The Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative will have your creative wheels spinning

From a biennial to direct commissions and stunning light art sculptures, there is a lot to look forward to in the UAE capital

The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi has recently launched Public Art Abu Dhabi, an initiative to invest in culture as a part of the city’s soul.

While the bulk of major projects will come to the emirate only late next year, there’s still a lot of excitement now! Head to Cultural Foundation for the newly unveiled WAVE, a public digital media artwork by the artistic collective d’strict.

Using an anamorphic illusion technique, the 2D installation recreates perpetually surging three-dimensional waves and was first showcased at COEX K-Pop Square, Seoul, South Korea.

That aside, there are three main projects that fall under the initiative; Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial, scheduled to open in November 2024 and will feature new commissions across the city. Even more exciting is perhaps Manar Abu Dhabi, a platform showcasing an array of light artworks that celebrate the natural beauty of the city’s unique vista; and finally, direct commissions across the city to take place yearly.


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The programs will reflect the capital’s intrinsic cultural identity in addition to fostering creativity on the back of community engagement efforts. In that vein, Public Art Abu Dhabi will offer opportunities for everyone to engage.

Currently, over USD 35 million has been dedicated to the initiative annually, so you can be sure there’s a lot of excitement and stunning visuals in store for the UAE capital!


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Image source d’strict. WAVE. 2020. Installation view at Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi, 2023. Image courtesy of the artists



Caroline D’Almeida

A little bit of India, a little more of the UAE, and a lot of shawarma perhaps best captures Caroline’s anatomy. An avid believer in value for money, her hobbies include putting the ‘elite lifestyle’ to the test. And finding cheaper dupes for it all. A Sharjah girl new to the capital, she hopes to discover the pulse of the emirate.