Sheikh Mohammed forms Dubai Creative Clusters Authority to oversee freezones

The authority was previously called Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority.

Dubai Media City Freezone.

Dubai Media City Freezone.

UAE VP, PM and Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum issued a decree to form Dubai Creative Clusters Authority in order to develop creative communities in the emirate and to support its innovation strategy.

The authority, which was previously Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority, regulates all freezones under Tecom Investments, which is a unit of government-owned Dubai Holding.

The rebranded authority is expected to drive growth among Dubai’s creative industries by developing poilicies to attract creative businesses to the emirate.

In order to meet its objectives, the authority said that it will “actively develop the size and skills of the creative talent pool, promote entrepreneurship and innovation, provide financial support, create joint forums between the creative industries and government, and provide a platform for research, intelligence and advocacy.”

In addition, the authority will continue to regulate licensing, visa and zoning rules for freezones such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, International Media Production Zone, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park, Energy and Environment Park and Dubai Design District (d3).

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, has been appointed the chairman of Dubai Creative Clusters Authority while Ahmad bin Byat was appointed the director general of the authority.

“Creative industries are fast-evolving and made up of a diverse range of activities which use intellectual capital as their primary input,” said Byat.

“Ranging from film to design and gaming to architecture these industries generate high-value, highly-skilled and sustainable employment and play a central role in driving innovation and growth, with critical spill over effects for the wider economy. The authority’s role is to enable creative businesses across Dubai, especially SMEs, to compete on regional and international stages.”

Dubai has been aiming to be a regional hub for fashion and innovation as it looks to provide a platform for talent from turmoil-affected countries such as Syria and Egypt.

Earlier this year, the emirate launched the first phase of a 21 million square foot Dubai Design District (d3).

Operated by Tecom Investments, the first phase of d3 was valued at Dhs4 billion and saw about 220 companies setting up.

Last year, the UAE also announced plans to be the most innovative nation in the world within the next few years.

The strategy will focus on bringing innovation into seven sectors namely renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space, state news agency WAM reported.

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