NAT Aerial shot of Alserkal Avenue-1573473899166
Aerial shot of Al Serkal Avenue Image Credit: Supplied

DUBAI Following the announcement of Dubai’s new vision for culture approved by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has announced the implementation of the first phase of a large redevelopment plan for Dubai’s industrial district Al Quoz.

Dubai’s new vision for culture outlines a comprehensive roadmap to consolidate the emirate’s emergence as a global destination for culture, innovation and talent. The implementation of the vision will primarily focus on the establishment of a new creative zone for Al Quoz. As part of efforts to engage the community and encourage local artistic production, the zone seeks to attract both regional and international audiences to the area and encourage designers, artists and creatives to live, work and exhibit in the area.

The first phase of the project involves a physical upgradation of the Al Quoz area. The Roads and Transport Authority has already worked on improving the area’s infrastructure including roads and signages and promoted Al Quoz on public transport routes. Later stages of the project will involve renovating the area, installing facilities for the influx of new visitors as well as branding the area among residents and tourists.

As project leader, Dubai Culture is implementing this major initiative with the help of key strategic partners: Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office; Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing; Dubai Municipality; and Roads and Transport Authority.

Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said that Dubai’s new cultural vision, which was approved recently by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, boosts Dubai’s position as a global cultural centre and an incubator for talent. She said the new vision will reinvigorate the cultural scene in the city and set in motion a comprehensive cultural movement. She explained that at the heart of the vision is a new strategy to transform Dubai into a global cultural metropolis where creativity, art and innovation are just as important as commerce and business.

Sheikha Latifa said the Al Quoz redevelopment project is a creative zone that aims to offer new spaces for artists to realise their potential. The new project will significantly enrich Dubai’s cultural landscape, she added.

She praised the progress of the project against the targeted timeline. She also thanked government entities and strategic partners for their cooperation and commitment.

What the partners have to say

Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the RTA, commended the Al Quoz redevelopment project. “Such projects reflect the vision of Dubai Plan 2021 to establish the city as a vibrant global metropolis that shapes culture and arts in the region and the world. It will also mould the community into a tourist destination.”

“With Dubai being home to more than 200 nationalities, art and culture, when integrated in the community, eradicates differences and lifts communal barriers. Through arts and cultural displays, we will be able to acquaint people with the culture and tradition of the UAE as well as the achievements it has made. The artist profile of the Al Quoz community fits well with RTA’s strategic goal (Integrated Dubai) and warrants enhanced cooperation with public and private entities. The biggest challenge of the project is to transform the setting of Al Quoz from an industrial profile into a cultural, artistic and innovative environment. RTA will collaborate with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority to support the project by enhancing the right-of-way of the locality with artistic touches, easing the mobility of people and vehicles, and maintaining traffic safety,” concluded Al Tayer.

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “As part of Dubai’s drive to establish itself as a hub for creativity and innovation, and in support of the selection of Dubai as the Creative City of Design in the Middle East by UNESCO Creative Cities Network in June 2018, Dubai Municipality’s participation, in collaboration with the other strategic partners, will strengthen the various components of Dubai’s new vision for culture and the development of Al Quoz area as a cultural destination.”

Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, said: “Brand Dubai is proud to partner with Dubai Culture to support the Al Quoz redevelopment project. Our support is aligned with our aim of contributing to initiatives that enhance Dubai’s unique character as one of the world’s most developed, fastest growing and culturally diverse cities. We actively seek opportunities to partner with organisations and artists to highlight Dubai’s distinctive culture, values and aspirations. Brand Dubai will be working closely with Dubai Culture to transform the cultural identity and ambience of Al Quoz with a range of public art projects.”

She said , “In parallel, we will be launching a digital campaign to highlight the artists, creatives and entrepreneurs who have shaped the unique cultural character of Al Quoz. Brand Dubai will also be expanding its ‘Proudly from Dubai’ programme to support homegrown businesses in Al Quoz and tell the story of innovation and creativity shaping the area’s entrepreneurial culture.”

Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), said: “As Dubai’s destination offering continues to evolve, Dubai Tourism is pleased to work closely with Dubai Culture, as part of our shared vision, to promote the city’s diverse cultural and heritage attractions, which are intrinsic to the multifaceted appeal of Dubai. As we set our sights on continued tourism growth, the redevelopment of the Al Quoz district, the heart and soul of art in Dubai, will provide a major boost to Dubai’s tourism strategy to offer exceptional immersive experiences that will further enhance the city’s reputation as a ‘must-visit’ destination.”

Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, said: “This renovation initiative is part of our wider aim to contribute to Dubai’s creative economy and fuel creative industries. In line with the objective of Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a city of happy, creative and empowered people, this initiative allows our talented citizens to make the most of their abilities and share them with the world. Al Quoz is already home to several galleries and artistic enterprises in Alserkal Avenue and beyond. As part of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s broader vision, we seek to make changes that impact and transform the entire area. Finally, as part of Dubai’s aim to be the most visited city in the world by 2025, this project is essential to establish the city as a global creative focal point and invite the world to discover the culture of Dubai.”