Save up to 8 lives: UAE health ministry uses powerful art to promote organ donation

Visitors to Sikka Art and Design Festival at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood sign up instantly for the programme


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 3 Mar 2023, 6:00 AM

The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) is using powerful art to inspire more people to sign up for organ donation. Using holograms to form organ shapes, including lung, kidney and heart, the interactive art installation gives visitors a chance to discover the benefits of organ donation.

"One organ donor could save up to 8 lives," said a spokesperson. "It is a gift of life for many other human beings."

Exhibiting for the first time at the 11th edition of the Sikka Art and Design Festival at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Mohap is using the innovative and interactive 'Art for Health' initiative to convey the message of the National Programme for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (Hayat).

An interactive screen lets visitors wave their hands and watch how organs come to life. A quote projected on the wall reads, "Giving is life, and life is a gift. Donate and give others life. Life deserves a second chance."

Signing up

Visitors to the exhibition at House 5 can immediately choose to sign up for the Hayat programme using a QR code. Those signing up will also have their names entered into a lucky draw.

However, the spokesperson admitted there was a mental block against organ donation. “Currently, there are 158 people registered in the programme,” she said. “Organ donation breathes new life into so many people. So, for an organ donor, even in death, they end up saving eight lives.”

A visitor to the art house, Amina, signed up on the spot. “It is something I have always wanted to do,” she said. “I wasn’t sure where to do it or how. So, when I came here and saw how easy it is to sign up, I did it immediately.”

According to the Hayat programme, anyone in the UAE over 21 with an Emirates ID may register to donate their organs. However, it requires the consent of the family members after the person is deceased or brain dead for the donation to take place.

Hayat, a collaboration of many federal and local authorities, was created per a federal Decree-Law passed in 2016.

In 2021, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, hailed a UAE-based family for donating the organs of their toddler, thus saving the lives of three children in the UAE and Saudi.


Held under the theme ‘New creativity. Same Path’, the Sikka festival features a wide variety of artworks, installations, murals and creative exhibitions throughout the festival period. There are also several free workshops that visitors can participate in during the festival that will run till March 5.

The current edition of the festival houses 6 murals, 9 outdoor installations, and over 100 talks, panels and workshops that highlight the trends of the international arts sector. In addition to this, a wide range of cinematic and musical performances and entertainment activities will be held along with over 30 local F&B concepts in collaboration with Brand Dubai, celebrating the local culture and rich flavours of Dubai.


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