Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) is a cultural organisation based on a Kuwaiti private art collection owned by Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah, founder of The al-Sabah Collection and his wife, DAI director general and co-founder Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah.
Established in 1983, DAI was created to manage The al-Sabah Collection, an esteemed collection of Islamic art on permanent loan to the State of Kuwait under the auspices of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. The collection preserves and presents all aspects of Islamic art and includes more than 20,000 pieces extending from Spain to China, from the 1st – 13th centuries AH/7th – 19th centuries AD.
Since its inception, DAI has grown from a single focus organisation to an internationally recognised cultural organisation. DAI’s main activities include:
• An annual Cultural Season (lectures, music concerts, forum, workshops, children’s programme, quarterly magazine/journal, quarterly newsletter, cultural expeditions)
• Travelling exhibitions and loans
• Conservation training programmes
• Research and excavation projects
With a highly specialised library, DAI is also involved in the publication of scholarly books on Islamic art and culture.
While the rehabilitation project of DAI’s buildings at the Kuwait National Museum is underway, the Amricani Cultural Centre is the temporary home of DAI. The Amricani Cultural Centre is the ground for most of the organization’s activities and events, including local temporary exhibitions and DAI’s cultural season events.