Launched in 2021, the Friends of Abu Dhabi Art is made up of individuals who are actively committed to supporting art and culture in the emirate.


Launching with an inaugural group of more than 40 dedicated cultural philanthropists, the Friends of Abu Dhabi Art is an art initiative created to support the dynamic art scene in the UAE.

It will commission new art works for the UAE on an annual basis, enabling the production of new work by both emerging and established artists, with the aim of contributing to the local art eco-system.

In 2021, the Friends of Abu Dhabi Art will begin its annual project of commissioning art by supporting three emerging UAE based artists who are participating in Beyond: Emerging Artists, guest curated in 2021 by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. The selected artists by Bardaouil and Fellrath for 2021 are Hashel Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla and Christopher Benton.

Art enthusiasts who are looking to actively support artists and the art ecosystem in the UAE can apply to join via this email address.

Commissioning and funding a public art project in the emirate of Abu Dhabi each year.

[Top Image] Abu Dhabi Art 2018 Beyond: Artist Commissions Imran Qureshi at Al Ain Oasis

Bringing together a group of dedicated art patrons and enthusiasts who seek to support artists in the realisation of ambitious new projects for the city.

[Bottom Image] Abu Dhabi Art 2019 Beyond: Artist Commissions Oliver Beer at Al Jahili Fort

Contributing toward the presence and visibility of Contemporary art from the United Arab Emirates, both locally and abroad.

[Top Image] Abu Dhabi Art 2019 Beyond: Emerging Artists Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi and Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi at Manarat Al Saadiyat Auditorium

"The Friends of Abu Dhabi Art Members are ready to support the UAE art eco-system through this new platform and to play a part in enabling emerging artists from the UAE to develop their work and reach new audiences. We have all joined because of a commitment to supporting art in the UAE and we look forward to ensuring the wider community is engaged and connected to the thriving local art scene."

Nadine Maalouf, Co-Head of Friends of Abu Dhabi Art and Co-Founder of 81 Designs

“The Friends of Abu Dhabi Art is not limited to financial support. It is an endeavor to encourage independent activity by community members for the benefit of the local art eco-system. There is a need for the art and culture sector globally to find sustainable ways to recover and become more adaptable in a post-pandemic era. The club will play a significant role in strengthening Abu Dhabi’s art ecosystem, as well as provide a platform for funding, knowledge exchange, and networking initiatives for the different players in the sector.”

Nadia Sehweil, Co-Head of Friends of Abu Dhabi Art and CEO of Bodytree Wellness