Early learning will play a crucial role in the UAE's new strategy to drive the cultural and creative industry, said Noura Al Kaabi, Minister for Culture and Youth.
Educating children in culture at an early age will help cement the UAE’s status as one of the leading countries around the world, she said.
The plan will also honour the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, the UAE's Founding Father, who was a firm believer in promoting culture, Ms Al Kaabi said.
“We will improve the education system to empower future generations so they can help us to reach this sector, especially in early learning,” she said on Sunday morning.
“Culture in the UAE has always been the focus of interest, as Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, was a poet by instinct and had a love of culture.
“In the past 50 years, we have reinforced our position on the international cultural scene and we have a cultural scene that’s the best in the world. We have become a destination for artists and poets.”
Under the terms of the new initiative, cultural industries will have an even bigger role to play in the UAE over the next decade.
“We have developed strategic indicators that we aspire to achieve in the next 10 years,” Ms Al Kaabi said.
“We will promote cultural and creative industries, increase their size and potential, to be among the top 10 economic industries in the country, as we will increase the contribution of the cultural and creative industries sector to 5 per cent of GDP.”
More job opportunities
Ms Al Kaabi said the average income of workers in the sector would be increased and the number of enterprises would also be raised to boost the volume of cultural and creative products and services.
Both the public and private sectors will play crucial roles in the strategy, said Ms Al Kaabi, who has described it as a turning point for culture in the UAE.
“This will be a new driver for the economy and will create more job opportunities,” she said.
The launch of the strategy coincides with the World Conference on Creative Economy, which is taking place in Dubai from December 7 to 9.
“We will be hosting thought leaders, innovators and creative minds from all over the world,” Ms Al Kaabi said.
“It’s also part of the celebrations for the International Year of Creative Economy for Development.”
Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed, chairwoman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, will give an address on how greater accessibility in the creative economy can be achieved both regionally and globally.
Audrey Azoulay, director general of the UN's cultural agency Unesco, will also be among the speakers at the event.
She will talk about the pivotal rule the creative economy plays in achieving sustainable development goals.