Funding in the Arab World

Funding in the Arab World

Key Resources

Funding guides for 13 Arab countries

On The Move Guide to mobility funding opportunities: Focus on 13 Arab countries: On the Move and the Arab Education Forum launch the online Guide to funding opportunities for the international mobility of artists and culture professionals - Focus on 13 Arab countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The funding guides are supported by the Korea Arts Management Service.

North Africa Cultural Mobility Map (NACMM)

North Africa Cultural Mobility Map: Short introduction of main and secundary funding organisations for cultural mobility in Northern Africa.

Regional funds


Mophradat is an international nonprofit contemporary arts association that creates opportunities for thinking, producing, and sharing among contemporary artists from the Arab World and their peers everywhere. The Grants for Artists support artists (individuals, collaborations, or collectives) to develop their practice. Approximately ten grants are awarded each calendar year, with an average value of $5000 US. Applications are due twice per year, on April 1 and October 1, and results are communicated within four weeks of these dates. Artists from all disciplines are welcome to apply.

Eligibility: Artists from all disciplines. The activities or projects can take place anywhere in the world, but must be by artists or arts practitioners from or living in the Arab World, and/or engaged with the Arab World.

Mawa3eed Travel Grant

Mawa3eed was launched in 2006 to help cover the travel expenses for artists and cultural directors so that they could present their works or participate in artistic and cultural activities and events throughout the Arab world.  Applications are accepted year round and are evaluated quarterly in March, June, September and December by a jury consisting of three members of the Culture Resource artistic board. Those approved are eligible for travel grants of up to $5,000.

Eligibility: Individuals from the Arab world, traveling in the Arab world.

Roberto Cimetta Fund

The Roberto Cimetta Fund, is an international non-profit making organisation created in 1999 to respond rapidly and directly to artists and cultural managers who wish to travel in order to develop contemporary artistic cooperation projects in the Euro-Mediterranean region, and in particular throughout the Arab world. Within the Mobility Programme of the Cimetta Fund, individual artists can apply for travel grants to take part in a residency (among other activities).

Eligibility: Nationality is not an eligibility criteria but the candidate must be living and working in the Euro-Mediterranean zone.

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture is a private independent Arab initiative dedicated to empowering the Arab contemporary narrative through strategic cultural philanthropy. It seeks to deliver a sustainable funding mechanism for individuals and organizations in the fields of film making, performing, visual arts, literature, research, training and capacities building, while simultaneously facilitating cultural exchanges across the Arab region.

Eligibility: open to receive project applications from all Arab individuals working in the cultural and artistic fields.

A.M. Qattan Foundation

The A.M. Qattan Foundation (AMQF) is an independent, not-for-profit developmental organisation working in the fields of culture and education in Palestine, with a particular focus on children, teachers and young artists. Its Culture and Arts Programme supports activities of Palestinian and Arab (young) artists in the fields of visual arts, performing arts, literature and audio-visual arts - including residencies.

Eligibility: Specifically for Palestinian artists, but some other Arab individuals might be eligible.

The Roberto Cimetta Fund and the Valletta 2018 Foundation

The Roberto Cimetta Fund and the Valletta 2018 Foundation are collaborating on an initiative to improve and increase mobility of artists in the Euro-Mediterranean region. This initiative will see a series of open calls for travel grants being offered from 2015 to 2018; artists and cultural operators living and working in the Euro-Arab region who wish to undertake collaborative projects satisfying the criteria listed here are invited to apply. /

Eligibility: individual artists of all nationalities but the candidate must be living and working in the Euro-Mediterranean zone. 

Make sure to check also the funding in Africa, which covers some of the Arab countries.

Bi- and Multilateral

ArteEast's Residency Programme

Founded in 2003, ArteEast is a leading New York-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to engaging a growing global audience and arts professionals with the contemporary arts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and its diaspora.

Launched in 2011, ArteEast’s Residency Initiative enables MENA artists to access prestigious international residency programs in the U.S. through partnerships that ArteEast establishes with those institutions.

Eligibility: Individual artists living in the Middle East or in the North African region

Rabbani Foundation

The travel scholarship is destined for students and/or professionals seeking professional contact and experience in the Arab World or the Netherlands in the areas of education, science and culture. The objective of the scholarship is to promote mutual understanding between the Netherlands and the Arab World.

Eligibility: Candidates who are Arab students and/or professionals should be inhabitants of a country part of the Arab League or have an Arab nationality. Candidates who are Dutch students and/or professionals should have Dutch nationality.

Per Country

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation

ADMAF supports UAE nationals – as individuals or groups – to uphold and develop local cultural expression via its Cultural Citizenship grant scheme. Note that this is not intended for international residencies, but can help UAE artists to fund a residency stay close-by.

Eligibility: UAE nationals

Sharjah Art Foundation

Sharjah Art Foundation supports the flourishing arts environment in the Gulf by nurturing artistic opportunities and actively pursuing both a regional and international programme of cultural collaboration and exchange. Sharjah Art Foundation supports artist residencies for local/regional artists and for foreign artists in the Gulf region.

Eligibility: UAE < Middle East < International artists, depending on programmes.

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