- Middle East Business News
Friday, 23 June 2017 14:26 UAE time


Art lovers flock to canvas education’s Islamic Art Seminar, sponsored by Sorouh Real Estate PJSC

Posted on
Saturday, 14 June 2008

Industry Sector
Art & Design

United Arab Emirates

Sorouh Real Estate

Press Release Content

Canvas Education welcomed the region's art collectors, students and art lovers to the first day of Introduction to Islamic Art at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi today.  The seminar, sponsored by Sorouh Real Estate PJSC and supported by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, sees world-renowned speakers discussing key topics in Islamic art.

The seminar will continue for the next two days, attracting art lovers and luminaries from around the region.  It aims to provide an introduction to Islamic art, which lies at the heart of Abu Dhabi's cultural agenda and has recently seen an increased market interest both in the region and globally.

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Canvas Magazine, Ali Khadra said:

"After receiving encouraging feedback from the Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art seminar in January, we think this is the perfect time to invest in the appreciation of the tradition and historical significance of Islamic art. With the resurgence of calligraphy and geometric art in modern works, this seminar is the perfect starting point for art collectors and enthusiasts to cultivate their passion.

"We are especially pleased with the lecturers, who are renowned experts from respected institutions, including Dr Ernst J Grube from the Islamic Art Journal, Dr Doris Behrens-Abouseif of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and Dr Venetia Porter from the British Museum, amongst other top international specialists.

"We couldn't have put together an event on this scale without the on-going and significant support from our sponsors.  It is a credit to the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and to Sorouh that they recognise the importance of these events to the cultural renaissance occurring throughout the UAE, and particularly that Islamic Art is an important part of our culture with great relevance to the nation.

Masood Al Awar, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Sorouh Real Estate PJSC, said:

"Events such as Introduction to Islamic Art are an essential part of Abu Dhabi's fast-growing cultural calendar.  This seminar shows the Emirate's ability to attract high quality, world-class speakers, and also demonstrates how important Islamic Art is to the nation's heritage and identity.

"Sorouh is excited to support this event as part of our corporate social responsibility campaign, alongside the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.  We are engaged in building developments in line with Abu Dhabi's 2030 plan, and by supporting events such as this we have an opportunity to play our part in the Emirate's cultural and social development as well.

Topics under discussion include Islamic archaeology in the Gulf, the art of the Kiswa, the tradition of ceramics and metalwork, illustrated literature from the region, the aesthetics and moral traditions of calligraphy and the trends and history of Islamic collecting.

Introduction to Islamic Art is broken down into three distinct days of unique lectures.

Day 1 - Introduction to Islamic Art: Arab Civilisations

World-renowned experts from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) and the Université de Paris will lay the foundations for understating the meaning of Islamic art, reveal the zenith of art and architecture from the Umayyad and Abbasid periods and explain the foundations of Islamic archaeology in the Gulf.

Day 2 - The Reach of Islam: Arts and Crafts

Lecturers from the Nasser D Khalili Collection, Sotheby's and the Islamic Art Journal will offer insight into the art of the Kiswa, the cloth covering of the Ka'bah, the tradition of ceramics and metalwork, illustrated literature from the region and the trends and history of Islamic collecting.

Day 3 - Calligraphy: From Traditional to Modern

Authorities from the region as well as international institutions such as the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, take on the historical value and resurgence of calligraphy. Highlights include the aesthetics and moral traditions behind the practice, its role in amulets and protection and a workshop demonstrating the basic rules, tools and materials.

Notes and contacts

Sorouh Real Estate PJSC

Abu Dhabi-based Sorouh Real Estate PJSC is one of the UAE's leading real estate companies, with projects worth more than AED 45 billion under development.

Set up in June 2005 with a capital of AED 2.5 billion, we are now one of the largest real estate developers on the Abu Dhabi Securities Market.  In March 2008, we had a market capitalization of around AED 20.7 billion and approximately 40,000 shareholders.

The company has more than 200 employees, working in master-planning and master-development and other related fields, and is working on some of the most important developments in Abu Dhabi.

The company will be responsible for developing the master-plan for Lulu Island, the 5.9 square kilometre area of land which will become the city's landmark development.   The master-plan for Lulu Island, which was exhibited publicly for the first time at Cityscape Abu Dhabi 2008, includes residential, resort and retail areas, as well as canals, marinas and a public beach.

We are bringing together the world's leading architects, designers and developers to create truly outstanding master-planned communities, and our projects include: 

SHAMS Abu Dhabi, o ur flagship project, is the AED 25 billion landmark development on Al Reem Island.  Home to 45,000 residents, SHAMS Abu Dhabi will be a completely new self-sustaining city based around canals and parks, which integrates world-class master planning practices and extends the lush green of Abu Dhabi's landscape.

The Gate District is a cluster of eight towers at the entrance to SHAMS Abu Dhabi, offering architecturally-renowned designs for residential, office and retail space in an AED 11 billion development.

The Gate District includes the 74-storey Sky Tower, which will be a pinnacle of luxury for its residential and commercial occupants, and the 65-storey Sun Tower, which will be home to elegant residential spaces with captivating views of the Gulf and the Abu Dhabi skyline.

Alghadeer is a major new development located in Saih As Sidairah, between Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  Expected to be home to more than 18,000 people, the three million square metre site is a complete community offering easy access to the UAE's commercial centres, airports and ports.

Saraya is a waterfront development along Abu Dhabi's Corniche, consisting of 28 residential and commercial towers as well as a hospital. Spread over a vast waterside site covering 136,000 square meters, the Saraya development will enhance the visual appeal of the Corniche and impressive perception of the city.

Our other major projects include Golf Gardens, a development of 391 luxurious villas and townhouses adjacent to the Abu Dhabi Golf Club.

Our recent partnerships with world-class organizations include the signing of an agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Rubicon, Inc. (Rubicon) to explore the development of entertainment opportunities within Sorouh's real estate portfolio.

We currently hold awards for "Best New Business" (Middle East Business Achievements Awards 2007), the "Cityscape Abu Dhabi Best Commercial Project 2007" for the Gate District and the "CNBC Arabian Property Award for Best Development 2007" for Central Park at SHAMS Abu Dhabi.  In 2008, we were named the "Best Customer Service Company - Real Estate category" by the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute.

About Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH)

The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is the institution in charge of looking after, conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi. ADACH's strategy identified the main critical issues affecting the sustainability and development of Abu Dhabi's culture and heritage and emphasized vital goals across several disciplines such as education, media, the promotion of literature and the arts, the encouragement of artistic creativity, safeguarding cultural assets, the development of museums, the promotion of archaeological research, the planning of historic urban quarters, the management of cultural landscapes, the conservation and promotion of the intangible heritage, and the development of cultural tourism.

About Canvas Education

Canvas Education is a new department at Mixed Media Publishing. Canvas Education's objectives are to build a platform of informed collectors in the Middle East, promote appreciation of art, influence key players within the regional art market and enhance the level of art and culture.

Canvas Education is a regional initiative that organises short-term seminars for art lovers on various art subjects in the Middle East and around the world. The aim is also to raise awareness on Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art in the world.

Canvas Education has previously organised the following seminars in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait City: Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern Art, Smart Collecting and Understanding Jewellery & Watches (Dubai and Abu Dhabi only) along with Picasso's Century in Abu Dhabi. For more information, please visit

Contact Details

Luke Alexander

Four Communications - Dubai

971 55 9853382



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