Dubai: Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of Dubai Council, called on the UAE’s private and public sectors and professionals in the cultural and creative industries (CCI) to come together to explore different forms of collaboration to enhance the emirate’s cultural and creative ecosystem.
Sheikha Latifa was speaking at a ‘Sofa Session’ featuring herself, and Becky Anderson, Anchor of CNN’s Connect the World and CNN Abu Dhabi Managing Editor, at the World Conference on Creative Economy 2021 (WCCE), which was held at Expo 2020 Dubai from December 7-9.
During the session titled ‘Accessible Creativity: Inclusivity & Diversity’, Sheikha Latifa spoke about the region’s creative potential, the CCI sector’s contributions to the economy and the importance of collaboration. She also noted that Dubai has built strong foundations to develop into one of the world’s leading creative communities. The pandemic had brought to the fore the importance of the creative community’s work, which has led to an acceleration of Dubai Culture’s efforts to foster creative talent and bring the entire government and partners in the private sector together to support the CCI sector.
Help for the pandemic-affected
Sheikha Latifa spoke about a number of majlis gatherings she convened with experts and young talent from across the CCI. These meetings allowed Sheikha Latifa to hear directly from those affected most acutely by the pandemic, which enabled Dubai Culture to quickly launch initiatives to promote meaningful and long-term development of the creative sector.
Following a series of majlises held with leaders from across the creative sector, Sheikha Latifa launched several initiatives, including:
• Al Quoz Creative Zone: The first among a number of creative zones to open across Dubai that aims to become hubs for artists and designers to live and work, offer incentives such as fee exemptions, reduced rents and business support to help creative entrepreneurs thrive and succeed.
• Dubai Collection: Bringing together public and private entities, along with individuals to share artworks in order to build a new public collection that can be viewed by the Dubai public, enabling them to connect more closely with the emirate’s creative community.
A world-leading centre for creativity
These initiatives form part of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, which aims to double the number of professionals in the sector within the next five years and set the emirate on the path to becoming a world-leading centre for creativity and culture.
Commenting on the changes brought by the pandemic, Sheikha Latifa noted: “We are living in a world that is very different from before the pandemic. Following the global crisis, we accelerated our CCI strategy and acted rapidly. We actively collaborated with governments, entrepreneurs, and communities throughout the crisis to ensure the industry survived and thrived. Having these varied and engaging conversations directly with cultural and creative communities helped drive forward sustainable initiatives that will endure for generations to come.”
The session was held under the theme ‘Reworking Work: Connecting People, Ideas and Places’, one of the six broad themes of the WCCE 2021 programme that aims to facilitate vital discussions that collectively define the future of the global creative economy.
The three-day World Conference on Creative Economy 2021 (WCCE) saw key players and game changers from around the world come together in the UAE on a dynamic platform to engage with one another and take concrete steps to shape a more sustainable creative economy. As the pace of innovation and technological disruption continues to accelerate, WCCE 2021 provided a unique forum and an ideal opportunity to share knowledge, analyse trends and debate ideas. The first World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) was hosted in Indonesia in 2018.