Screenshot of an intro to the Hayi app that will gradually launch a group feature to connect talents within their communities and across Dubai Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is cooperating with ‘Hayi’ app, a free, local, social communication network for neighbourhoods in Dubai that encourages residents to communicate, and befriend each other, create groups based on their locations, share common interests and preferences, as well as launch and participate in social initiatives and activities within their communities.

Al Quoz Neighbourhood

The cooperation seeks to connect creative talents in different neighbourhoods across Dubai to provide them with the opportunity to showcase their work and provide their creative services. It will be implemented across three phases: the first stage will be the creation of the digital ‘Al Quoz Neighbourhood’ on the app that will give talents the opportunity to showcase their work, promote their products and share their performances in Al Quoz and other neighbourhoods in the city. At this stage, the app will also provide Dubai Culture the opportunity to disseminate all notifications and updates it wishes to share with the community members.


Hala Badri, director-general of Dubai Culture, said: “Social media platforms have become a new and effective means for participation, community outreach and business support. We are always keen to invest in the latest tools that will help us achieve our cultural mission, in collaboration with experts in this field. Our partnership with the innovative Hayi app is within this framework and reflects our belief in the importance of public-private partnerships to support the creative community and promote the cultural landscape in Dubai.”

Hala Badri (L) hearing from Chris Darnell (R), co-founder of Hayi, during a meeting Image Credit: Supplied


The Hayi app is currently available in English but will be available in Arabic in the future. The second phase of this collaboration is to include the launch of additional neighbourhoods until the entire city is covered, allowing each local company to access select neighbourhoods free of charge.

The third phase will see the launch of a group feature to connect talents within their communities, as well as throughout Dubai. A calendar of events will also be launched, which will provide a more interactive way for talents and entrepreneurs to schedule their events and keep up with everything new at the sectoral level.

Chris Darnell, co-founder of Hayi, said: “The most important lesson we learned from the [COVID-19] pandemic is the fundamental need for communication; there’s nothing more important than familiarity and communication within the neighbourhood where one lives. Health begins where we live, learn, work and play, among the people with whom we share our society and our culture with.”

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Wider vision

Based on one of the priorities of its strategic roadmap 2020–2026 to develop an attractive creative economy, this partnership stems from Dubai Culture’s commitment to support small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups in Dubai’s creative community and facilitate the operation of their businesses, as well as provide an environment that stimulates their growth and prosperity.

It also stems from the authority’s commitment to achieve the objectives of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy that aims to make the emirate the global capital of the creative economy by 2025, and is also in line with its mission towards building a knowledge-based economy.