Media Centre

Press release

Donation reflects the Festival’s commitment to enable community groups across the UAE

1st Jun 2010


As part of its commitment to support civil society organizations, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) donated the proceeds it received from the ticket sales of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2010 to the Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children. ADMAF Founder, Mrs. Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo, presented the donation of AED 556,000 to Mrs. Sarah Shuhail, Executive Director of Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children, during a ceremony held today at the Armed Forces Officers Club.

The Abu Dhabi Festival proceeds are donated to a nominated charity every year in line with the spirit of “Bilad Al Khayr”, a central value of the festival that seeks to celebrate unity, respect and tolerance through a celebration of the arts across the seven Emirates.The Ewa’a Shelters was one of the four civil society organisations the Festival partnered with in 2010 as an extension of its community outreach programme. During the Abu Dhabi Festival, Ewa’a was given the opportunity to spread their message and raise awareness for their worthwhile work.

The Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children seeks to address the impact of human trafficking and uphold the worldwide principle of human dignity. It can provide temporary shelter for up to 30 women and children who are victims of human trafficking and offer them psychological, medical and legal assistance, as well as support in rehabilitation. The shelter was launched in January 2009 and plans to move into a larger facility in the coming years.

Mrs. Hoda al Khamis Kanoo comments:

“Every year we donate the proceeds from the Abu Dhabi Festival to an organisation that strives to make a difference in our community. This lies at the heart of the festival, which is a celebration of art and creativity but also a celebration of the people of the UAE, the people of “Bilad Al Khayr”. Today we reaffirm the support we offered throughout the festival to the Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children with this humble donation. The shelter’s mission is in line with ADMAF’s and the festival’s commitment to work with communities throughout the country to uphold respect, tolerance and unity. I hope our contribution will help the organization to further advance its noble cause. I am confident that as our community programme grows, we will continue our support to the Ewa’a Shelters for Women and Children and our other civil society partners.”

Praising the initiative, Mrs. Sarah Shuhail, Executive Director of the Ewa’a Shelters, expressed her gratitude to ADMAF for the donation, assuring that it will significantly contribute to their efforts to provide care for victims of human trafficking. Shuhail also stressed that such initiatives reinforce social responsibility at national institutions and provide support for the government’s efforts to fight this crime. She said:

“This donation reflects ADMAF’s deep understanding of its duties and its social responsibility towards humanitarian issues in the UAE. Providing care to victims of human trafficking is a responsibility we all share and we are keen to create strong partnerships with various authorities and institutions in the country to drum up support for this humanitarian issue. I am confident that our partnership with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation will make an important difference and a qualitative leap in strengthening these efforts.”

Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces the Abu Dhabi Festival is organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation. The Abu Dhabi festival 2010 ran from March 20 until April 7. Its programme encompassed over 90 events spanning opera, classical, jazz, Arabic and popular operatic music, the visual arts, puppetry, drama and storytelling among others. The festival attracted over 26,000 people attending events across the UAE.