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National Pavilion United Arab Emirates Announces the 28 Interns Chosen To Be Part of the Venice Internship Program

The National Pavilion United Arab Emirates (UAE) la Biennale di Venezia is pleased to announce the selection of 28 interns who will participate in the Venice Internship in 2016 during the 15th International Architecture Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale).

The Venice Internship is a specialized program offering training opportunities for Emiratis and long-term residents of the UAE who have an interest in arts or architecture through a one-month internship on site in Venice. The interns will undergo an educational program in partnership with notable cultural institutions in the UAE and in Venice, reflecting the National Pavilion UAE’s commitment to providing opportunities and training for emerging art and architecture professionals. The educational program kicks off in the UAE ahead of the interns’ deployment to Venice, and is designed to enable them to engage fluently with the content of the exhibition as well as to speak more broadly about the dynamic cultural scene of the UAE. The program continues in Venice where the interns attend lectures and workshops and engage in assignments based on the city’s cultural institutions and the exhibitions of the biennale.

During the Biennale, interns will each spend one month in Venice, where they will get hands-on experience overseeing the exhibition. In addition, the National Pavilion UAE has an ongoing partnership with Venice’s prestigious Ca’ Foscari University, which facilitates the inclusion of a select number of Italian interns to work alongside the UAE interns at the pavilion. This partnership aims to nourish cultural diversity and exchange, and allows the interns to experience a taste of Italian life during their stay.

“We are delighted with the selection of interns this year, and are proud of our commitment to fostering a new generation of art and architecture professionals who will go on to contribute to the UAE’s rapidly developing cultural scene,” says Laila Binbrek, Co-ordinating Director of the National Pavilion UAE. “Each year, our interns have the opportunity to participate in one of the world’s most prestigious arts and architecture moments, and make a real contribution to the success of the UAE’s exhibitions.”

Since its inaugural participation at la Biennale di Venezia in 2009, the National Pavilion UAE has worked with over 100 interns, many of whom have pursued successful careers in the arts since their participation in the program.


The participants in the Venice Internship program 2016 are:

UAE Interns

  • Alsghaira Alkaabi
  • Amna Jawad
  • Anneta Bou Saleh
  • Anum Laghari
  • Chaitanya Kumar
  • Farah El Rafei
  • Hayder Mahdi
  • Hissa AlZarooni
  • Jumaanah ElHashemi
  • Khaled Bensahli
  • Khalid Al Tamimi
  • Lujaine Rezk
  • Maha AlDhaheri
  • Mariam Al Sarkal
  • Mays Albaik
  • Mohammed AlSaqqa
  • Muna Salah
  • Nadia AlBarwani
  • Nora Bensahli
  • Saif Mhaisen
  • Shibly Abubaker

Italy Interns 

  • Alice Gatti
  • Elena Pintonello
  • Eleonora Fantozzi
  • Iman Mebrouk
  • Luca Ceresani
  • Maria Roberta Sgaramella
  • Silvia Loverre

The National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.


The 15th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia will be held from May 28 to November 27, 2016 (vernissage May 26 – 27). The National Pavilion UAE will present ‘Transformations: The Emirati National House’, an exhibition which explores the transformative aspect of the housing model of Emirati National homes, known as ‘Sha’abi’ (Folk) houses, curated by Yasser Elsheshtawy, Associate Professor of Architecture at UAE University. Its focus is on how a basic housing model, comprised of a series of rooms overlooking a square central courtyard, was adapted by residents to individualized homes, reflecting their culture and lifestyle.