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Hip-Hop exhibition opens at Manarat Al Saadiyat Abu Dhabi


Manarat Al Saadiyat and Sole bring critically acclaimed exhibition CONTACT HIGH: A Visual History of Hip-Hop to Abu Dhabi

Showing outside of the United States for the first time, CONTACT HIGH – A Visual History of Hip-Hop takes visitors through four decades of photographs, albums, magazine covers and memorabilia that document Hip-Hop culture.

The exhibition is being hosted at the centre of community arts hub Manarat Al Saadiyat, run by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi),and runs till 31 May 2021.

The exhibition is in partnership with the region’s leading cultural and lifestyle platform, Sole and features over 150 images by 60+ photographers

The images portray some of Hip-Hop’s biggest names, such as Kanye West, Cardi B, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Megan Thee Stallion, MF Doom, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Aaliyah, A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator, Queen Latifah, Salt-N-Pepa, and the legendary Notorious B.I.G.

Showing in Abu Dhabi reflects the importance of Hip-Hop culture to those living in the UAE and wider region, as well as the Arab world’s growing fan-base of the music and fashion associated with the movement.



“This winter season at Manarat Al Saadiyat we are incredibly excited to offer blockbuster exhibition CONTACT HIGH, showing outside the US for the very first time, to the Abu Dhabi community,” said Fatima Yousef Al Yousef, Public Engagement & Programming Head at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

“One of the most culturally significant musical movements, Hip-Hop pioneered not only a new sound but a unique visual identity that, for decades now, has influenced sonic experimentation and fashion around the world.

“The emirate is home to many fans of the genre and as such, we hope that in the photos and objects on display, visitors will find much that resonates and inspires.”


CONTACT HIGH is curated by journalist Vikki Tobak, writer of the bestselling book of the same name. The exhibition’s Creative Director is Hip-Hop visual artist and filmmaker Fab 5 Freddy, and its Producer is Joseph Patel.

“Manarat Al Saadiyat’s mission as a cultural centre is to showcase a wide spectrum of creative expression, and in alignment with DCT Abu Dhabi’s wider cultural strategy for the emirate, we continually strive to offer unique artistic content to our audiences.



“Having had a hand in Hip-Hop culture’s development from a local, New York City-wide craze, to a national movement, to a dominant global force has been astonishing to witness and partake in,” said Fab 5 Freddy, Creative Director of the CONTACT HIGH exhibition.

“The CONTACT HIGH photo exhibit, the first of its kind coming to Abu Dhabi, is the latest and greatest chapter in this ongoing epic saga,” he added.

CONTACT HIGH made its exhibition debut at Photoville New York by United Photo Industries (UPI) in 2018. In 2019 it was shown at the renowned Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, where it holds the record for best-attended show in the history of the foundation. In January 2020 CONTACT HIGH was one of the inaugural exhibitions at the new International Center of Photography (ICP) integrated space in New York.

Tickets are priced at AED 30, available through Virgin Megastore Ticketing. For further information visit Contact High

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Manarat Al Saadiyat

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