UAE launches national grant programme to support Emirati creatives

Applicants have until August 31 to submit their proposals for one of four grants

The grant programme aims to help Emiratis pursue projects helping their creative, intellectual and professional growth. Pictured: Najat Makki (right) with young Emirati artists at a workshop at the Cultural Foundation, Abu Dhabi. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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The UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth has unveiled a national grant programme for culture and creativity.

With grants of up to Dh100,000 available, the project aims to help Emiratis pursue projects that aid their creative, intellectual and professional growth – while also boosting the country’s cultural and creative industries on the global stage.

Salem Al Qassimi, Minister of Culture and Youth, said the programme exemplified the UAE’s “unwavering commitment to increasing the socioeconomic impact and value of our cultural and creative product, as we provide talent with support that will help bring their creative and intellectual ideas to life”.

He added: “Today marks yet another significant step towards proliferating awareness, and developing the skills and capabilities of the creative talent that exists among UAE nationals on a local and global scale.”

Al Qassimi said the ministry acknowledged the “significant role individuals play in driving these sectors while preserving the UAE’s national identity and heritage”.

The programme is open to applicants from seven main disciplines, including literature, music, film and TV, performing arts and theatre, visual arts and design, video games and cultural heritage.

Grants are available in four categories, with the largest being a creation and production grant of up to Dh100,000, which aims to finance new original creative works which display artistic excellence, creative appeal and a unique vision or concept.

There is also a distribution and local participation grant of up to Dh80,000, to facilitate the promotion, distribution and publication of local creative works and enhance their visibility. It will also help finance taking part in local opportunities and events.

The capacity development grant, of up to Dh50,000, seeks to promote professional growth through learning opportunities, such as short courses, residencies and specialised training, to upskill and build talent.

An international travel and mobility grant, also of up to Dh50,000, will help creatives represent the UAE on the global stage by paying for the travel, accommodation and participation costs of taking part in international events.

Emirati creatives can apply to the first cycle of the National Grant Programme for Culture and Creativity until August 31 through the Ministry’s website.

For more information on eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit

Updated: August 04, 2023, 11:42 AM