Culture Summit Abu Dhabi returns for 2021 with a focus on the cultural economy​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​


The Culture Summit Abu Dhabi will return for its fourth iteration in a virtual event, held from Monday, March 8 to Wednesday, March 10. Organised by the Department of Tourism – Abu Dhabi, this year’s summit falls under the theme “the cultural economy and the economy of culture”.

Running over three days, the event will bring together cultural leaders and experts in the fields of art, heritage, museums, media and technology with the goal of exploring opportunities for cultural innovation in a post-Covid world.

It is now more important than ever to shed light on the critical role that the culture sector plays in economic and social development

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi

“The global challenges of the past year have truly demonstrated the vital power of culture to improve our personal and collective wellbeing. Yet, cultural institutions worldwide continue to struggle to achieve funding structures to continue operating.

“It is now more important than ever to shed light on the critical role that the culture sector plays as an essential driver of sustainable economic and social development,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

In line with Unesco’s 2021 International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, Culture Summit 2021 will discuss the challenges faced by creative and cultural industries and explore “adaptable, resilient and collaborative approaches” to rebuilding and sustaining them. In addition, the summit will consider how art museums and biennials can adapt to new realities, as well as how cultural institutions can boost funding amid the uncertain economy.

Other topics to be explored include: What is the post-Covid cultural economy? How does mass migration impact the cultural economy? What role can the cultural economy and the culture and creative industries play in urban recovery and resilience?

In 2020, the forum was themed Alone Together: Culture and Resilience and tackled the social, economic and psychological impact of the pandemic on culture and individuals in the creative fields.

The 2020 event, which was also held virtually, came ahead of Unesco’s ResiliArt, another forum with a similar aim of allowing industry representatives and artists to discuss the issues of the time.

This year, Unesco will return as a partner organisation, alongside Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, Google and the Design Museum in London. Local partner organisations such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Berklee Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation are also participating.

As part of its programming, the Culture Summit will also present a curated selection of artist talks, film screenings and performances.

Attendance is free and open to the public. To register, visit

Updated: February 24, 2021 10:51 AM