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Oscar-winning British actor Jeremy Irons hosted the opening Gala of Abu Dhabi Classics Journey of Emotions Friday night at Emirates Palace

OPENING SPEECH BY H.E. ZAKI NUSSEIBEH Ladies and Gentlemen, Here is the Abu Dhabi today, with more determination and resolve, continuing to implement its strategy with confidence to confirm its position as a world leading cultural centre. During this important musical event, which runs throughout the year, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage will present the people and the residents of the UAE and thousands of guests coming from abroad, with beautiful moments of magical world music conducted by the most famous of musicians and orchestras. The project “Abu Dhabi Classics” aims to consolidate the knowledge and culture of musical, in theory and in practice, in the minds of people of various education stages and age groups. Music is “the Art of the Soul” as defined by the Greeks; it is the art of thought. It is “the sound that transcends time” as described by the musicologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez. Music has always been part of our Arab culture. Al Farabi wrote “The Great Book of Music” in the ninth century AD. When we read the book, we find how the music of East and West are fused into one tune. Our goal is to repeat this experience here in Abu Dhabi. When you come to enjoy “Abu Dhabi Classics”, you will certainly enjoy every moment with us in this city; rich in its deep-rooted heritage which has made welcoming guests a part of its identity. Ladies and Gentlemen, “Abu Dhabi Classics” is an experience that you will carry with you throughout your life. Welcome to Abu Dhabi, the capital of world culture. Thank you.

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