Cultural Programmes


Manar Abu Dhabi

A Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative, transforming, the city's natural vistas with a series of mesmerising light art exhibitions

Manar Abu Dhabi is a Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative showcasing an exhibition of new commissions and site-specific light sculptures, projections, and immersive artworks by local and international artists.

A key pillar of the Public Art Abu Dhabi initiative, announced by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in early 2023, Manar (the Arabic word for “lighthouse”) will offer residents and visitors opportunities to engage with stunning artworks and experience the transformative power of light.

In its inaugural edition, Manar Abu Dhabi will be held under the theme Grounding Light, co-curated by Reem Fadda, Director of Abu Dhabi Culture Programming and Cultural Foundation, and Artistic Director of Public Art Abu Dhabi and Alia Zaal Lootah, Curator Public Art, offering an immersive, multi-sensory experience which celebrates the emirate’s natural beauty, the exhibition will invite audiences to see Abu Dhabi’s coastal areas in a new light.

The artworks will be displayed across several key locations throughout Abu Dhabi, including Lulu, Saadiyat, Jubail, Al Samaliyah and Fahid islands, and other coastal areas such as Corniche Road, and the Eastern mangroves.

Over 35 site-specific artworks by local and international artists have been commissioned for Manar Abu Dhabi, spanning a diverse array of mediums including light projections, sculptures, installations, and performances. Hailing from Argentina, Belgium, France, Japan, India, Mexico, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and USA, artists include Ahmed Al Areef Al Dhaheri, Alaa Edris, Asma Belhamar, Ayesha Hadhir, Ayman Zedani, Carsten Holler, Groupe F, Jim Denevan, Jumairy, Latifa Saeed, Rain Wu, Luciana Abait, Mohammed Kazem, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Nujoom Alghanem, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Samia Halaby, Shaikha Al ketbi, Shezad Dawood, Shilpa Gupta Rawdha Al Ketbi, and teamLab.

Manar Abu Dhabi is part of Public Art Abu Dhabi’s ongoing commitment to commissioning public art for the emirate; two other major long-term elements include the Public Art Abu Dhabi Biennial, launching in November 2024, and artist commissions. Since its launch in March 2023, Public Art Abu Dhabi has continued to bolster Abu Dhabi’s longstanding efforts in enhancing spaces of historical, aesthetic, architectural, social, scientific, and technological value, paying homage to the vibrant cultural legacy of the Capital while looking to the future.


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