Arab World?

The definition of Arab World is not unique, and it is good to always double check which countries are eligible. The Arab countries cover usually a minimum of 13 countries: Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

To this list can be added the countries which form part of the Arab League: Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia.

Additionally, if one considers the MENA region (Middle East North Africa), the following countries are commonly included: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Specific initiatives

Mobility Fund by Prince Claus Fund 

The Prince Claus Fund's Mobility Fund supports the cross-cultural exchange of artists and cultural practitioners by covering travel costs. Individuals living in and traveling from countries listed in the DAC list are considered eligible.


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 secondary funding organisations for cultural mobility in Northern Africa.

Regional funds

Fanak General Fund for Artistic and Cultural Mobility

Fanak Fund was launched as an in­de­pen­dent civ­il so­ci­ety ini­tia­tive in order to pro­mote art and cul­ture in Eu­rope, the Arab-speak­ing world, and the wider Mid­dle East. The Fund fa­cil­i­tates the mo­bil­i­ty and cre­ativ­i­ty of artists and cul­tur­al op­er­a­tors liv­ing and work­ing in these ge­o­graph­i­cal zones, trav­el­ing ei­ther with­in these zones or out­ward to­wards the rest of the world. The fund is open to artists from the indicated regions who wish to travel from one of them to one of the other two.

Eligibility: Na­tion­al­i­ty is not an el­i­gi­bil­i­ty cri­te­ri­on but the can­di­date must be liv­ing and work­ing in the Euro-Arab-Mid­dle East ge­o­graph­i­cal zone.


Mophradat is an international non-profit 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.

Wijhat International Mobility Fund

Wijhat (Destinations) is a program developed by Culture Resource by merging former Mawa3eed and Tajwaal programs. It is designed to serve artists and cultural actors in the Arab region by offering grants of up to 8,000 US Dollars to support travel both within and outside the Arab region, thereby enabling the grantees to present their works to new audiences and to engage in new and diverse inter- and intra-Arab cultural exchange experiences. The program offers 25 to 30 grants per year in three rounds. The support covers ticket and visa costs, accommodation and partial support for living expenses, a recommendation letter from Culture Resource to the relevant embassy in order to support the visa application, if necessary.

Eligibility: Applicants must be from an Arab country, regardless of racial or ethnic affiliation or citizenship status.

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture

The Arab Fund for Arts & Culture (AFAC) 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.

Zodeh Consolidation Grants

Zodeh is a programme dedicated to the resilience of small, independent artistic and cultural initiatives / organisations, whose annual budget does not exceed €20.000, operating from the Arab speaking countries and the Middle-East (including Turkey and Persian speaking countries) for a minimum of two years. The programme provides small grants for equipment, renovation, expertise, training, etc. in order to help them to stay sustainable. Application for 2020 is open between 1 May - 31 August.

Eligibility: Age and na­tion­al­i­ty are not el­i­gi­bil­i­ty cri­te­ria of this Fund. The ap­pli­cant (or­gan­i­sa­tion, col­lec­tive, man­ag­er) must be based in the Arab Mid­dle East ge­o­graph­i­cal re­gion, in­clud­ing Turkey, Per­sian speak­ing coun­tries.

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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