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A visitor at the Dubai Design District takes a picture of the stunning Dubai skyline sunset Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai’s announcement on Saturday to support creative companies specialising in content, design and culture is expected to boost the sector and double the number of professionals employed in the sector from 70,000 to 150,000 in the next five years. The emirate said it will upgrade legal and investment environment needed to spur the growth of creative industries.

Announcing the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said: “We have creative complexes in design, content, culture, arts, etc. We will launch others. We have set a goal to raise the contribution of this sector within our gross domestic product from 2.6 per cent to 5 per cent. The UAE is a global economic capital and creativity is part of our economy, our quality of life and a major driver for the future of our country.”

The strategy is aimed at enhancing Brand Dubai — a city known as the regional hub of trade and tourism — by offering a wholesome experience to citizens, expatriates and visitors. The city’s two big clusters, Dubai Media City and Dubai Design District, have successfully demonstrated their potential to attract world class institutes and businesses. The two clusters house design agencies, architecture and fashion studios, attracting thousands of local and foreign professionals from all over the world.

While positioning Dubai as the best place to do business in the region, the emirate has also demonstrated eagerness to promote art and culture by hosting world class events. The announcement on Saturday came soon after the conclusion of the 14th edition of Art Dubai, a festival that featured 50 galleries from 31 countries with a focus on modern and contemporary art from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

The festival took place under the iconic Gate Building at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), not far from Dubai Opera that offers world class performing arts experience. Also, in December, Dubai Expo will host the World Conference on Creative Economy (WCCE) where top international professionals will gather to discuss challenges to creative and cultural industries.

According to a Unesco report, cultural and creative sectors generate annual revenues of $2,250 billion and exports of over $250 billion and Dubai has supportive environment and political vision to attract a big share of this industry.

In recent years, Dubai Design District, also known as d3, has played a big role in projecting Dubai as a major regional destination for art, design and culture, a powerful platform to showcase and nurture Middle Eastern talent, and the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy will immensely boost this sector.