The Korea Herald


Online Korea-UAE Festival to kick off on March 31

By Song Seung-hyun

Published : March 20, 2021 - 16:00

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K-pop girl band Mamamoo, who will be performing during the online Korea-UAE Festival. (Yonhap) K-pop girl band Mamamoo, who will be performing during the online Korea-UAE Festival. (Yonhap)
South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Culture and Youth will hold the online Korea-UAE Festival from March 31 to April 2.

In November 2019, South Korea’s Culture Ministry and the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth held a special meeting during the UNESCO Forum of Ministers of Culture to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. During this meeting, the two countries’ Culture Ministries agreed to designate 2020 as South Korea and UAE’s “Year of Cultural Dialogue” and signed a memorandum of understanding to hold diverse cultural events together.

However, due to the spread of COVID-19, the majority of the events that were planned to take place last year had to be canceled, which led the two countries’ cultural ministries to agree on extending their initial plan and to hold additional events in 2021, according to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Last year, only a few events, including a performance of Korean alternative pop band ADG7, a virtual reality exhibition of Islam art titled “Al Burda Endowment” and the first forum on the two countries’ cultural content industry took place under the slogan “Converging Cultures.”

The upcoming Korea-UAE Festival will have two parts -- the K-content Festival, which aims to match buyers from the UAE with different Korean cultural content creators, and the K-pop Festival, which will feature Korean singers’ performances.

The UAE’s cultural content market is estimated at around $8.6 billion, making it the second largest among countries in the Middle East, according to the Korea Creative Content Agency. Korea’s Culture Ministry said that this is why it deems the UAE market as the center for further Hallyu expansion in the Middle East.

The K-pop performance, which will feature musicians like Mamamoo, NCT Dream, B.I.G and Aespa, will be streamed through YouTube channels SBS The K-POP and the Korean Cultural Center in the UAE, as well as Naver’s V-Music platform at midnight on April 2.

By Song Seung-hyun (