Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival
Welcome to the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF), a nonprofit community arts festival designed to showcase the work of local and emerging artists, photographers, and filmmakers and engage the community through a diverse calendar of cultural and creative programming. We established RAKFAF to bring the community together to celebrate art, create opportunities for cultural exchange, and support the creative and artistic sectors of the emirate. An initiative of the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, the Festival is an integral part of the Foundation’s mission is to contribute to the cultural development of Ras Al Khaimah.
Founded in 2013, we’ve grown from a small festival of 30 emerging Ras Al Khaimah-based artists to become the emirate’s cultural event of the year. Since 2019, the Festival has called Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village home. The historic home of the Al Zaabi tribe, the traditional pearling village now serves as a bridge between cultural heritage and contemporary art, bringing together art lovers, history enthusiasts, and the rest of the community to engage with new forms of art and learn about Ras Al Khaimah’s rich history. In recognition of Ras Al Khaimah’s connection to the desert, the mountains, and the sea, RAFKAF also hosts satellite exhibitions on the UAE’s highest peak, Jebel Jais, and luxury beach destination, Marjan Island.
As a festival deeply rooted in the community, we believe in the democratization of art. It is something that should be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of race, nationality, or income. As we continue to grow, we aim to use art as a means to expose audiences to new ideas and ways of thinking, connecting us across borders and boundaries and creating a more cohesive society.
The 2021 Festival showcased the work of 110 artists from 50 countries. Emirati, UAE-resident, and international artists contributed their work in the categories of Fine Art & Photography, Sculpture, Film, & Poetry, bringing their unique interpretation of the 2021 Festival theme, Hope, and furthering our mission to connect countries, cultures, and communities through art.
2022 Festival Theme: The Journey
Throughout life, we experience different forms of ‘The Journey.’ We commute to work and migrate to new cities, a journey through space; we grow up and learn about the world as we pass into adulthood, a journey through time; and we experience personal growth and development, a journey of the self.
In 2022, the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival celebrates a convening of journeys: Our 10th anniversary and the UAE’s 50th anniversary. In our annual celebration of contemporary art, we reflect on the journey of the Festival, Ras Al Khaimah, and the United Arab Emirates, and encourage our community to consider their relationship with space, time, and the self.
We are inviting artists to consider the notion of the journey through the lens of ancestry, migration, national identity, and personal growth. Where has our journey taken us? What has our journey taught us about our present? And how will our journey inform our future?