Culture Summit Abu Dhabi (3-5 March 2024)

Two of the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi (NHMAD) team spoke at the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi, to be held from 3-5 March 2024 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Monday 4 March 2024
17:35 PM – 18:05 PM
Location: MAS Auditorium
Type: Case Study
Session: Culture and Climate Change
– Bastien Varoutsikos (Director of Strategic Development, ALIPH Foundation)
– Mark Beech (Curatorial & Scientific Lead – Natural History Museum – Abu Dhabi)
– Teresa Patricio (President, ICOMOS)


The vulnerability of culture in the face of climate change has been explored in past editions of the Abu Dhabi Culture Summit. This year, in advance of COP 28, we explore how culture is also a source of resilience and can be a driving force for climate action. In this case study, Bastien Varoutsikos, Director of Strategic Development, ALIPH Foundation is inviting us to delve into the vital connection between preserving cultural heritage to address the challenges posed by climate emergency through the first-hand experiences of global experts. The case study will explore in particular the role of museums, policymaking and the preservation of the built heritage offering a positive spin on this complex relationship between culture and climate change.

Tuesday 5 March 2024
11:50 AM – 12:40 PM
Location: MAS Theatre
Type: Panel
Session: Climate Change: The Catalyst for New Cultural Dialogues?
– Moustafa Bayoumi (Climate Change Research Fellow, Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, Abu Dhabi)
– Professor Phil Manning (Chair of Natural History, University of Manchester)
– Phloeun Prim (Executive Director, Living Arts International)
– Adriana Sandoval Trujillo (Head of Press and Culture, Embassy of Colombia to the United Kingdom)


In this engaging conversation, Moustafa Bayoumi, Research Fellow, Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy (AGDA) will explore with cultural leaders from across the globe how the global climate crisis has ignited profound discussions across diverse cultures, bridging boundaries, fostering collaboration and, sometimes, unexpected cultural dialogues. The panelists will share their insights on how climate change is not just an environmental issue but also a catalyst for cultural exchange, leading to innovative solutions and a deeper understanding of our interconnected world.

The Culture Summit Abu Dhabi is annual global forum that convenes leaders from the fields of arts, design, heritage, media, museums, public policy and technology, to identify ways in which culture can transform societies and communities worldwide.

There will be 90+ sessions and 180+ speakers from 90+ countries.

Click here for details of the programme.


In the 2024 edition, Culture Summit will explore our changing relation to time, how this change is impacting the way culture is produced, received and consumed but also the role culture – which so often holds together past, present, future – could play to help us navigate this moment of inflection in the way we relate to the notion of time, moving from a ‘mechanical time’ characteristic of our contemporary era to a ‘new cultural time’ realigned with the rhythm of human awareness and nature.

The agenda will feature keynotes, plenary sessions, panel discussions, artist talks, case study workshops, creative conversations, policy sessions, cultural performances, and a visual art exhibition.

The event’s key global partners include UNESCO, Economist Impact, Design Museum, Google, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and the Recording Academy. Additional Culture Summit Abu Dhabi partners include Anwar Gargash Diplomatic Academy, Arab World Institute, Berklee Abu Dhabi, Club de Madrid, Cultural Foundation, IFACCA, Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu DhabiNYUAD and World Cities Culture Forum, and Zayed National Museum.

For more information, visit the Culture Summit Abu Dhabi website:

Science Talk: Ancient Abu Dhabi at SeaWorld, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi (Thursday 22 February 2024)

I will be giving a talk together with Dr Thomas Steuber in the series of Science Talks being held at SeaWorld on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi on Thursday 22nd February 2024.  The Science Talks are jointly organised  in partnership with the Emirates Natural History Group, Nautica Environmental Associates, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi and the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi.

Here are details of the meeting. Members of the public are invited to attend this free event. You can register to attend the talk by clicking here


Welcome note

6:35pm – 7:00pm
Dr. Thomas Steuber

Sea-level and climate change in the Arabian Gulf during the last ice ages: A history derived from rocks, sediments, and fossils of coastal Abu Dhabi.

7:00pm – 7:25pm
Dr. Mark Beech

From Ancient Seas to when Elephants Walked in Abu Dhabi – what fossils tell us about the historic environments of the UAE.

7:25 – 7:45pm

SeaWorld filmed the Science Talk: Ancient Abu Dhabi – this featured the following:

– Welcome and Introduction by Dr Elise Marquis (SeaWorld) [0-4:10 mins]

– Dr Thomas Steuber (Khalifa University) [4:10 -29:38 mins]
Sea-level and climate change in the Arabian Gulf during the last ice ages: A history derived from rocks, sediments, and fossils of coastal Abu Dhabi.

– Dr Mark Jonathan Beech (Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi)
[29:38 – 1:05:38 mins]
From Ancient Seas to when Elephants Walked in Abu Dhabi – what fossils tell us about the historic environments of the UAE.

– Question and Answer session [1:06:10 – 1:32:08 mins]

Here are some photos taken during the event: