x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

UAE’s arts and culture personalities reveal resolutions and goals for 2014

A range of the UAE's arts, culture and lifestyle personalities talk to us about their New Year's resolutions (or lack thereof).

Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, the founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival
Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, the founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival

Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo, founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (and new member of the Order of the British Empire)

“Over the coming year, it is my goal to share with the people of the UAE and beyond the value of creative innovation. By uniting the fields of arts and sciences, we can unlock the promise and potential within every young person of this great nation. By equipping tomorrow’s citizens with a new way of looking at the world around them, we will safeguard the future of entrepreneurship. This is my sincere hope and is reflected in the programme of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2014.”

Olly Wood, MC of UAE-based dance-pop duo Hollaphonic

“2013 was an exciting year for Hollaphonic, but 2014 is already looking epic. We have our first album coming out early in the year called Personal Space and we are about to sign a new, extremely exciting, record deal that will take our brand of music overseas and into different markets. We feel blessed by the opportunities given to us by the UAE, so we plan to give back as much as possible next year to both the nation and our amazing new fans. Next year is all about recognition, ambition, recognising the blessings we have and to live with ambition for a glorious future. Let’s do this!”

Rehab Abdulla, weekend host of Sabah El Dar on Abu Dhabi El Emarat

“Sabah Al Dar has recently began and we are thrilled with the reception it received from viewers across the country. Next year for me is about building on that because I feel the show will become even more better with time. The programme has taught me how important it is to love what you do. If that’s the case then you have the patience to withstand the long work hours.”

Kamal Musallam, Dubai-based world music artist

“My plan for next year is to keep touring my new album Home Made in Rome, especially Asia and Europe. I want to showcase this Arab sound to as many regions of the world as possible. On a personal note, I hope that with me getting one year older I will get more wisdom. Perhaps I can even meet someone special that could inspire me.”

Mourad Mazouz, restaurateur and owner of El Maz by Momo at The Galleria and Mall of the Emirates

“I don’t have New Year’s Eve resolutions or anything like that. I never planned my life like that because I like to live free of such things. More importantly for me is I like to live in my time and evolve with the situation. If see you me in the street I will look at you in the eye and talk to you and I expect the same from you. We are all equal. Maybe this is my Algerian heritage talking but this is just the way I live.”

Mohamed Parham Al Awadhi, co-host of Peeta Planet on Dubai One

“For our production company, Qabeela New Media, 2014 and beyond will be about producing creativity locally, for global consumption. We Arabs tend to underestimate ourselves despite an ancient history at the forefront of culture, trade and academia. I’m seeing a re-emergence now and it gives me immense confidence in our social TV travel show, Peeta Planet, achieving its purpose of exchanging cultures and cultivating ideas.”

Noura Noman, Emirati sci-fi author (honoured for literature in the 2013 Arab Woman Awards)

“For the New Year I have two resolutions: I shall try to experience three exciting events, because as a sci-fi writer I need to keep a fresh perspective. Secondly, I will dedicate more time in order to launch my publishing house which aims not only to publish Arabic sci-fi and fantasy books, but also to create a bigger community of lovers of the genres.”

Khalil Abdulwahid, the visual arts manager of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority

“The main focus for everyone in Dubai for 2014 will be the fact that, thank God, we won the Expo 2020 bid. The speed that Dubai moves at pushes me personally and in my career and winning the Expo will be a double push for 2014.

At Dubai Culture, we will be working with that in mind, increasing our activities and helping more young artists to get started. Personally, I want to find time to focus more on my own art. I have an important exhibition in Sharjah in February and in Houston, US in March, so that is a good start. Honestly, I have a really good feeling about next year. There will be more work and it will be busier but it will also be better and stronger than this one, God willing.”

Abdulhamid Juma, chairman of the Dubai International Film Festival

“To open the film festival with a UAE-made film. It is the wish of the filmmakers based here, and I am talking to them — we are ready, and they are ready now too.”

Ali Al Jabri, director of the Abu Dhabi International Film Festival

“In programming Abu Dhabi Film Festival we have always strived to bring the best of Arab and international cinema, making a unique blend of titles that come from the most important film festivals or as world premieres. This year we will continue this mandate and hopefully have an even stronger programme to last.”

Ayesha Depala, Dubai-based fashion designer

“2013 was a challenging, busy year, with little time devoted to my personal well-being. In 2014 I intend to do yoga and meditation more regularly. I will visit Isha in Coimbatore India early in the new year and I’m looking into a detox programme in Goa as I will be there next week to celebrate Christmas with my family.”

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