The Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, the ADMAF, organizes the annual Abu Dhabi Festival, programming prestigious music and dance performances, but also organizing events that involve local communities, including the youth. Moreover, visual arts are part of the program too, through artists that are invited by the festival. In 2011, the Algerian visual artist Rachid Koraïchi was artist in residence of the festival. In 2012, the Iraqi artist Hassan Massoudy was the festival’s artist in residence. Until now, the visual artists have always been Arabic, and furthering Arab culture is indeed one of the aims of the festival. In a similar way, the in 2011 the festival had brought Zaha Hadid’s transportable acoustic Pavilion hall to Abu Dhabi as a venue for some of the festival’s performances. In October 2012, the ADMAF announced a program in which it aligned with visual artist Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude, and New York University Abu Dhabi, the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award for nurturing UAE talent, with Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan as patron.
The founder and the de facto general director of the festival is Mrs Hoda Al Kanoo. Strategic advisor and de facto executive manager of the festival is Mrs Lisa Ball-Lechgar.
Most of the Abu Dhabi Festival performances take place at the Emirates Palace. Throughout the year, events can take place at university facilities as well.