Dubai continues push to become global design hub by 2020

The recently developed Dubai Creative Clusters Authority is investing heavily in the design sector



The recently developed Dubai Creative Clusters Authority will help the emirate in its push to become a global hub for design and fashion by 2020, its deputy director general has said.

Previously called the Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, DCCA will now regulate 10 freezones covering the media, technology, outsourcing, education and design sectors.

“It is well established that creative industries are critical drivers of innovation. They generate high-value, high skills employment and enhance the general quality of life and wellbeing
in cities,” Ali BuRuhaima told Gulf Business.

“Our mandate is to foster the growth of creative industries to support the Dubai Innovation Strategy [announced last year],” he added.

The authority will focus on seven strategic objectives – ensuring solid infrastructure; developing business friendly regulations; increasing the size and skills of the creative talent pool; fostering entrepreneurship; building industry ecosystems; developing research and insights; and improving organisational effectiveness.

DCCA is also investing Dhs 40m annually to boost existing entities such as Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai Film and TV Commission and Dubai Design & Fashion Council.

BuRuhaima admitted that the local creative industry faced several challenges.

“We need to ensure that we are agile and able to deliver a regulatory regime that is able to keep pace with fast changing business models and technological innovations.

“The other critical challenge is growing our creative talent pool. We need to create the conditions that both attract talent but also consistently improve the quality of the existing pool,” he said.

“Our future initiatives in this regard will look at creating platforms for investment in the local talent pool and expanding educational and vocational training options.”

Looking ahead, BuRuhaima insisted that Dubai could fulfil its ambition of becoming an international centre for the design and fashion industry in order to stimulate trade and tourism by 2020.

The critical enablers included the presence of a local talent pool, education and training providers and a supportive regulatory environment, it was said.

Access to funds, presence of formal and informal networks, a well-developed and diverse retail infrastructure and a community that was appreciative of design products and services were also required.

“We are truly confident that Dubai can be a global hub for the design industry, which includes all its segments – architecture, interior design, industrial and product design, graphic and digital design and fashion design,” stated BuRuhaima.

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