Tropfest Arabia is a festival dedicated to short films, mostly from the Arab world. The festival’s formula is derived from the original Tropfest festival in Australia. 2011 was the first year that Tropfest Arabia was held. Admission is free and it is held on the Corniche, so the event is highly accessible to a wide audience. The first edition in 2011 attracted an audience of reportedly 12,000 people. So in several ways Tropfest Arabia follows in the footsteps of the highly successful WOMAD festival that used to take place on the Corniche, organized by the now mostly defunct ADACH. The films cover a wide variety of genres and topics. The fact that most come from the Middle East and North Africa adds to its success. Unlike WOMAD Abu Dhabi, the non-Arab communities are not represented in the program.
The festival is supported by the twofour54 media organization and it has its office in the twofour54 media zone complex, as Tropfest Arabia aims at setting up programs to promote the production of short films throughout the Arab world, which is in line with twofour54’s goal to make Abu Dhabi a center for this type of production.
The general director of the Tropfest festival is Australian John Polson. Specifically for Tropfest Arabia, the organization attracted the Tunisian actress Hend Sabry as co-director.