Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo


Her Excellency Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo dreamed of bringing together Western and Arab cultures. As the visionary founder and artistic director of the (ADMAF) and the Abu Dhabi Festival, that’s exactly what she’s done—bringing the best of American art and music to the UAE. Her efforts culminated in 2020 with the Abu Dhabi Festival coproducing the New York Metropolitan Opera’s Flying Dutchman—the first collaboration between the Met Opera and an Arab institution. Founded in 2004, the Abu Dhabi Festival—which has welcomed world-class American artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Herbie Hancock, Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, and the American Ballet Theatre—is just one example of the hundreds of local and world-class cultural organizations based in the UAE. Poised between East and West and home to over 200 nationalities and countless faiths, the UAE has emerged as an international hub for art and culture where artists convene and creativity flourishes. Watch as HE Alkhamis-Kanoo recounts special UAE-US moments that have contributed to a thriving UAE art sector.