Abu Dhabi: World Music Day was marked in Abu Dhabi on Thursday with more than 80 musicians from 20 different countries including the UAE taking part in a performance.
Originally started in France in 1982, World Music Day has become a global event that is celebrated on June 21 in 120 countries and 800 cities. The event in Abu Dhabi was organised by Alliance Francaise and took place in the World Trade Centre Mall Abu Dhabi. Participants included musicians from 12- to 50-year-olds, including Emirati composer Eman Al Hashemi and the Emirati hip hop dance group Yabeelah.
“For the last five years, we have organised World Music Day in Abu Dhabi. The event has a long story that goes back to 1982. In the beginning, it was just a French festival but has now become a worldwide festival with 120 countries taking part,” said Ludovic Pouille, Ambassador of France to the UAE.
“The basic principle of World Music Day is everyone can come and take part, it is open for professionals and amateurs. Today, we have 80 musicians and artists performing in Abu Dhabi covering all kinds of music — they come from 20 different countries including the UAE, France, Brazil, Portugal, Japan and Columbia,” he added.
Pouille said that music is a universal language, making World Music Day a good opportunity for dialogue between different cultures.
“It’s a great moment for the dialogue of cultures, music, and civilisations. The year 2018 is also the year of cultural dialogue between France and the UAE, and it is also the Year of Zayed, and so we are very proud to have this event and to also have our Emirati friend Eman Al Hashemi opening the festival.
“We are very proud to also have many children in the audience from French schools and other private and public schools. There are many people from all nationalities attending, and so I think this is the best place to organise the World Music Day,” he added.
Yasser Al Marzouqi, general manager of World Trade Centre Mall Abu Dhabi, also spoke on the positive role of music bringing people together.
“The main goal of this event is to give young people the chance to express their art. We have 80 participants from so many different nationalities involved. It’s a good platform for musicians to perform in front of an audience. For up and coming musicians, it’s also a good chance for them to learn from professionals, to get tips and advice on how they can improve their craft.
“Music is an international language that links everyone and that’s why this event has always been so successful, it’s open to everyone,” he added.