Creative Powerhouse Semi Permanent Launches its First-Ever Middle East Festival in Abu Dhabi

Grammy and Oscar-winning Mark Ronson among the stars set to appear at biggest creativity and design festival in southern hemisphere , taking place in the heart of Abu Dhabi’s cultural hub

Abu Dhabi, UAE – September 13th, 2021: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with globally renowned creative experience company Semi Permanent, has unveiled the full line-up for a first-in-region creativity festival, which is set to host an array of global talent from the design, retail, branding, fashion and technology industries.  

Tickets are now available for Semi Permanent Middle East, which will run from 14 – 16 October 2021 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, and feature world-renowned performers including Mark Ronson, the Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter, record producer and DJ, who will perform an exclusive DJ set. The event will also house an array of inspiring, immersive and multi-sensory experiences, including the first international pop-up by famed New York restaurant and bar The Flower Shop; La Rosa SocialClub, an exhibition of works by leading contemporary, US-based artists, including Kahlil Joseph, Ryan McGinley and Johanna Jackson; and Refik Anadol, the Turkish-American new media artist, will debut a mesmeric, data-driven digital artwork in a stunning, all-encompassing LED format.

Accompanying the stellar international line-up will be many of the Middle East’s standout creative talents, including musician Dana Hourani, artist Jason Seife, Les Benjamins founder and creative director Bunyamin Aydin, and photographer Hussain AlMoosawi, adding a local flavour to the event.

“Our strategic partnership with Semi Permanent will unite a who’s who of international talent and cutting-edge powerhouses from across the world’s creative landscape, right here in Abu Dhabi,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “This exciting new addition to Abu Dhabi’s increasingly diverse events calendar underlines the emirate’s role as both an enabler and a beacon of innovation for the regional design, business and creative industries.”

Curated around the theme ‘BRIDGES’, Semi Permanent Middle East is a partnership between DCT Abu Dhabi’s dedicated retail arm, Retail Abu Dhabi, and Semi Permanent, one of the world’s leading creative experience companies. The inaugural Middle East event will place an emphasis on unexpected combinations, collaborations and conditions delivering new, game-changing work across the creative and design ecosystem. Through keynote talks, panels, workshops and experiences, the world’s brightest names in business, design, creativity and technology will showcase how to build new bridges between industry peers and a complex matrix of worldwide consumers.

“Semi Permanent’s entry into the Middle East is marked with a singularly standout line-up,” added Murray Bell, the company’s founder and executive creative director. “After a turbulent and distant 18 months, to be bringing together such a vast array of talent from the Middle East and around the world is very special and will make for an incredibly memorable experience.”

DCT Abu Dhabi’s ongoing Go Safe Certification initiative will continue to apply global safety and cleanliness standards for Semi Permanent Middle East, as well as for the emirate’s malls, hotels, attractions, restaurants, theme parks and public venues.

General admission tickets for half-day and premium passes to Semi Permanent Middle East – which runs 14 – 16 October at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi – are now on sale at

About Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT – Abu Dhabi)

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the Emirate’s position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the Emirate’s potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies, and systems to support the culture and tourism industries.

DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the Emirate’s people, heritage, and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought.

About Semi Permanent

Founded in 2002, Semi Permanent is a multi-disciplinary experience company, specialising in connecting world-class innovators with audiences and brands. We are the founders of our namesake design and creativity festivals, the largest and most respected of their kind, alongside crafting consumer experiences for the world’s best brands including Google, Apple, Lexus, Mastercard and more. Our work spans creative strategy, curation, art direction, physical and digital production, content, and omni-channel experience design, leveraging nearly 20 years of Semi Permanent events to deliver experiences for consumers seeking meaningful interactions with their favourite brands.

About Retail Abu Dhabi

Retail Abu Dhabi (RAD) is an industry platform which engages with 20+ malls and 3,500+ retail outlets across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, promoting the sector by creating strategic campaigns featuring promotional offers, shopping campaigns, brand experiences and events. As part of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi’s commitment to providing unparalleled retail offerings and experiences to the Emirate’s residents and visitors, Retail Abu Dhabi executes initiatives and experiential events throughout the year, further reinforcing the capital’s position as an exceptional international retail and tourist destination.  

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