Wednesday 24 May 2017

- Organised in collaboration with the British Council and led by Marcus Dickey Horley – Curator of Public Programmes at Tate
- The talk took place at the Etihad Museum and highlighted the importance of disability access in the museum environment
- Part of  UK/UAE 2017 a Year of Creative Collaboration to promote exchange of expertise between the UK and UAE

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 08 April, 2017: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, recently hosted a specialised talk in collaboration with the British Council at the Etihad Museum as part of its support for UK/UAE 2017 a Year of Creative Collaboration. The talk – ‘Disability Access in the Museum Environment’ – was open to the public for free and presented by Marcus Dickey Horley, Curator of Public Programmes at Tate.

Dubai Culture is a strategic partner of the Year of Creative Collaboration, which is led by the British Council and held under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. With a rich programme spanning the arts, literature, education, society, sport, science and trade, UK/UAE 2017 explores the themes of community, inclusion and the next generation, in line with the UAE Vision 2021. Throughout the year, the British Council will work with a wide range of British and Emirati partners, strengthening existing relationships and creating new collaborations. Top UK institutions and creative practitioners will partner with their UAE counterparts, showcasing British and Emirati talent to engage and inspire audiences across the UAE.  

The talk focused on the value of embedding a commitment to disability access in museum culture, and saw Marcus Dickey Horley sharing examples of leading events that he has created for a wide range of disabled visitors with sensory, mobility and learning disabilities. 

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, commented: “Etihad Museum is fully accessible for people with disabilities and we are continuing our work to develop our facilities to the very highest international standards. Marcus Dickey Horley’s talk was an important contribution to our comprehensive staff training programme, which aims to ensure that the museum is a truly welcoming and immersive destination for visitors from all walks of life, including those with disabilities. The talk was open to the public, including professionals from across the UAE and all Dubai Culture staff, which demonstrates our commitment to raising awareness of this important aspect of modern museum culture. It was also organised as part of the Authority’s ongoing support of the UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration, which has seen us developing and delivering a unique cultural programme which strengthens existing relationships and creates new ones between people, institutions and businesses.”

As Curator of Public Programmes at Tate – a collection of four galleries that attract over eight million visitors a year across three major cities in the UK – Marcus Dickey Horley is responsible for creating and delivering events to engage deaf, diverse and disabled people with the Tate collection displays and exhibitions. He was part of the original management team that put together the procedures for Tate Modern’s Visitor Experience team when it opened in 2000, and has since been expanding Tate’s offering for disabled visitors through collaborative research and the sharing of information with other institutions worldwide.

Saeed al Naboudah added: “Etihad Museum is a 21st century museum and national landmark that we want everybody to enjoy and appreciate, so our aim is to make it as inclusive as possible. As we realise the importance of the museum's role as an educational centre that serves the community and academic institutions, we have encouraged the highest possible level of participation from the community to address this important topic.”

Gavin Anderson, Country Director, British Council UAE added ‘We are delighted to be partnering with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Tate to support exchange of expertise and innovation within the museum environment. With inclusivity at its heart, the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration aims to make a lasting difference to all the communities it reaches. We are proud to collaborate on this initiative which will enable efforts to ensure culture is accessible and inclusive to all”.

Marcus Dickey Horley’s visit followed two design talks that took place at the Etihad Museum on 15th March as part of Dubai Culture’s UK/UAE 2017 a Year of Creative Collaboration ‘Britain Takes Shape’ initiative. The design talks encouraged dynamic exchange between the UAE and the UK – two of the world’s leading cultural lights – while also furthering Dubai’s reputation as a thriving cultural destination that attracts global talent, resources and visitors. They were highlights of the sixth edition of Design Days Dubai, which is a key event of the two-month Dubai Art Season – the annual umbrella event on the Dubai cultural and creative calendar that highlights the city's global credentials on the arts scene and brings together artists from around the world for an unmatched celebration of talent, creativity, innovation and cultural diversity.

For more information on Dubai Culture, kindly visit:



Twitter: @DubaiCulture


Instagram: @dubaiculture

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority: 

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) was launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in order to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. The Authority has grown to play a major role in the realization of the Dubai Plan 2021, to highlight Dubai as a thriving capital for creative industries and further embed the Emirate’s credentials as a city of happy, creative and empowered people.

As part of its mandate, Dubai Culture has several initiatives that are focused on strengthening both the historic and modern cultural fabric of Dubai, including Dubai Art Season - the city’s premier umbrella arts initiative which kicks off with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and encompasses Art Week including Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai, and SIKKA Art Fair, Middle East Film & Comic Con, SIKKA Art Fair - an annual event aimed at promoting Emirati and local artists in the UAE and the wider GCC region, Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre - an annual festival that fosters the art of theatre in the UAE and that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016, and Dubai Next - a dynamic platform that aims to showcase the Emirate’s cultural ethos and its vibrant creative scene on the global stage.

The Authority’s other key initiatives include Creatopia ( - the nation’s first government empowered virtual community that guides and nurtures the creative culture of the nation and provides a platform of information and opportunities that lead to exposure and personal growth.

Dubai Culture also plays a leading role in support of the UAE National Strategy for Reading 2026, in particular by undertaking a major refurbishment of all Dubai Public Libraries branches to transform them into state-of-art cultural and artistic hubs. Across all of its branches, Dubai Public Library also provides children and young adults with a range of educational and entertaining activities that encourage the use of its facilities. The ‘Our Summer is Filled with Culture & Arts Programme’ is a Dubai Public Library initiative which complements the UAE National Reading Strategy, with its activities open to all age groups, and which revolve around four key themes: happiness, reading, family and the future. 

The Authority also manages more than 17 heritage sites across the Emirate, and is a key government stakeholder in the development of the Dubai Historical District. As the custodian Authority of Dubai’s museum sector, Dubai Culture will officially launch Etihad Museum and in December 2016. The museum will provide platform to encourage cultural exchange and to connect Emirati youth with their culture and history. As part of the Authority mandate to support Dubai’s vision of becoming the focal point of diverse cultural exchange (regionally & globally), the museums will play a catalyst role in preserving Emirati Heritage. 

For more information on Dubai Culture, visit

About UK/UAE 2017:

UK/UAE 2017 is a year of creative collaboration and cultural exchange between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, organised by the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for education and culture, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and HRH The Prince of Wales. The purpose of UK/UAE 2017 is to celebrate the long-standing relationship between the UK and the UAE, giving it greater focus, depth and contemporary relevance. Throughout 2017, the British Council will collaborate with a wide range of British and Emirati partners to create a diverse programme that spans the arts, literature, education, society, sport, science and trade. Through exploring the ways in which our respective cultural heritage and contemporary creative expression inspires innovation in all sectors and all areas of society, UK/UAE 2017 will strengthen cultural and economic ties between the two nations and identify major opportunities for future collaboration on both sides. 

To stay up-to-date with the latest news and programme, please visit the British Council’s UAE website or follow the social media channels on Facebook | Instagram | Twitter. 

For further information and enquiries, please contact Tuba Tortop at

About the British Council 

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.