Gulf region’s first Korean Cultural Centre opens in Abu Dhabi

10 Mar 2016

The Korea Creative Contents Agency and MZA sign MoU for cooperation on content creation and business development.

His Highness Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister for Culture and Knowledge Development, launched the first Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) in the Gulf region in a ceremony held at the Centre’s headquarters in twofour54 Abu Dhabi. HE Noura Al Kaabi, Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority and twofour54, Minister of State for the Federal National Council Affairs; Maryam Al Mheiri, Acting CEO of twofour54; HE Kwon Haeryong, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the UAE; and H.E. Park Younggoog, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea were among the ceremony’s attendees on Thursday.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea opened the KCC as part of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the UAE and South Korea in March 2015 which considers Abu Dhabi a key cultural hub in the MENA region that is home to leading cultural projects and companies from around the globe.

Commenting at the opening of the first Korean Cultural Centre in the Gulf region, HE Noura Al Kaabi said: “I would like to congratulate The Republic of Korea on the establishment of the KCC here in our Capital, a step that further strengthens strategic ties between our two countries. The launch of this centre illustrates the common goals of our nations to grow tolerance, cultural acceptance and openness, as an avenue to further unlock doors of learning, knowledge exchange, and business interaction.”

“The centre will help to build awareness and understanding of Korean practises and history and will serve as a stimulating learning resource for kids and adults alike to engage in Korean culture. We are delighted to welcome the KCC to twofour54. This certainly adds to the vibrancy of our growing campus and offers a new cultural stimulation to inspire the local community and we look forward to continued collaboration with the Republic of Korea to further develop cultural and business opportunities,” she added.

As part of the opening ceremony, The Korea Creative Contents Agency (KOCCA) and the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi signed a memorandum of understanding to formalize the organisations’ shared commitment to building a solid bilateral relationship that will support the continued development of Abu Dhabi’s media industry and the strategic entry of KOCCA into the Middle East.

Demonstrating Korea’s cutting edge technology at the new cultural centre, the agreement was signed on-screen by HE Noura Al Kaabi, Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi and President of KOCCA, Song Sung-gak, through a virtually televised meeting. Under the agreement, KOCCA will implement vocational training programs participated by Korean pundits, business matching programs for start-ups, and encourage Korean companies to enter into the UAE.

Ambassador Kwon Haeryong said: “Being the cultural hub of the Middle East where many architectural mega-projects are being built, including the Louvre and the Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi was the right place for us to set up the KCC. The Centre will play a vital role in bridging the cultural gap between the UAE and the Republic of Korea in order to foster stronger ties in culture and art. It will also serve as a platform for both countries to communicate and develop cultural understanding between one another.”

The KCC is located on the first and second floors of Building no. 5 in the twofour54 campus near Khalifa Park. It is the first KCC that adopts the ‘K-culture experience centre’ model* as a permanent exhibition, which was first introduced in the exhibition “Refashioning Korean Culture” at KCC in New York where President Park Geun-hye attended last year.

The KCC in Abu Dhabi presents a variety of Korean cultural contents to the audience with interactive elements, including cultural treasures hologram displays, Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) virtual fitting, a virtual centre screening of media, art and video communication, a media library, virtual reality experiences, an exhibition of multiple convergence contents, and media art projecting Korean cuisine in the Korean halal food zone.

The Centre features a number of zones including the Traditional Zone, the Cultural Industries Zone, the Korean Crafts Displays Zone, and the Korean Halal Food Zone; all of which are located on the first floor of the centre.

The KCC is open for public from Sunday to Thursday from 9am to 6pm.

*An exhibition of items that represent Korea, such as Hangul (Korean alphabets), Hanbok (Korean clothing), Hanok (Korean house), Korean food, etc.

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