AFS2024 Speakers

Michel El Gemayel

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation / Abu Dhabi Festival

Name of the candidate: Michel El Gemayel
Job title: Executive Director
Age: 43
Gender: Male
Citizenship/origin: Lebanon
Artistic/geographical experience: Middle East

Name of the organisation / festival: Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation / Abu Dhabi Festival
Membership category: Individual festival
Country of your organisation / festival: United Arab Emirates
Festival art disciplines: Performing Arts and Visual Arts
Annual turnover: 10 million
Number of visitors per edition: 30.000

Motivation: Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to creating and nurturing vibrant cultural landscapes, communities, and festivals, primarily within the MENA region. My tenure as Executive Director at the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation has provided me with invaluable insights into the strategic management and growth of cultural institutions. In this role, I have been instrumental in implementing the Foundation's vision for high-quality growth, ensuring that it remains at the forefront of the cultural landscape in Abu Dhabi and beyond.

With over 15 years of experience in senior management positions, I have had the privilege of collaborating with a diverse array of organisations, ranging from world-renowned cultural institutions to challenger brands and festivals. My tenure at the Royal Opera House Muscat equipped me with a deep understanding of growth strategies within the cultural sphere. Furthermore, my involvement in establishing the Abu Dhabi office of global brand experience agency, VMLY&R, has honed my skills in strategic planning, partnership development, and stakeholder engagement.

Central to my professional ethos is a commitment to diversity and inclusion. I firmly believe that the richness of the cultural sector lies in its diversity of perspectives, voices, and experiences. Throughout my career, I have actively championed initiatives to promote inclusivity and representation within the arts, working to ensure that cultural spaces and events are accessible and welcoming to individuals from all backgrounds.

I believe that my multifaceted background and commitment to diversity and inclusion can bring a fresh perspective to the European Festivals Association. I am particularly excited about the opportunity to contribute to the development of innovative programming, fostering international collaboration, and advancing diversity and inclusion within the festival landscape.

As a board member, I am committed to upholding the values of excellence, creativity, and cultural exchange that are central to the European Festivals Association's mission. I am eager to leverage my skills and experience to support the organisation in achieving its strategic objectives and furthering its impact on the cultural sector.

Thank you for considering my application. I am enthusiastic about the possibility of contributing to the work of the European Festivals Association and look forward to the opportunity to discuss how I can best support your organisation's mission.