x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emiratis to study for arts careers

Adec and TDIC are to offer 50 scholarships in arts and culture.

ABU DHABI // For the next three years, the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec) and Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC) will offer scholarships to 50 Emiratis to prepare them for careers in the fields of arts, culture and heritage.  

Mugheer Khamis al Khaili, the director-general of Adec, said the agreement with TDIC will prepare Emiratis for work at the Saadiyat Islands' Cultural District institutions.

Students will become interns at museums abroad for practical knowledge and will be guaranteed employment by TDIC. 

"We are trying to motivate students to take up professions in art and reflect our culture and identity to visitors of these museums," said Mr al Khaili. 

The scholarships will be offered for bachelor's and master's programmes in the "history of culture and heritage" and museum studies at local and international universities.

Mubarak Hamad al Muhairi, the managing director of TDIC, said the arts and culture scene in Abu Dhabi is evolving and education is at the core of its development. 

"Collaboration with universities such as the Sorbonne and New York University, which have dedicated arts programmes, will create interest among the local population and an awareness in these disciplines," he said. Mr al Muhairi said the aim is to create an art-appreciating generation in the country. 

"This will be the biggest catalyst for innovative thinking, and that's how the future of the UAE and Abu Dhabi will be sustained - through this creative society." 

Paris-Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi is one of the institutions at which scholarship recipients will study. It has teamed up with Ecole du Louvre to award a master's programme in history of art and museum studies. The course begins this month. 

"Our programme focuses on creating local talent from Abu Dhabi to staff the international museums opening up in Saadiyat," said Jean-Yves d'Cara, the executive director of the university.   

However, more needs to be done to expose the youth to arts and culture here, Mr d'Cara said. "Introducing this at the high school level is necessary to encourage youngsters to explore these fields further." 

aahmed@thenational.ae