Through arts education, community arts and special projects, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation nurtures creativity across the UAE.

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

For almost three decades, ADMAF has nurtured creativity and artistic expression across the UAE through cultural programming, arts education and community initiatives. Established in 1996 by Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo, the Foundation plays a pivotal role in the UAE's arts sector, inspiring young people, the public and artists and enabling their creative expression.

Culture is the key that unlocks a nation's creativity and the universal language that transcends borders. By bringing together diverse audiences and institutions, ADMAF has embedded arts and culture at the heart of the nation. Via commissions, events, cultural diplomacy, and a global network of partnerships, it amplifies Emirati heritage and contemporary Arab expression globally.

Believing that culture is the anchor that unites a nation, an expansive programme of initiatives and events inspires young minds, supports artists, and captivates audiences. For society's benefit and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision, ADMAF fosters close-knit communities and facilitates cross-cultural dialogues. the Foundation's work is guided by its commitment to accessibility and social responsibility, recognising the fundamental right of every person, regardless of age or ability, to access, understand, and appreciate cultural experiences

ADMAF Patrons


H.E. Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan

Minister of Tolerance & Coexistence.

Honorary Patron

H.H. Sheikha Sheikha bint Saif Al Nahyan


The Founder


H.E. Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo

Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) Founder & Artistic Director, Abu Dhabi Festival

Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo is a philanthropist and patron of the arts who has dedicated her life to inspiring artists to create, generations to innovate and communities to unite and prosper. She worked tirelessly to found the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in 1996 and is also the Artistic Director of the jewel in its crown, the Abu Dhabi Festival, which she established in 2004.

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Board Members

Board of Trustees

H.E. Huda I. Alkhamis-Kanoo

H.E. Razan Al Mubarak

H.E. Reem Al Shemmari

Dr. Karim El Solh

Sheikha Noor Fahim Al Qasimi

Mr. Mohammed Al Otaiba

Founder of Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature | Managing Director, Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi

Executive Director for Strategic Media Affairs, Executive Affairs Authority

Founder and CEO, Gulf Capital Pvt, JSC

Trustee, Make a Wish Foundation

Founder, Syndication Bureau


H.E. Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh
Princess Irina zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berleburg
Mr. Salem Brahimi
Mr. Bashir Al Haskouri
Dr. Shaikha Al Maskari
Mr. Raymond Mouracade
H.E. Dr. Ali bin Tamim
H.E. Khaldoon Al Mubarak
Dr. Frauke Heard-Bey
Mr. Brian Lott
Mr. Terence D. Allen
Ms. Mary Corrado
Mr. Mohamed A. L. Kanoo
Mr. Manish Pandey


ADMAF's mission is a calling to lead creativity from the UAE and its capital, Abu Dhabi. It is a commitment to create, innovate, produce, preserve and present inspiring works of music and art. It is a promise to the youth of the nation to invest in and empower their dreams. It is a pledge to position the capital on the international cultural map as a destination for global art and talent. And it is a commitment to elevate the nation's voice on a global stage with international partnerships that bring understanding and beauty to the world.



In a progressive nation connected to the world, ADMAF advocates for a global flourishing of arts and culture – where the greatest contemporary works become part of history to build civilisation and drive exchange.

Strategic Pillars

Strategic Pillars


A strategic framework of three guiding principles and corresponding objectives defines ADMAF's work, supporting the vision and driving the mission.

Abu Dhabi as a Global Beacon of Arts and Culture

Abu Dhabi Festival is ADMAF's flagship initiative. Ensuring rich cultural experiences at home and abroad, it strengthens Abu Dhabi's position as a cultural capital through co-productions and co-commissions. The festival of firsts presents the world's greatest artists and performers to the UAE. On the global stage, partnerships with prominent international organisations expand Abu Dhabi's contributions, securing the presence of the city and the nation as a leading voice in international creative conversations.

Investing in creative excellence across all art forms and advancing international cooperation through cultural diplomacy


Abu Dhabi Festival – The only festival in the Arab World with a strong international presence, Abu Dhabi Festival fosters mutual understanding and makes cultural history to be celebrated for generations. Welcoming leading artists from around the world in Abu Dhabi to share world-class artistic expression with local audiences.

Contributing to and taking part in the performing arts at a global level


Presenting, co-commissioning & co-producing – At historic venues and venerable international institutions, ADMAF’s co-commissions and co-productions contribute to the global cultural landscape.

Supporting Arab artists and performers abroad – Dedicated to exceptional Arab artists and performers, ADMAF supports their presentation to international audiences on world-renowned stages.

Composers platform – Preserving traditional Arab music through high-quality recordings, the Composers’ Platform supports musicians of the Arab World to make international releases.

Expanding the reach and impact of visual arts within the UAE and as a vehicle for international cultural exchange


Visual Arts Exhibitions – Touring and exhibiting works by groundbreaking UAE-based and international artists at prominent institutions locally and around the world.

The Nationals’ Gallery – An online directory for the Emirati arts community that connects users to galleries, institutions, and collectors and serves as a go-to database and resource for art in the UAE.

ADMAF Art Collection – The Foundation’s collection of works by Emirati and Emirates-based artists supports practitioners directly by acquiring their work. The collection tells the history of the nation’s visual art scene and provides an essential record of cultural development for generations to come.

An Incubator for Arts and Creativity

As a gateway to knowledge, ADMAF invests in the nation's youth, empowering them to realise their dreams and ambitions. In partnership with academic institutions and through programmes that nurture creative skills and free creative thinking, ADMAF drives innovation, supports artistic growth, and rewards excellence. Incubating arts and creativity to foster the development of the UAE’s cultural and creative industries.

Opening a gateway to knowledge


STEAM (the intersection of science, technology, engineering, arts and math) – Reaching young people through the arts, with workshops and performances that inspire innovation in science, technology, engineering, art and math.

Festival in Focus – Masterclasses and rehearsals with the world’s leading artists to inspire school students through hands-on learning opportunities.

Riwaq Al Fikr talks series – Innovators, inventors, thought leaders and brilliant minds in a dynamic conversation series that opens the doors to creativity, sharing inspiring experiences and nurturing creativity in every field.

Developing creative leadership


Young Philanthropists – Working with UAE youth to instill a philanthropic outlook, empowering individuals to make a meaningful difference in arts and culture.

Young Entrepreneurs – Providing enterprising youth with the skills to start a business from the ground up.

Young Media Leaders – Enhancing knowledge and skills in Emirati youth aspiring towards media careers. Through a tailored, intensive programme of workshops and internship opportunities in the UAE and abroad, students are equipped with what it takes to become leaders in print, digital and broadcast media and photojournalism.

Riwaq Al Adab Wal Kitab – Nurturing the UAE literary scene through established and upcoming authors with programmes that support publishing, creativity, and intellectual growth.

Artists’ Studio – An online resource of talks, interviews, and digital materials that provide insight and spark inspiration about careers in the creative and cultural industries.

UAE Theatre Circle – Workshops, training sessions and hands-on skill-building to support the growth of the UAE theatre scene.

Young Filmmakers’ Circle – Screenings and workshops for emerging and established filmmakers to encourage networking, enthusiasm and skills development.

ADMAF Internships and Cultural Management – Ensuring access to the creative industries for aspiring culture workers with professional development and work experience across rapidly changing fields, building networks for long-term partnerships throughout the UAE.

Nurturing People of Determination – Fostering a meaningful spirit of inclusion through capacity-building opportunities that support skills development and facilitate active participation in the arts.

Rewarding excellence


Awards – Recognising talent to secure the future of young creatives, ADMAF Awards provide financial support, acclaim, exposure and unprecedented development opportunities in all fields.

Grants and Scholarships – Financial support for Emiratis in the culture and creative industries to back mentoring, residencies, training, education and creative endeavours.

An Active Force for Social Unity and Creative Communities

Engaging people of every background and ability in shared experiences that foster cultural expression, forge unity and support the vitality of society.

Creating partnerships for social good and supporting health and wellness through the arts 


Healing Through the Arts – Incorporating the power of arts and culture into the healing process through visual art and performances in partnerships with community organisations and healthcare institutions.

Treasuring Traditions – Reviving the very best of traditional art and culture, inspiring artists and designers to celebrate and incorporate heritage into innovative art, fashion, jewellery, design and architecture.

Providing platforms for cultural expression


Festival in the Park – For the community by the community, prioritising accessibility, diversity and inclusion. A stage for artists, performers and community groups and a joyous, inclusive weekend of outdoor activities and entertainment for all.

Arts and the Environment – Raising awareness of crucial environmental issues by addressing ecological conservation and sustainability through performances, workshops, exhibitions and commissions.

three pillars, one foundation

A home for creative minds, innovation and progress. We rise by lifting others.

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