series of gatherings in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah which were attended by members of the wider UAE creative community as well as key federal and local governments, private sector entities, local non-government organizations and industry leaders. Dialogues were held amongst attendees regarding the UAE’s creative economy and new networks were built that would support the recipients to carry out their projects further.

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