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Dubai offers exciting possibilities for creative and cultural professionals
(1 November 2019)


The road ahead holds exciting possibilities for Dubai’s creative and cultural professionals. Through unique cultural projects, Dubai will continue to open new doors as one of the top global destinations for culture, a top government official said at the region’s first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum on Thursday.

Speaking to an audience of regional and global business leaders and influencers at a session titled ‘Reshaping the Future through Culture and Creativity’, Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said Dubai has everything required to be a global cultural destination and a hub for talent and innovation.

Organised by the INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) in the UAE and the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), the region’s first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum provided a platform for sharing diverse ideas on promoting sustainable economic growth and creating a brighter future for the region. Speakers engaged in a dialogue on vital topics ranging from the economy, society and culture to technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Dubai is a city brimming with opportunities, new ideas, creative people and a rich historical tradition. It has everything necessary for a creative and innovative city,” said HE Badri, as she presented the inspirational stories of four people, including two artists, a fashion designer and an app developer who established successful ventures in Dubai.

One example was Siddiqa Juma, a renowned contemporary artist residing in the UK, whose career flourished in the Middle East through Creatopia - a Dubai based digital platform – that paved the way for her to become a global award-winning artist. For designers like Ghizlan Guenez, an Algerian by birth, who has been residing in Dubai for over 20 years, Dubai was a door to tap into an unseen market of modest fashion. With offices in Dubai and London, her brand THE MODIST, now ships to over 120 countries.

“Home to more than 190 nationalities, global residents see Dubai as a city with an immense cultural soul, and an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent. They see a canvas like no other, for global cultural exchange,” she added.

HE Badri presented Dubai’s new cultural vision that will further transform the city’s cultural landscape. She said that in past years, Dubai has been creating various new engines to grow cultural innovation that’s aligned to the aspirations of the global community. “That journey continues,” she said.

Referring to the 15 schemes announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to drive cultural innovation in the city, Her Excellency said: “We are in a unique position to become a thriving creative destination, given the abundance of talent in our creative community. Through its unique cultural projects, Dubai will continue to open doors as one of the top global destinations for culture.”

One of the major initiatives announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed includes the world’s first long term cultural visa, which aims to strengthen Dubai’s artistic community. The cultural vision also includes several plans to inspire and educate youth like creating seven “Schools of Life” – cultural centres that will teach young people life skills in art, innovation and creativity.

Additionally, through initiatives like Art for Good, Dubai will be able to empower significant causes and invite the global community to Dubai through artistic, literary and cultural programmes. Other projects include the rehabilitation of Zabeel Secondary School for Girls to preserve the architectural history of the school.

The new vision of Dubai Culture will usher in a fresh phase of cultural growth that will add a unique dimension to the emirate’s economic development, explained HE Badri. The vision focuses on creating a cultural movement that will further boost Dubai’s position on the global cultural map, make the emirate a preferred international destination for cultural, creative, artistic and literary talent and support the growth of creative industries and enhance their contribution to the economy.

“We envision the city to be a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent,” Badri said.

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