UAE vision to develop teaching of arts and culture wins global support

Unesco members unanimously approved UAE submission to help harness the next generation of creative talent

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A UAE initiative aimed at promoting culture and the arts in schools has won international support.

Unesco, the cultural branch of the UN, approved the submission from the Emirates to further integrate arts and culture into curriculums.

The decision was supported by all member states and co-sponsored by 45 countries at the 211th session of the Unesco executive board, which took place online.

The Framework for Culture and Art Education calls for culture to be featured in education to "expand learning outcomes" and develop skills.

It also sets out plans for a world conference on arts and conference in 2023, supported by Unesco.

A UAE framework to better integrate art and culture into the education sector was approved by Unesco.  Courtesy: Ministry of Youth and Culture

“Culture and arts education is the first step to supporting talent,” said Noura Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth.

The decision to enhance the arts and culture, she said, “will ensure robust and comprehensive learning opportunities and strengthen sustainable growth”.

Strategy announced as Dubai develops creative vision

The drive to unlock the potential of the next generation comes as Dubai steps up efforts to accelerate the growth of its creative sector.

This month, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, set out a plan to boost the value of the city's creative sector, generating more jobs and doubling the number of companies in the industry.

Sheikh Mohammed said the government aims to increase the GDP contributions of the creative and arts sectors from 2.6 per cent to 5 per cent.

He said design, content, culture and arts will be a "major driver for the future of our country".

Sheikh Mohammed said about 8,300 companies trade in the emirate's creative sector today.

He wants to increase that to 15,000 by 2025, bringing jobs and prosperity as the world moves on from the coronavirus.

Today, about 70,000 people work in Dubai's creative sector, including design agencies in Dubai Media City and fashion workshops and architecture studios in Dubai Design District.

Sheikh Mohammed said the goal was to boost that to 140,000 people.

"The UAE is a global economic capital, and creativity is part of our economy and of our quality of life, and a major engine for the future of our country," he said.

The UAE proposal is in line with the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“This proposal aims to build on and broaden efforts made by the organisation and its member states,” said the resolution.

“Especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and technological advancements.”