Chloe Bennett, Head of Creative Industries, Canadian University Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A one-of-a-kind degree programme developed by Canadian University Dubai (CUD) is offering an educational pathway for aspiring creative professionals as it’s predicted that Dubai’s creative economy will double in size in the next five years.

The CUD Bachelor of Arts in Creative Industries (BACI) is adapted from the prestigious Bachelor of Arts in Creative Industries program at Ryerson University’s leading Faculty of Communication and Design in Toronto, Canada. It develops students into creative leaders through a unique interdisciplinary curriculum that blends a variety of creative fields together in one degree, including media business, interior design and communications.

The programme aims to support the evolution of Dubai’s creative ecosystem following the recent announcement of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The plan aims to raise the sector’s contribution to GDP to 5% from 2.6% by almost doubling the number of creative firms from 8,000 to 15,000 within five years, and increasing the number of creative professionals from 70,000 to 150,000. The Strategy also announced the granting of creative visas to creators and artists from around the word.

Chloe Bennett, Head of Creative Industries at CUD said, “The opportunities for creative professionals and students in Dubai have always been promising but are looking even more so after the exciting announcement about the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. The City has always been forward-focused and a leader in terms of innovation, design and creativity, but is now taking very optimistic steps towards becoming the global creative capital and number one destination for creators from all over the world.”

The BACI program offers a unique set of practical learning opportunities, incorporating creative entrepreneurship, industry internship, and the chance to spend two years in Canada. Students will graduate with a diverse portfolio showcasing hands-on experience, creative problem solving abilities, entrepreneurship, leadership, management, digital literacy and communication skills. While the program focusses more on creative fields, it also incorporates a business specialisation to provide the entrepreneurship element.

Among other higher education institutions responding to the emerging Strategy, Murdoch University, Dubai is offering its students unique opportunities to pursue dual specialisations in programs that marry creativity with science and technology, as well as providing exposure to the business aspects of the creative economy.

Joseph John Nalloor, Communications Program Head, Murdoch University

Communications Programme Head, Joseph Nalloor, said, “We offer a degree with two majors - Strategic Communications and Journalism, as well as the option to pursue a dual specialisation, for instance, combining strategic communications with psychology or cybersecurity. Our courses also include substantial content on consulting and freelancing, in order to equip students with knowledge about freelance visas, business plans and entrepreneurial opportunities in this sector.”

Nurturing the creative talent of the future, the two universities will also make an important contribution to another element of the Strategy, the Creative Economy Classification and Measurement Framework, which will enable Dubai to take its ‘creative pulse’ and measure the sector’s impact beyond its input to GDP.