Over the past 50 years, Germany and the UAE have developed a solid partnership based on shared values and similar interests.

The UAE and Germany – a relationship between two countries that at first sight seemingly  could not be more different. Starting with the climate, the size of the country, the culture, the religion, the different forms of government. Moreover, the common history of the two countries is also still very young. We are not talking about several hundred years, but exactly 50 years. Diplomatic relations began on 17 May 1972 – half a year after the founding of the UAE. In 2004, the UAE and Germany signed a strategic partnership, which was updated and upgraded during H.E. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to Berlin in 2019 and further enhanced by Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz‘ recent visit to Abu Dhabi in September 2022. 

HECG Sybille Paff and Petra Kaltenbach in front of the artwork THE UNITY OF US

Over the past 50 years, Germany and the UAE have developed a solid partnership based on shared values and similar interests. 

Both countries can work together for peace, stability and peaceful conflict resolution in both regions and in other parts of the world. In the economic field, the two countries share a strong commitment towards technology and innovation as well as ambitious goals to make the green transition happen by boosting energy efficiency and renewable energies – for the benefit of society as a whole.

In the area of culture, too, both countries have much in common. The UAE follows a policy of tolerance and openness. The UAE is a multicultural, inclusive state, just as Germany is today. 

These complementary experiences, bringing people together and carrying out joint projects on how to live together in a multicultural, inclusive, peaceful and prosperous society, have led to the development of a WE (and a WE-feeling), a sense of togetherness in bilateral relations.

WE – it is under this heading that the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dubai announced the launch of a new cultural project this year, which aims to further intensify relations between the UAE and Germany, with the help of German artist Petra Kaltenbach, who is living in Dubai.

The aim of this art project is to reach out to people in all seven emirates of the UAE, to further build bridges between the two countries by creating a continuous network of relations

Says Sybille Pfaff, German Consul General in Dubai

The German-Emirati diplomatic relations, which create a harmonious atmosphere of friendship and cooperation through intensive intercultural, political and economic relations, have now existed for 50 years. In this spirit, we encourage you to visit the exhibitions featuring the unique artworks of Petra Kaltenbach, where you can experience these historic achievements in an innovative way as well as show your support for all the efforts that have strengthened these important relations. After all, in what better way to honour half a century of friendship than with art?

The art project is under the name WE

The artworks are all based on the idea of transformation (which in itself is shown by the scanning of the physical art image and the subsequent transformation into an art video) and the idea of what defines a partnership. The WE means reaching goals and ideals together, experiencing developments together – a common route that intensifies over time and brings forth more and more fruits. A common route means approaching, exchanging, changing one’s own views, developing new perspectives. All this is transformation. And the closer you get to each other, the more you master common challenges, the more you transform and the stronger the WE becomes.

About the Artist

Petra Kaltenbach is a multi-award-winning artist and curator who originates in Germany. She is multi-faceted, fuses technology, graphic design, videography and fine art to create new-age contemporary art. 

Petra Kaltenbach is a deep thinker and, as an art­ist, she paints from a place of consciousness. She is very perceptive and relies on her intuition to com­municate via her artwork. Her influences marry a connection with nature and an in­terest in the unseen; ultimately, she aims to convey the human condition in her art. Petra moved to Dubai in 2004, where she witnessed rapid and unprecedented growth in the urban environ­ment around her. This led her to her core theme of  transformation.

Petra Kaltenbach

As an artist, I am very excited that the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dubai has offered me to use my creativity on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two countries. It is a great honour and pleasure for me to express this relationship, in the project “WE”, on an artistic level and to present these artworks in the 7 Emirates

Petra Kaltenbach

With her background in graphic de­sign, she transitioned into painting and video art often intertwining her paintings with embedded technology such as QR codes and AR. More recently, Petra has begun to make NFTs (non-fungible tokens) of her art.