The British Council is working closely with DCMS, DIT and other partners on the delivery of a culture and sports programme in the Gulf region that aims to develop mutual understanding and respect through sharing and appreciating Gulf and UK culture, history and heritage with each other, and by developing long-term arts and education relationships between institutions.

As part of the Culture and Sport Gulf-wide initiative, the British Council commissioned Eckhard Thiemann (Shubbak), and Heba ElCheikh (Mahatat for contemporary art) to scope opportunities for major public art presentations and development in the Gulf region. The consultancy was designed to identify opportunities for the development of art in the public realm in the region.

The research focused on Qatar, Saudi Arabia and UAE as these countries are planning major international events (Dubai Expo 2020, Qatar World Cup), or are creating public spaces for entertainment which will provide enhanced opportunities for Arts in the Public Realm activities in the future.