Art lovers in Abu Dhabi can chase some nostalgia at a new immersive exhibition that explores life in the UAE throughout the 1990s.

Crafted by UAE artists and organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi (DCT - Abu Dhabi) at Manart Al Saadiyat, the exhibition - Zemanna - will run until June 13.

The exhibition is a critical visual exploration of the UAE in the 1990s, and features a display of commissioned artworks and installations by 10 Emirati and UAE-based artists and an array of curated public programmes.

Through their installations, the artists reflect and respond to a time of change, flux, and unprecedented growth in the UAE. The impact of technology, globalisation and migration are presented as key topics in the narrative. Ultimately, the exhibition allows for a moment of reflection on the repercussions, changes and impact the 1990s had on the social, cultural and urban fabric.

Fatima Al Yousef, acting section head at Manarat Al Saadiyat, said: “Zemanna is an exciting and unique exhibition, utilising the power of art alongside immersive and interactive experiences to reflect on and reminisce about a foundational decade. Featuring works by established UAE artists, plus an array of inventive cultural activations, this exhibition serves to both support local creatives and explore our past with pride and introspection."

Curated by Munira Al Sayegh and supported by Dirwaza Curatorial Lab, Zemanna captures aspects of life in Abu Dhabi and the UAE throughout the 1990s, a pivotal moment which heralded major changes, both locally and globally.


While arousing nostalgic memories in a journey through the UAE’s collective memory, the multi-room experience critically delves into themes and manifestations of popular culture such as music, urban architecture, cinema, cars and more. It also examines the impact these have had on society and the community 30 years later.

The exhibition features a vibrant display of multimedia artworks and interactive installations by participating artists, including Afra Al Dhaheri, Aisha Al Ahmadi, Rawdha Al Ketbi, Mays AlBaik, Alaa Edris, Sree, Ghada Al Sayegh, Maytha Al Shamsi, Jumairy and Fadel Al Mheiri.

The Zemanna exhibition is open from 10am to 8pm daily.

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