The aim is to increase the number of Dubai-based creative companies from 8,300 in 2020 to 15,000 by 2026. Image Credit: Dubai Media Office

Dubai: Dubai is emerging as a new destination for creatives from around the world looking for fresh pastures to unlock the business potential of their big ideas. The city has rolled out the red carpet and pruned all vestiges of red tape to help creatives speed up the journey to realising their dreams.

Under the framework of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, the emirate has created an architecture of support services, incentives and business and legislative enablers to ease the journey of creatives across various stages of the creative value chain – from ideation to production, through to marketing and distribution.

The launch pad of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy is the Al Quoz Creative Zone, an integrated creative community being developed by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) in cooperation with various government entities in the emirate that seeks to transform the creative cluster that has been organically developing in the Al Quoz area over the past few years into a comprehensive industry ecosystem.

These initiatives are catalysing the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy’s aim to more than double the number of Dubai-based creative companies from 8,300 in 2020 to 15,000 by 2026, and increase creative jobs in the emirate, from 70,000 to 140,000 by 2026. Ultimately, the strategy seeks to raise the contribution of creative industries to Dubai’s GDP from 2.6 per cent in 2020 to 5 per cent by 2026, in the process turning the emirate into the capital of the global creative economy.

“Dubai’s vision to position itself as the nucleus of the world’s creative industry is being made reality by building an ecosystem that supports creative entrepreneurs in bringing their ideas to market,” said Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Member of the Dubai Council. “One of the primary objectives of Dubai’s Creative Economy Strategy is to make it faster, simpler and easier for people in the sector to set up and run their ventures in Dubai. We have rendered it possible for creators to go online and obtain a creative licence in seven minutes. The industry is already contributing more to Dubai’s economy than the global average, and over the next few years, we foresee an even bigger entrepreneurial surge in the sector. Ultimately, we seek to create a global hub for cultural and creative activity in Dubai where people in the industry can come together to expand the boundaries of artistic expression and entrepreneurship.”

Accelerated business set-up

Leading the charge in helping creative ventures expedite their business set-up in Dubai is the ‘Creatives’ Journey’, a scheme that simplifies and accelerates the establishment and operations of creative ventures. Developed by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and the Department of Economy and Tourism, as part of the ‘Invest in Dubai’ platform, the initiative enables creative and talented individuals to launch their businesses within minutes. On the platform, creatives can choose the activity, define the legal form, pay for their licence, and obtain the establishment certificate issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship through hassle-free online processes. As of 2022, the ‘Creatives’ Journey’ recorded an 82 per cent increase in creative licences issued in Al Quoz and a 76 per cent rise across Dubai as a whole.