Creative leaders say future is bright as Dubai launches plans to boost sector

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced a bold strategy for the arts, culture, media and design

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 31 MARCH 2021. The Art Dubai exhibition opens again to the public after having cancelled their 2020 event. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: National.

Leaders of Dubai’s creative economy backed ambitious plans to transform creative sectors and generate thousands of new jobs.

On Saturday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, announced a drive to accelerate growth in design, media and the arts.

The government aims to increase GDP contribution of creative sectors from 2.6 per cent to 5 per cent and almost double the number of companies in the city's creative sector to 15,000 by 2025.

Majed Al Suwaidi, managing director of Dubai Media City, said the free zone was committed to finding ways to interest global companies in the emirate and nurture local talent.

“The creative economy is an engine of growth and we are committed to enhancing it by providing state-of-the-art infrastructure and a business-friendly environment that positions Dubai as a global hub for talent, investment and creative innovation,” he said.

The Dubai Creative Economy Strategy was part of the government’s vision to diversify the economy and position the emirate as a talent hub.

“Dubai has become a global destination for media and content creation in record time. It has attracted some of the world’s biggest companies and Hollywood blockbusters while simultaneously enabling thousands of start-ups and entrepreneurs,” said Mr Al Suwaidi who is also head of Dubai Production City and Dubai Studio City.

“From video streaming and cinema production to mobile games and multimedia publishing, there are so many creative sectors that hold promise for the future.”

Khadija Al Bastaki, executive director of Dubai Design District, said the emirate was recognised as a Unesco City of Design and was globally competitive.

“We firmly believe social and economic contribution of the creative industries will continue to grow in the future,” she said.

“It is important to note that design has never been so important. From sustainable cities that accelerate green transformation to human-centric experiences that promote productivity and well-being, demand for highly skilled creative talent across architecture, fashion, art and design is rising exponentially.”

Ms Al Bastaki said providing world-class infrastructure and creative working spaces, and fostering art galleries and public artworks had attracted international brands to Dubai and empowered local entrepreneurs.

Continuing to improve on the ease of doing business in the emirate, encouraging start-ups and strategic partnerships were the avenues to generate future development in creative sectors, she said.

The government's plans were announced at the end of Art Dubai. Held in-person, this year's festival was hailed a resounding success, with work by emerging artists selling out.

Art Dubai on show: