Thursday 18 January 2018


Grants totalling £500,000 are available for UK cultural institutions to develop exhibitions for young people in the Gulf.

The UK-Gulf Exhibition Programme – which has been granted to the British Council by the UK government – will support UK galleries and museums to partner with institutions in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The new initiative will showcase the best of UK art, culture, science and sport in at least four Gulf venues between 2018 and 2020. 

The exhibitions will offer inspiration and high quality educational opportunities for the region’s youth who make up more than half the population in the Gulf.

UK-based non-profit museums can apply for grants of up to £5,000 (deadline 11 February) for an initial scoping exercise. If successful they can then apply for a grant of up to £100,000 (deadline 21 June).

The new funding is part of a three year programme of culture and sport activities in the Gulf. The programme responds to the growing interest among younger generations in the Gulf to produce, experience and participate in cultural activities.

It will also create new opportunities for UK and Gulf institutions to foster long-term cultural and educational relationships.

Graham Sheffield, British Council Director, Arts, said: “This new funding will support museums and galleries in strengthening their international networks and developing long-lasting relationships with Gulf institutions. These collaborative exhibitions will share expertise and open up more world-leading UK collections to young people in the Middle East, offering new ideas, inspiration and deepening mutual cultural understanding.”

A full list of potential partner institutions in the Gulf and the terms for applications are available via the British Council website The deadline for initial applications is 11 February 2018.


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About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We work with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year we reached over 65 million people directly and 731 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. We make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.