Dubai: The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority celebrated its 10 anniversary on Wednesday at the Cultural and Scientific Association.

Launched in March of 2008 by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the authority plays a critical part in achieving the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 of establishing the city as vibrant, global Arabian metropolis that shapes culture and arts in the region and the world.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, told Gulf News it aims to raise the bar in 2019 by continuing to be a custodian of international art.

“People were expecting us to import culture from travelling exhibitions, but we turned the table around and we exported our culture to international cities around the world such as Sydney and Venice. We are proud of our culture and heritage and we want the next generation of artists to take this forward,” said Al Nabouda.

He referred to the Etihad Museum as one of the authority’s main highlights in the last decade, pointing out the Shindagha Museum as its next heritage project.

“People say there was no Emirati culture 10 years ago before the authority was established, but in fact the Emirati culture has been here for ages, there was just no custodian for culture and arts and that was overshadowed by the economic and financial boom in Dubai,” said Al Nabouda.

“We wanted to balance that equation, and this is why Shaikh Mohammad established the Culture and Art Authority,” he added.

Looking forward, Al Nabouda discussed plans to create stable industries for artists, poets and authors in the UAE. “The next generation will take culture and art to the next level. The next breed are well educated, have seen the world, and can bring much more creativity and innovation to this culture,” he said.

Al Nabouda described 2019 as a year that will be robust with creative industries, which are more rooted in the Emirati culture and heritage.