Abu Dhabi: The Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) will now oversee the development of all creative and cultural industries in Abu Dhabi, as part of a new strategy to support a unified creative ecosystem in the emirate.
This unification includes film and TV, multimedia, gaming and e-sports, as well as other industries already under its domain — heritage, craft and design, publishing, and visual and performing arts.
In a statement sent today, the DCT Abu Dhabi said the move will consolidate cross-sectorial synergy, and enable ongoing investment. The emirate’s Culture and Creative Industries Strategy (CCI Strategy) will then invest a further Dh22 billion in the industries over the next five years, having already invested Dh8.5 billion in the past five years.
Cultural and creative industries in Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi are key drivers of social and economic growth and diversification, and one of the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. Globally, these industries generate annual revenues of $2,250 billion (Dh8,264 billion), provide 30 million jobs and are predicted to make up some 10 per cent of global GDP.
Help economic recovery
In addition to this rapid acceleration, studies show that the cultural and creative industries demonstrate considerable resilience and adaptability in the face of changing economic dynamics. As the world emerges from the effects of the global pandemic, the sector’s high-value products and services have the power to support a new economic recovery, one that is more environmentally friendly and based on knowledge and new technologies.
Thus far, Abu Dhabi has already invested in flagship projects across these industries, including the Yas Creative Hub — the emirate’s new home for media and gaming, the Saadiyat Cultural District, and soft infrastructure initiatives such as the Creative Visa that was announced earlier this year. The Creative Visa programme will provide sustainable employment opportunities in Abu Dhabi by enabling talented creative professionals from around the world to live and work in the UAE, further bolstering the creative scene in the emirate.
The additional Dh22 billion investment is expected to be rolled out across the industry over the next five years, with a substantial portion to be deployed in the development and support of cultural institutions like museums, including the upcoming Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, as well as other museums in the pipeline. The emirate’s performing arts, music, media and gaming sectors will also see further investment in their diverse array of programmes and initiatives.
“DCT Abu Dhabi’s CCI Strategy was launched in 2019 to position Abu Dhabi as a recognised cultural and creative centre that attracts, incubates and supports talented professionals and creative businesses, accelerating the emirate’s ambition to become a leading regional producer and exporter of creative and cultural content. With the entire CCI under one umbrella, DCT Abu Dhabi is able to harness the natural synergies between the emirate’s culture, tourism and creative sectors, establishing Abu Dhabi as a centre for cutting-edge facilities, outstanding talent and enriching, sustainable opportunities,” said Khalifa Al Mubarak, DCT Abu Dhabi chairman.
Saood Al Hosani, DCT Abu Dhabi undersecretary said cultural and creative industries in Abu Dhabi support more than 20,000 jobs at present, with the number expected to grow significantly in future.
“DCT Abu Dhabi’s comprehensive five-year strategy to build on the emirate’s pre-existing success in this area is now seeing diverse yet interrelated sectors streamlined under one organisation. This will greatly accelerate job creation, allowing individuals and businesses to reach new levels of professional and economic success. The established culture sector will work hand in hand with sectors like multimedia and video gaming, facilitating collaboration and strong local and global partnerships in support of Abu Dhabi’s innovative and ambitious vision,” Al Hosani said.
The emirate’s integrated CCI Strategy, developed by DCT Abu Dhabi in conjunction with key stakeholders, brings together best practices while considering the specificities of Abu Dhabi. In support of a sustainable creative ecosystem. Goals are being targeted across all sectors under five key pillars: policies and systems, talent and professional development, innovation and digitisation, business development, and place and infrastructure that enhances the quality of life. The strategy includes more than 16 strategic programmes and 800 initiatives, some already initiated and the remainder to be delivered in the next five years.
DCT Abu Dhabi is tasked with managing and continuously enhancing the emirate’s culture and creative industries, having already delivered high-profile projects such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and Al Hosn. Other large-scale projects will soon be developed, including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Abrahamic Family House.
DCT Abu Dhabi also oversees the preservation and promotion of the emirate’s rich cultural heritage, including the Unesco World Heritage Site of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi’s modern heritage buildings, as well as the intangible heritage practices that are essential to the Emirati identity.
In addition, DCT Abu Dhabi’s Arabic Language Centre acts as custodian and advocate of the Arabic language, through initiatives and platforms including the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, and is also forming partnerships with internationally recognised institutions such as Columbia University.
The consolidation of the emirate’s cultural and creative industries under DCT Abu Dhabi cements its role as the driver of the industry, with full oversight across all interrelated domains within the culture, multimedia and gaming arenas and a mandate to create an environment where the entire culture and creative sector can grow and thrive.
To bolster this development, DCT Abu Dhabi is expanding its portfolio to include a new sector that will support the emirate’s creative industries, create opportunities, and oversee the Creative Visa programme. Its mandate will include regulating, promoting and developing a number of strategic initiatives and overseeing organisations including Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Gaming, and Abu Dhabi Film Commission, as well as training and development programmes such as creative lab and Arab Film Studio.