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Abu Dhabi: Building a Cultural Capital (2008)

Abu Dhabi: Building a Cultural Capital (2008)

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Yale School of Drama
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In 2004, Sheikh Khalifa launched an ambitious initiative to develop the cultural landscape of the UAE through cultural education, preservation, and expansion. Sheikh Khalifa wished to fill the emirate’s newly built roads with the vibrancy of cultural affluence and transform Abu Dhabi into a global cultural capital, the “London of the Middle East.” What does it mean to build a cultural capital where there has previously been none? UAE leaders have pursued partnerships with high-profile Western institutions to bring well-known art to the Middle East as well as expedite the process of cultural leadership. However, these institutions may be in conflict with the native art and values of the area. This case is a look at the challenges of creating a new history and a new cultural center.


Publication Date: 5/1/2008

Suggested Citation: Paula Allais, "Abu Dhabi: Building a Cultural Capital (2008)," Yale Theater Management Knowledge Base Case Study 08-13, May 1, 2008

Keywords: UAE, Cultural Development, Cultural Policy, Economic Development

Teaching Note: Yes (educators should contact yaletmknowledgebase@yale.edu)

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This case is from the Theater Management Knowledge Base, a body of arts management material created by Yale School of Drama Theater Management students and faculty, overseen by an editorial board of leading practitioners. For more information or for help in selecting cases suitable for your educational or organizational purposes, please email yaletmknowledgebase@yale.edu.