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Globalising the Oud

The Global Oud Forum is a periodic event that seeks to present and promote established and upcoming artists in the world of Oud, shedding light on the works of distinguished Oud makers and their workshops and gaining insights from musicologists on the instrument’s history, existing impacts and future, all with a unified goal of further propelling the globalisation of the 4400 year instrument.

The forum is a continuation of a previous event which was held in Cairo in 2010 yet both in response and in defiance to the Covid19 pandemic the Global Oud Forum for 2021 will be broadcasted virtually with the aim of advocating that even in the presence of world crisis’ art and culture and ultimately life, must continue.


  • Introducing and encouraging artists and creators in the world of Oud

  • Highlighting the crafts and workshops of distinguished Oud makers.

  • Gain insights from musicologists on the history of the instrument, and its current and future implications


Ultimately the forum aims to play a significant role in globalising the Oud instrument. 

The History

The Egyptian Opera House had hosted the activities of the first edition of the Global Oud Forum in 2010, with the support of Abu Dhabi Festival and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. The forum was headed by the founder of the Oud House, artist Naseer Shamma. Those that participated presented performances and compositions specifically tailored for the forum, hence there was an open-environment for experimentation, this was a desire by those curating the event to make room for different experiences and allowing them to converge. And because the forum constituted an opportunity for rare encounters between Oud musicians, it also constituted an opportunity for joint works that were presented on stage throughout the programme. The programme also hosted a lineup of musicologists and academics in the field of music to present dedicated research, considering such input an important step in the development and preservation of music as a whole. Over the course of four days, the forum presented various artistic activities, starting with the "Oud Crafting Gallery" and discussion seminars, which were open to the public daily, in addition to honouring Oud icons (musicians and luthiers), through free artistic workshops with prominent Oud players, and concluding with the closing ceremony.

The Future

The Global Oud Forum aims to expand in the future through cooperation with sponsors from several countries to support efforts of globalisation, festivals will be held across all continents which will include live performances, workshops with respects to both the teaching & handling of the instrument and of course how the instrument is crafted. Live debates and seminars with attendees on the development of the Oud and methods for emerging artists on obtaining support that allows them to be devoted to this field. The forum's website will be an archive and a reference for all these activities and a place for those Oud enthusiasts concerned with playing, crafting and researching the instrument.

GOF 2021 Sponsor

By broadcasting the Global Oud Forum over the Internet we hope to demonstrate the ability to pursue important projects during world crisis, which further propels the message and the importance of preservation of cultural activity in our lives, regardless of circumstances. Abu Dhabi Festival's role is to support these efforts, especially at times like these, when most parties are reluctant to adapt or invest in what is said to be an unclear future. Just as the festival previously supported the first edition of the global Oud forum, which was held in Cairo in 2010, that support continues this year with the production of all episodes of this year's virtual lineup.

All episodes of the Global Oud Forum 2021 are produced by Abu Dhabi Festival,

and are organised by the Abu Dhabi for Music and Arts Foundation

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