Beyond attending the Abu Dhabi Festival, there are many other ways to get involved in the largest annual celebration of arts and culture in the Arabian Gulf. From volunteering to internships to performing, exhibiting or even embarking on training, the Festival welcomes individuals and fellow non-profit-making and community-based organisations to partner in creativity. Find out more below about how you can become involved in Abu Dhabi Festival.



As an extension of Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation’s core mission to support Emirati citizens at all stages of their academic, artistic and professional development, Abu Dhabi Festival celebrates Emirati culture and national identity across its programmes. In 2017, 170 Emirati practitioners contributed to the success of the Festival, from performances and visual arts commissions to creative industries training programmes and roles as compères and moderators.


Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan,
UAE Minister of Tolerance

With more than 100 events across the seven emirates, Abu Dhabi Festival is a packed celebration of the nation’s talent and diversity. Each year, the Festival welcomes individuals and fellow non-profit-making and community-based organisations to be part of the month-long nationwide Festival programme. If you are planning an arts event  in the UAE during March 2017 and would like to learn more about how you might be considered for the Festival programme, contact


ADMAF’s awards portfolio celebrates artistic innovation through prestigious platforms where the country’s emerging creative minds compete for first place. In 2019, Abu Dhabi Festival and ADMAF will present:

The Gulf Capital – Abu Dhabi Festival Visual Arts Award
Each year, the award recognises an Emirati student for outstanding creativity in an original artwork inspired by the Abu Dhabi Festival exhibition.

The Gulf Capital – ADMAF Creativity Award
Established in 1996, this annual award recognises the outstanding creativity of young arts practitioners. The winning artworks are displayed in Emirates Palace during the Festival.

ADMAF Design Fund 2019 (supported by L’Ecole Van Cleef and Arpels)
For the first time, ADMAF with the support of L’École Van Cleef & Arpels is launching the ADMAF Design Fund. In 2019 the fund will be focused on jewelry and the objective this year is to increase knowledge of jewelry making in the UAE, celebrate mastery of craftsmanship, and openness to the world.

Total Design Commission 
The Design Commission was established in 2014 to recognise outstanding innovation and achievement by young Emiratis in the fields of design and architecture. The competitive award nurtures potential and encourages creative practice by providing a launch-pad for emerging designers and architects across the UAE.

For more information, and how to apply click here


Abu Dhabi Festival presents creative training programmes which enable talented young nationals and UAE residents to develop their skills and prepare for careers in creative and cultural industries

UAE Theatre Circle

Year round, ADMAF nurtures creativity in theatre, playing a major role in incubating theatre talent. Now in its forth year and culminating during the Abu Dhabi Festival, the UAE’s most pioneering theatre makers will lead an intensive training course to develop the skills of select budding actors, writers and directors in script writing, scenography, acting and reciting. Supported by EGA

Young Filmmakers’ Circle

Year round, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation plays a major role in nurturing Emirati filmmaking talent. During every Festival, this culminates with a series of events that further support independent Emirati filmmaking. Abu Dhabi Festival 2018 will present the third edition of the Young Filmmakers’ Circle, including roundtable discussions, screenings and seminars for leading film industry practitioners from scriptwriters to directors. This year, the programme also includes a special short film competition for directors with international professional development opportunities for the winners.

In partnership with NYU Abu Dhabi.

Young Media Leaders Forum

Young Media Leaders is a vocational programme that empowers young Emiratis with knowledge and training to help them become key players in future media industries. Over the past decade, 184 Emirati university students from HCT, ZU and UAEU have put in more than 640 hours of training. They have worked with over 95 journalists and media professionals, attended 83 media workshops, written 170 articles both in Arabic and English, and published 8 issues of My News Magazine. Supported by Mubadala 

Cultural Excellence Fellowship

The Cultural Excellence Fellowship (CEF), a partnership between ADMAF and the British Council, seeks to inspire and equip Emirati citizens with the skills and knowledge to pursue creative entrepreneurship and a career in the cultural industries. The participants of the third edition of CEF will be engaging with leading professionals during the Abu Dhabi Festival 2018, including in some special Festival initiatives.


Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation, the organisation behind the Abu Dhabi Festival, is interested to hear from Emirati and UAE-based students and recent graduates with an interest in arts, event management and communications. If you wish to develop a career in the UAE creative and cultural industries and would like to work with the team responsible for putting on the region’s largest annual cultural celebration, please contact with your CV for more information.


During the Abu Dhabi Festival, volunteers play a key role in its success. This is an opportunity for many young professionals to get involved. If you are over 18 years old and able to donate your time to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to explore their creativity, then we want to hear from you! Each year, we welcome 20 Festival Ambassadors who receive basic training in order to give information and guidance to audiences at venues across Abu Dhabi. If you are interested in volunteering for the 2017 Abu Dhabi Festival, contact


Patron: H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan,
UAE Minister of Tolerance

Are you experienced in the fields of arts/event management, marketing and communications? Are you committed to nurturing the creative potential and celebrating the cultural diversity of Abu Dhabi, the UAE and beyond? If so, please contact