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First Korean cultural center opens in Middle East

All Headlines 10:52 March 10, 2016

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will open a state-run facility for promoting Korean culture in Abu Dhabi Thursday, the first in the Middle East, the government said.

The new Korean Cultural Center, which sits near Khalifa Park, the biggest park in Abu Dhabi, is also the 29th of its kind worldwide.

It has sections providing a first-hand experience of traditional Korean culture and showcasing the Korean cultural industry. South Korea's government-designated "quality" cultural products and Halal food are displayed on the first floor.

On the second floor is a seminar room, a lecture hall, a library and an office.

The opening ceremony will be attended by some 70 government officials, cultural-arts figures and journalists from both countries, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said.

They include Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and Park Younggoog, chief of the Korean Culture and Information Service affiliated with the South Korean culture ministry.

South Korea and the UAE forged diplomatic ties in 1980. The opening of the cultural center follows President Park Geun-hye's visit to the country in March last year.

"Abu Dhabi is a region emerging as the cultural center of the Middle East, as the UAE government has recently attracted regional branches of France's Louvre Museum and America's Guggenheim Museum," a ministry official said.

The official expressed hope that the new facility would help further spread the global boom of Korean pop culture, known as hallyu in Korean, to the Middle East.

sshim@yna.co.kr
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