The UAE announces a long-term hospitality agreement reached with la Biennale di Venezia for a “Permanent Pavilion” in the Arsenale – Sale d’Armi.

The exhibition is being held from
1 June – 24 November, 2013.


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About Venice Internship

The Venice Internship program is a unique opportunity for an elite group of developing arts practitioners to participate in the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, 2013. After engaging in a rigorous screening process, successful applicants will receive comprehensive training before being deployed to manage the national exhibition in Venice. Full access to the Biennale, museum tours and admission to some of the world’s finest artistic institutions are just some of the things that await UAE Pavilion interns in Venice.

The National Pavilion of the UAE runs this specialized opportunity to train UAE nationals to take part in the Venice Biennale with the aim of the program being to create a legacy of highly skilled art practitioners in the UAE equipped to take the national contemporary art and cultural scene boldly into the future.

As projects such as the mega museums of Saadiyat Island—with the Louvre and the Guggenheim—coupled with a thriving art gallery and commercial scene in Dubai and the serious academic and institutionalized Sharjah Art Foundation, the UAE needs opportunities for its citizens to gain practical arts management experience. Learning through experience and exposure to top international artists and curators coupled with a highly developed educational program form the basic building blocks used to achieve this goal.



In 2009 the Inaugural National Pavilion for the UAE initiated a specialized Volunteer Program in partnership with Takatof. The National exhibition was managed by young Emirati’s from a broad spectrum of backgrounds who were given the opportunity to live and work in Venice for 3 weeks, acting as Cultural Ambassadors for the UAE. These young Emirati professionals were exposed to international leaders in the cultural sector as well as the inner-workings of the National Pavilion organization.

By December 2010 the National Pavilion had engaged with over 50 interns in varying capacities both on-site in Venice and in the UAE-based offices. These interns were involved not only in management and public relations but also in conducting extensive research necessary for the effective communication of the UAE’s vision for a bright cultural future originating in the foundations set by established artists such as those represented by the National Pavilion.

In 2011, the Venice Internship upgraded its expectation of fellows with a more rigorous and longer program initiated.  Candidates this time around were required to have BA degree and work experience in the cultural sector as well as being bilingual in Arabic and English. After careful review of their CV’s and portfolios a shortlist was made and an Essay of Motivation demonstrating how these individuals would utilize this experience to enhance their career paths back in the UAE, was written by each candidate. Finally a round of interviews was held to determine the final selection. This rigorous process resulted in the selection of 24 outstanding interns who spent 7 months producing written work based on contemporary cultural topics in both local and international news as well as a month in Venice working alongside prestigious organizations such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection while managing the UAE’s national exhibition.

The National Pavilion of the UAE and its supporters aim to nurture contemporary culture in the UAE by providing interns with an opportunity to establish both local and international networks which lead to further studies, gainful employment and exhibitions with prestigious artistic and cultural institutions. A number of our interns have held exhibitions of their artwork in Europe as a result of connections made in Venice while several others have chosen to study postgraduate degrees in Museum Studies and Fine Arts due to their renewed interest in a career in cultural entrepreneurship.


On-Site: Scope of Work in Venice

Once in Venice interns will be tasked with the following:

Exhibition Management

— Maintaining in the integrity of the art works and display

  • Ensure that pavilion artwork is kept in pristine exhibition condition, report any faults to UAE Pavilion office and supervise any cleaning/repairs done by UAE Pavilion-designated fine-art specialists

— Monitoring, reporting and facilitating the repair of any technical faults

  • Ensure that pavilion equipment is turned on and off each day, that equipment is kept in good working condition, report any faults to technical company and ensure that equipment is duly and quickly repaired/replaced

— Maintaining the integrity of the exhibition

  • Ensure that the pavilion is always neat and tidy. Tidy furniture and ensure dust is kept off artwork, equipment and furniture, supervise cleaning (by Biennale-appointed cleaners).

— Opening and closing the exhibition everyday

Visitors Services

— Running guided tours of the works when requested to

  • Greeting visitors and providing basic to comprehensive information about the UAE Pavilion – its inception, concept, collaborators, sponsors, etc. These tours will follow a fixed format devised by the curator and exhibition director.

— Presenting themselves as friendly and willing to assist guests at all times

— Logging of specific enquiries and ensuring feedback to the UAE Pavilion Office (UAE)

Marketing and PR

— Vernissage Week

  • Event management support – running errands, packing and giving out press kits/information packs/VIP gifts, making sure catering and décor are OK, identifying/registering/greeting/guiding guests to waiting area, entertaining VIPs, etc.

— PR for UAE Pavilion Press Office and social networking.

  • Document/Photograph/Video the Pavilion events and record audience feedback on the pavilion
  • Updates for the UAE Pavilion website
  • Coordinate with pavilion collaborators on the interactive components and manage content contribution from the public – report if anything damaging is posted to social networking sites.
  • Maintain filing system to document all PR materials as they are released in the UAE

— Market research coordination

  • Keep count of how many visitors we get a day, enquiries pertaining to particular artwork/artists/components/catalogues, etc


— Reporting to the office of the UAE pavilion on any significant matters of the pavilion or the Venice Biennale organization at large

— Assist and lead in handover of duties to peers (next group of interns)

Educational Assignments

— Interns will submit a weekly assignment whilst in Venice based on written critiques of the Biennale, museums and other aspects of their experience.

Generously supported by: