The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF) will celebrate its 10th edition this year, under the theme ‘The Journey,’ a celebration of the annual event’s first decade and the first 50 years of the United Arab Emirates.
The annual arts festival – established under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah – will open to the public on Friday 4 February and run until Thursday, 31 March 2022.
Artists will share their interpretations of what this theme means to them through the lens of ancestry, migration, national identity, and personal growth.
The historic Ras Al Khaimah pearling village of Al Jazirah Al Hamra will once again provide the central backdrop for the Festival, having been its home for the past three years and standing as a critical bridge between Ras Al Khaimah’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene.
Satellite exhibition sites will also offer unique settings for different events including the public viewing deck of the UAE’s highest peak Jebel Jais and the Open Park on Al Marjan Island.
The free-to-attend outdoor art, photography, and sculpture exhibition will present a diverse collection of artworks from over 150 artists hailing from more than 45 countries. There will also be a vibrant program of film screenings, workshops, guided tours, and other events held across the Festival’s various locations.
Located at the historic Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village in Ras Al Khaimah, the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF) will welcome 150+ artists from 45+ countries and feature free public events, tours, workshops, entertainment, and activations taking place every weekend throughout February.
With the historic Ras Al Khaimah pearling village of Al Jazirah Al Hamra once again providing the central backdrop for the Festival, 2022 will see an exciting line-up of events throughout February.
Friday, February 4
The grand opening on February 4 will begin the Festival which sees new partnerships with Cinema Akil, the NYUAD Art Gallery, and Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, reaffirming the Festival!s commitment to connecting and developing the UAE!s wider cultural community. The Festival will be open to the public from 8.30pm.
Saturday, February 5
The first full day of the Festival will see two key workshops at Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village; both – Blind Painting and Arts on Bags – will take place simultaneously between 4pm and 6pm. Meanwhile the Festival will also kickstart its Speaker Series, with two artists to deliver immersive lectures to audiences.
Sunday, February 6
A first in a series of historical tours of Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village, led by the Department of Antiquities and Museums, will be held. Built around the 14th century, the town is renowned for its stunning architecture with buildings made using materials traditional to the UAE’s culture, such as coral, mud and date palms, with its inhabitants at the time subsisting on maritime and pearl trading before they abandoned their homes in the middle of the 20h century.
Friday, February 11 – Sunday, February 13 (Collaboration Weekend)
Outdoor screenings will be hosted by Cinema Akil at Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village between 11-13 February.
Start the weekend and explore culture and heritae with the Old RAK Food #Heritage Tour from 5pm. For decades, the emirate’s Old Market has been a buzzing hub of activity. Wander the historic streets and sample the various flavors of eateries that have been in operation for over 30 years. The Old Town has experienced a revitalisation in recent years. Its genuineness, slower pace of life, and ease of access have resulted in the formation of various small companies. Experience the urban fabric of Ras Al Khaimah Old Town and discover new flavours.
On Saturday, the Workshop series will return to Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village; both – 2D Paper Cut and Tracing Vermicular Textures led by the US Mission to the UAE Grant – will take place simultaneously between 4pm and 6pm. Meanwhile the Festival will also continue its Speaker Series, with the third artist in the series to deliver a rousing lecture to audiences, followed by an hour-long Burn Unit performance, in collaboration with the US Embassy.
On Sunday, The Workshop series will continue with its next two installments: ‘iPhone Photography’ and Ebru Art’.
Saturday, February 19, Sunday February 20 (Pet Friendly Weekend)
Saturday will mark the start of a Festival highlight – the Pet Friendly Weekend. Businesses and organizations from across the UAE will travel to Al Jazirah Al Hamra to provide workshops for pet lovers, pet centred events, and stalls including pet yoga, paw print moulding, portraiture drawing, a special Obstacle Activity for dogs and pet adoption from Ras Al Khaimah Animal Welfare Center (RAKAWC). The Workshop series will continue with its next installments, ‘Communication through Ink and Charcoal’, ‘Ceramic Painting, ‘Introduction to Architectural Photography’ and ‘Building a Narrative Self-Portrait using Multi-Media’ followed by the next line-up in the Speaker series.
Friday, February 25 – Sunday February 27 (Cultural Weekend)
The Cultural Weekend will begin with feature indoor screening at VOX Cinemas, Ghawa (Arabic Coffee) making, traditional storytelling, camel rides, among much more.
It will include more Workshop; ‘Emirati Embroidery’, ‘The Art of Making Ghawa’, Leaf Stamping’, and ‘The Beauty of Watercolour Art’
Concluding the Cultural Weekend will be an immersive local theatre performance from the talented members of the National Theatre of Ras Al Khaimah between 6pm and 7pm.
Multiple dates throughout February – A historical tour of Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village
A historical tour of Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village, led by the Department of Antiquities and Museums, will be held on 6, 13, 19 and 27 February. A walking tour of Old Ras Al Khaimah !s food and heritage sites with Festival guides will also take place on 11, 18 and 26 February, starting at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Salim Al Qasimi Mosque.
To attend any of the workshops, activities, tours, or film screenings, reservations should be made directly by visiting rakfinearts.ae. The Festival is open during the day Tuesday to Thursday 8am – 6pm and until 10pm Friday to Sunday, with extensive social distancing in place. Please note that workshops, tours, and screenings will have limited capacity, adhering to all safety guidelines.
Contact and Location
For more information on the Festival, please visit www.rakfinearts.ae or follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. RAKFAF is free to the public.