Dubai to host 2025 International Council of Museums global conference

Dubai to host 2025 International Council of Museums global conference
Director-general of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority giving a speech at ICOM 2022 in Prague.
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Updated 28 August 2022

Dubai to host 2025 International Council of Museums global conference

Dubai to host 2025 International Council of Museums global conference
  • Forum to be held under the theme “The Future of Museums in Rapidly Changing Communities”

DUBAI: The 27th International Council of Museums general conference will be held in  Dubai in 2025, the Emirates News Agency reported.

The city will be the first in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region to host the global forum.

The ICOM flag, a symbolic baton entrusted to the organizing committee of the next ICOM general conference, was formally passed on to Dubai during the 2022 edition of the forum held in Prague.

A UAE delegation led by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and member of the Dubai Council, attended the conference.

“Dubai has officially begun its journey of hosting the upcoming ICOM General Conference in 2025. It is an incredibly historic moment for Dubai, as our city has become the first city in the MENASA region to host ICOM,” Sheikha Latifa said.

“Winning the bid to host ICOM would not have been possible without the support of our wise leadership and the work by all cultural entities and our partners in Dubai and the UAE over the years to develop and enrich our cultural offerings as an emirate and as a nation.”

Sheikha Latifa said: “Dubai has made remarkable cultural achievements in a relatively short period, and we will continue to work towards positioning our city at the forefront of global cultural hubs. We look forward to hosting this impactful cultural gathering of leading international museum professionals.

“The global platform will serve as an opportunity to discuss the future of museums and explore best practices and approaches for protecting and promoting tangible and intangible cultural heritage.” 

Dubai will host the 27th edition of the conference under the theme “The Future of Museums in Rapidly Changing Communities.”

The ICOM flag was handed over to Rashad Bukhash, representing ICOM UAE, and then to Hala Badri, director-general of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority.

On receiving the flag, Badri said: “Standing here representing Dubai is a distinct honor and a privilege, and I want to thank the International Council of Museums and its members for entrusting Dubai to carry the torch of the upcoming ICOM general conference in 2025.”

“The UAE attaches great importance to museums as vital centers for knowledge exchange and cultural dialogue, and we believe culture should be accessible to everyone everywhere. Museums are important cultural networks that connect community members with their history and heritage, enabling them to understand current issues and cultural trends,” Badri added.

“In Dubai, we have invested in the cultural and museum sectors over the past few decades, leading to the formation of iconic cultural institutions, such as the Etihad Museum, a historical tribute to the union of the Emirates, the Museum of the Future, where people of all ages come to see, touch, and shape our shared future, and the Al-Shindagha Museum, Dubai’s largest heritage museum, set within the traditional urban fabric of the old city, which is rooted in Emirati culture.”

Badri said: “We are also witnessing the emergence of a new generation of cultural enthusiasts in our region, which contributes to preserving our heritage and further developing our creative economy.”

Maryam Mudhaffar Ahli, project manager in the museums department at the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, summarized Dubai’s plans to host ICOM in 2025.

“By hosting the ICOM General Conference in 2025, we will not just be creating an event that addresses issues of change, recovery, inclusivity, transparency, and sustainability for the museum sector, but we will also embody them on a broader scale,” she said.

Ahli added: “The UAE has around 55 government museums and about 115 private museums, including cultural icons, such as the Etihad Museum, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization, Qasr Al-Hosn, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the upcoming Guggenheim Museum.

“Bringing the ICOM general conference to Dubai also represents its first introduction to the MENASA region since the establishment of ICOM in 1946, presenting a unique opportunity for museum professionals and experts to finally meet in this region.”