The Arts Center Announces Second Cohort for Numoo: Artist Development Initiative for UAE-Based Creatives

Since its launch a year ago, ‘Numoo’ has been helping the advancement of performing artists while developing the UAE arts ecosystem

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced the second edition of the artists development initiative, Numoo, a three-week intensive program to foster the growth of performing artists in the UAE, and contribute to the development of the nation’s arts ecosystem. 

Numoo is supported by a grant from the U.S. Mission to the UAE, and is running from June through September 2023. The program aims to nurture artists’ professional skills as well as advance the goals that were set by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth in line with the International Year of Creative Industry and the Sustainable Development.

The participating UAE-based artists come from diverse backgrounds and artistic experiences. From poets to musicians, dancers, choreographers, writers, and theater makers, this international group will be exposed to professionals in the field and will be trained in different skills to foster a comprehensive understanding of the arts field in the UAE and beyond.

The 2023 cohort of artists, all based in the UAE, are: 

  1. Salma Abdelaziz
  2. Safeya Alblooshi
  3. Noush Anand
  4. Palm B
  5. Miguel Destino
  6. Fahras
  7. Jindi
  8. Ayah Mokhalalati
  9. Lillian Castillo Muller
  10. Shereen Saif

Selected through a mix of nominations and an open call application followed by a collaborative evaluation process, the cohort will receive guidance from The Arts Center staff, invited international arts professionals, and one another. As part of the program, they will also engage with The Arts Center’s public performances and attend Off the Stage workshops and panels. Participants reflect varying degrees of professional experience, with a shared long-term interest in contributing to the UAE’s artistic scene. 

The program is tailored toward professional skills and process, rather than being product oriented. Numoo strives to have each artist grow professionally and to build a sustainable artistic community, better enabling them to bring their work to the public in the UAE and further afield.


“At The Arts Center we are committed to promoting and nurturing the local artistic and cultural scene, fostering an environment where creativity flourishes and where arts and culture can have a positive impact within our society. We believe in the immense talent of UAE-based artists, and Numoo is a platform that realizes in the best possible way our dedication towards supporting the young artists’ journeys, helping them showcase their talents and develop their professional skills to become internationally recognized forces in their respective fields."

Executive Artistic Director at The Arts Center Bill Bragin

More widely, we actively engage in international collaborations, hosting renowned exhibitions, festivals, and cultural events that attract artists and enthusiasts from around the world. Through these exchanges, we not only expose our local talents to global influences but also showcase the UAE’s rich heritage, fostering intercultural understanding and dialogue," Bragin added.

The U.S. Embassy’s Counselor for Public Affairs Robin Solomon said: “We are thrilled to sponsor the professional development of these talented individuals and contribute to the UAE’s impressive vision for its cultural and creative industry, one cohort at a time, through Numoo. The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi models the best of American cultural expertise and experience in the performing arts, and we look forward to following these artists’ growth as they make their mark in the UAE and expand cultural partnerships with the United States.”

Curriculum course elements include topics such as defining and communicating an artistic vision; project management and budgeting; rights, royalties, and intellectual property; contracts and negotiation; working with technical production, and touring.