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Dubai unveils official new font

Free-to-use font for 23 languages now available for the whole world to use

  • The Dubai Font was launched at Dubai Opera, on Sunday. The font is available for all of the 100 million users Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News
  • The Dubai Font was launched at Dubai Opera. The font is available for all of the 100 million users of MicrosofImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Abdulla Al Shaibani, Secretary General, the Executive Council of Dubai, at the press conference for the launchImage Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
  • Abdulla Al Shaibani, Secretary General, the Executive Council of Dubai, at the press conference for the launchImage Credit:
  • Attendess at the press conference for the launch of Dubai Font at Dubai Opera, Dubai Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News
Gulf News

Dubai: Tired of Times New Roman and over Arial? Dubai’s government might have the solution.

Called simply ‘Dubai Font,’ the new Arabic and Latin type styles are now freely available for the whole world to use.

With its simple, San Serif Latin typeface, and a modern, stripped-down Arabic script, the font can be used for 23 different languages.

The font is available for all of the 100 million users of Microsoft’s Office 365 software, and downloaded in multiple formats on DubaiFont.com.

The Dubai Executive Council, chaired by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has instructed all the emirate’s government bodies to use the font.

“The launch of the Dubai Font to the world is a very important step for us as part of our continuous efforts to be ranked first in the digital world,” said Shaikh Hamdan.

“We are confident that this new font and its unique specifications will prove popular among other fonts used online and in smart technologies across the world,” said Shaikh Hamdan.

“I have personally overseen all the stages of the development of this font, from the first design sketches to the execution phase.”

The font is the product of a 18-month process by six-member team from Monotype, a US-based firm that has designed custom typefaces for British Airways, Vogue magazine, and Sony, among others.

“It is a mean of expression, it is not the expression itself,” said Nadine Chahine, the font’s chief designer.

With its clean-cut, straightforward look, Chahin’s team took inspiration from Dutch design to create the Latin typeface. “It’s a sans serif with a lot of humanist influence.”

As well as English, some of the available variations for the Latin typeface include Spanish, German, French, and Italian alphabets. The font also has four weights — light, regular, medium, and bold.

Meanwhile, the Arabic typeface is a blend of two styles of Arabic calligraphy — ‘Naskh’ and ‘Muhaqqaq’.

The “high technical quality” of the Arabic font fills an important need for high-quality Arabic fonts, said Ahmad Al Mahri, the Dubai Executive Council’s assistant secretary general.

Global gift

“This is Dubai’s gift to the world,” he added during a Sunday launch ceremony for the font at Dubai’s recently-built Opera House.

According to officials, the font is the first font in Microsoft applications to be both developed by a city and to carry its name.

“The font also supports the technology sector in general by offering a high-quality digital font with unique specifications in different countries of the world without any costs,” said Mahri.

Special characteristics make the font easy to read from a distance — ideal for printing and display on large electronic screens.

“The font also supports the technology sector in general by offering a high-quality digital font with unique specifications in different countries of the world without any costs,” he added.

Here are some of the 23 languages supported by Dubai Font:

Afrikaans, Arabic, Basque, Britannic, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, Gaelic, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Farsi, Portuguese, Sami, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish and Urdu.

Dubai’s new font has its very own account on Twitter and Instagram.

Dubai: Social media accounts is a must for every company or entity out there in today’s global age.

And that policy has now been implemented by this unique font.

On Sunday, the Dubai Font launched its very own accounts on Twitter and Instagram under the username @DubaiFont, which was launched by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

These media accounts are probably the first for a font, and so far, the social media platforms have been used to announce the font’s launch, which can be downloaded on www.dubaifont.com for Windows, Android and Mac OS software.

Residents can also share their ideas and opinions on social media through the hashtag #Expressyou.

The Dubai Font, according to Dubai’s Media Office, mirrors the city’s qualities and promotes its global standing, and includes 23 languages.

By Mariam M. Al Serkal

Senior Web Reporter

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