Semi Permanent Middle East will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat from October 14-16, The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi initiative to feature a host of international talent.

Abu Dhabi, UAE – June 15, 2021: The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), in collaboration with globally renowned creative experience company Semi Permanent, is set to launch a first-in-the-region creativity festival which will bring with it an array of global talent from the design, retail, branding, fashion, and technology industries.

Semi Permanent Middle East 2021 will take place at the emirate’s cultural hub Manarat Al Saadiyat, with the venue given an innovative design makeover by leading LA-based design studio Perron—Roettinger. The festival will then feature an immersive, multi-sensory schedule of inspiring performances, talks and experiences across three days in October 2021.

Curated around the theme ‘Bridges’, which aims to inspire unique solutions for some of the world’s most pressing challenges, the exciting partnership between Retail Abu Dhabi, the retail platform of the DCT Abu Dhabi, and Semi Permanent will cement the emirate’s role in enabling industry growth in the region.

“Partnering with Semi Permanent is a strategic move to further establish and elevate Abu Dhabi’s presence as a hub of retail design, business and creativity, continuously creating opportunities for the industry,” said HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at DCT Abu Dhabi. “As a headline event, we are tapping into an internationally recognised brand partner in Semi-Permanent and signalling our intention to host a gathering of creative forces from every corner of the world.”

Leading the way of confirmed guests will be Mark Ronson, the British-born Oscar- and Grammy-winning songwriter, record producer and DJ, who will appear ‘in conversation’ and perform an exclusive DJ set. Also on the bill will be the official release of an exclusive-to-Abu Dhabi bespoke collection from Rotterdam-based objects designer Sabine Marcelis, whose collaborations include Celine and Burberry.

Turkish-born, Los Angeles-based new media artist Refik Anadol will also stage an exclusive large format installation in the emirate; The Flower Shop NYC will host a dining pop-up; and Aaron Rose of La Rosa Social Club will debut in the Middle East alongside a host of world-renowned contemporary art-makers, including Tom Sachs, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Barry McGee.

“Abu Dhabi’s rapid cultural growth into an international epicentre of art, design and technology, and its gateway-positioning for the wider Arab world, Africa and Asia make it the perfect host,” said Semi Permanent Founder and Creative Director, Murray Bell. “Through a series of internationally renowned art exhibitions, hotel openings, and collaborations with some of the world’s most respected architects – including Jean Nouvel and Bjarke Ingels – it is clear this is a community with limitless imagination.

“The challenges of 2020 have meant there has never been a better time to design a future we can be proud of, together. We’re excited to bring some of the world’s most inspiring people to this infinite place, and for them to explore new ideas and possibilities with you at Semi Permanent Middle East.”

The ongoing Go Safe Certification initiative will continue to apply global safety and cleanliness standards for the event, as well as across malls, hotels, attractions, restaurants, theme parks and public venues in Abu Dhabi.

Semi Permanent Middle East 2021 will be held at Manarat Al Saadiyat from October 14-16, 2021. Further announcements featuring international and local talents, as well as regional collaborations, will be made soon.

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 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 Retail Abu Dhabi

Retail Abu Dhabi (RAD) is an industry platform which engages with 20+ malls and 3,500+ retailer outlets across the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in order to promote the sector by creating strategic campaigns featuring promotional offers, raffles, 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 creates retail initiatives and experiential events throughout the year offering visitors and residents alike amazing experiences beyond shopping, further reinforcing the capital’s position as an exceptional international retail and tourist destination. For more information about Retail Abu Dhabi (RAD), please visit the website  

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