Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates—24 May 2021: In observation of the World Day for Cultural Diversity, Student Engagement Office- Student Affairs Department at Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is hosting a week-long virtual celebration to mark the diversity of its community. The virtual program seeks to introduce students and faculty to a wide range of cultures, hosting conversations about food, music, heritage and the importance of embracing diversity and inclusion.
The virtual initiative was introduced to encourage unity and highlight the cultural diversity of ADU's community, with students and faculty hailing from over 80 nationalities. ADU is encouraging its students, faculty, staff and friends to engage with the celebrations, allowing them to explore the multifaceted and enriching cultures through virtual club booths, games and activities.
With more than 30 countries represented including UAE, Korea, India, Zimbabwe, Canada, Serbia and more, participants have unleashed their creativity thus far, attending dressed in different traditional attires, performing cultural music and exhibiting cultural culinary delights. Fun games, a raffle draw, and competitions are being held such as the selection of the ‘best dressed club', ‘best cultural dish', ‘best music, best photo' and ‘best performance', with winners set to be selected through the votes of the participants.
The event welcomed guest speaker and ADU Alumni, Zahra Lari, also known as the first Emirati figure skater to represent the UAE internationally. Zahra Lari shared an inspirational speech highlighting the cultural diversity in the UAE and how it offers its community the opportunity to learn more and discover different cultures around the world.
Commenting on the event, Dr. Bianca Teats, Senior Manager of Student Engagement Office at Abu Dhabi University said, “It is such a joy to celebrate the diversity of ADU this year during Cultural Diversity Week. This year, we decided to expand our celebrations to include faculty, staff, and students so that we could share the beauty of our university being the home to over 80 nationalities with as many people as possible. We would like to thank the representatives from the Embassies of Egypt and Sudan and the Korean Cultural Centre in the UAE who joined the event”.
Dr Bianca Teats added, “ADU remains committed to promote celebration, education and values of different cultures presented on campus. As a university, we aim to offer opportunities to display the essence of their ethnicities and cultures and allow them to develop a global mindset and a better understanding of other countries in the world.”
According to the 2021 QS Arab Region University Rankings, Abu Dhabi University has been ranked first in the region for international faculty and students' diversity, improving six places in international faculty and seven places in international students since the previous cycle.