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Wed 20 Feb 2008 05:50 PM

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Al Ain Classical Music Festival aims for world-class status

The Al Ain Classical Music Festival has been significantly expanded in its eight year with the ultimate aim of ranking among globally acclaimed events such as the Salzburg Music Festival.

The Al Ain Classical Music Festival has been significantly expanded in its eight year with the ultimate aim of ranking among globally acclaimed events such as the Salzburg Music Festival.

The festival, which is organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), has traditionally focused solely on Al Ain and was restricted to three days.

It will now run for 11 days from March 6-16 and feature a major concert engagement in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of ADTA and ADACH, said: "Al Ain, which is central to the cultural heritage of Abu Dhabi and the UAE, will remain the focus of this festival as it embarks on a new era of progression.

"The cultural heritage of Al Ain, which has been subject to a UNESCO study and for which we hope to achieve official UNESCO recognition, can be leveraged to deliver a festival of international cultural standing with significant tangible tourism benefits for the Garden City."

His Excellency Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, director general, ADACH, added: "The Al Ain Classical Music Festival has now come of age and will this year send a signal to music lovers everywhere of our intention to develop a world-class event which will eventually rank among the most acclaimed, such as the Salzburg Music Festival."

As it aims to move towards this global ranking, the festival - which is under the directorship of Massimo Nebuloni, project and tour manager of the Accademia del Teatro alla Scala - the performing arts academy of Milan -.plans to record some significant cultural firsts in the region.

These include the region's first Arabic performance of Mozart's ‘Don Giovani' opera performed by a cast of opera singers from Lebanon accompanied by 63 artists from the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra.

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