A Year of Creative Collaboration between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates

Take a moment to witness the UK/UAE 2017's highlights by watching the film above. 

Throughout 2017, the British Council collaborated with a wide range of British and Emirati partners to create a diverse programme of activities featuring events and projects in the arts, literature, education, society, sport, science and trade.

Thank you to our patrons and partners


  • HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces
  • HRH The Prince of Wales


Thank you to all our partners.

Find more information on their work

Programme aims

A unique cultural programme

The Year of Creative Collaboration aimed to increase the visibility of the UK in the UAE and vice versa in order to give greater focus, depth and contemporary relevance to the long-standing relationship between our two nations. The unique cultural programme strengthened existing relationships and brokered new ones between our people, institutions and businesses.

We explored the role culture plays in shaping the societies of tomorrow. Through an innovative programme of high quality projects, we stimulated and inspired the next generation and continue looking towards future collaboration between the UK and the UAE.

Creativity and innovation

Creativity and innovation ran through the entire programme: we explored the ways in which our respective cultural heritage and contemporary creative expression inspires innovation in all sectors and all areas of society. 

By animating public spaces with innovative work by UK-based artists and cultural organisations, we successfully engaged, delighted and inspired people from across the UAE.

Programme themes

The year-long programme had three key themes:

  1. Next Generation
  2. Community
  3. Inclusion

Find out more about UK/UAE 2017's programme themes

From January 2017 to March 2018, 50 projects, including 270 events in all 7 Emirates have taken place in the UAE as part of UK/UAE 2017. Over 7,500 people participated in talks, workshops or events; and a further estimated 230,000 attended exhibitions, performances, film screenings or festivals

Look through our Spring and Autumn brochures below to learn more about each project. 

See also