Inauguration of the new cultural spaces of the French Alliance Dubai by H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh and H.E. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary-General of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs
H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Minister of State, and H.E. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne, Secretary-General of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, have inaugurated the new cultural spaces of the French Alliance Dubai (Alliance Française) on Thursday 19th, April. The inauguration took place on the sidelines of the 10th session of the strategic dialogue between France and the United Arab Emirates, held on 18th April in Abu Dhabi, as well as in the context of the 35th anniversary of the French Alliance Dubai, of the French-Emirati cultural dialogue 2018 and within the Year of Zayed.
H.E. Mr. Ludovic Pouille, French Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates also attended the inauguration, along with the Board of the French Alliance Dubai, chaired by Mr. Hussain Al Jaziri.
In his speech, the Secretary-General, H.E. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne highlighted that for more than 130 years, the Alliance Française has played a major role in the promotion of Francophonie, with 834 centers in the world, in 132 countries and 550 000 students, including 3 500 at the French Alliance Dubai.
“Thanks to global networks such as the French Institute and the French Alliance, more than 125 million people are learning French today”, he added.
On the occasion of the International day of Francophonie, last March 20th, French President Emmanuel Macron launched a major plan to promote the French language including around 33 measures to learn, communicate and create in French, with the aim of making French one of the major languages in the world and an asset for globalization.
H.E. Maurice Gourdault-Montagne also highlighted the role of Francophonie in the United Arab Emirates, observer country in the International Organisation of La Francophonie : at least 30 000 pupils learn French in the private schools, Sorbonne university Abu Dhabi delivers French degrees and the country has decided to reintroduce French language classes in Emirati public schools.
For 35 years, the French Alliance Dubai has been a hub where students, teachers, trainers, and important personalities of the cultural, educational and economic field in the UAE meet, united by the will to learn, teach and practice French and to deepen their knowledge of the French and Francophone cultures. Within the French Alliance, conviviality and exchange are key words, in the educational field as well as through the numerous cultural activities that are offered each month, thanks to the new spaces inaugurated today: theatre, art gallery, library and restaurant (see below).
The seniority of this establishment, as well as the opening, in 1974, of the Alliance Française Abu Dhabi, is proof of the importance of cooperation between France and the Emirates in the cultural field, starting from the foundation of the Federation. In addition, the United Arab Emirates are a regional and global hub for cultural and tourist attractiveness, with the construction of an island of museums and the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first universal museum in the Arab world which carries values of humanism and confidence in the future, dear to the French language.
About the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue
The Year of the “Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue” celebrates the historical ties of friendship and cooperation between France and the United Arab Emirates, established upon the foundation of the Federation in 1971 and growing stronger ever since.
This long-lasting friendship and strategic partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates has been reasserted on the occasion of the inauguration of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, on November 8th , 2017, by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, the Vice-President, Prime minister, Minister of Defense of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
This “Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue” was born from the signing of a new cooperation agreement between France and the UAE on November 9, 2017, to expand the scope of exchanges and encounters. In parallel with the Year of Zayed, celebrated in 2018, the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue is an opportunity to renew a long-lasting friendship through initiatives demonstrating the boundless energy of our creative communities and their willingness to achieve innovative projects.
About the new cultural spaces of the French Alliance Dubai
- A multimedia area
The French Alliance Dubai has the only French-language media library in the city, a true resource centre regularly updated with more than 25 000 documents-books, periodicals, audio and video contents, offering the opportunity to become familiar with French and Francophone language and culture.
A comfortable space is reserved for the young audience. The media library regularly organizes educational and leisure activities, musical or theatrical discovery workshops for children, as well as several rendez-vous for the general public (cycles on the history of art, the Arab cinema, sciences & health, culture).
- The auditorium, a contemporary space
Just inaugurated after several months of work, the new auditorium with 110 seats and spaces that can accommodate people with reduced mobility has already a busy schedule. Fully equipped to welcome performances, concerts, film screenings, musical, plays… its can also host festivals and be rented for all types of events.
- La Galerie, at the heart of visual arts
« La Galerie » was created in 2017 and inaugurated by Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum. Dedicated to the visual arts, it offers the opportunity to discover exhibitions of artists of all kinds, French, Emirati or international and from different mediums (painters, photographers, visual artists…). It has already hosted many talented artists (Salma Al Marri, Claude Guénard, Patrice Palacio, Monique Leinert, Boris Wilensky, Farah Salem, Marc Petit…) and several exhibitions are already scheduled for 2018: Miora Corozel, Kathleen Caillier, Myriam Schryve, Claude Quentelo, Currents of Art…
- The restaurant
This “bistronomic” ODEON restaurant invites all Francophiles to discover the dishes prepared by Chef Thomas Duhamel (ex Zuma and Yannick Alléno)