Revealed: UAE strategy to increase income of culture sector workers, create more jobs

The strategy focuses on 40 initiatives covering three main segments including talents, creatives and professionals.


Waheed Abbas

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Published: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 1:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 30 Nov 2021, 2:13 PM

The UAE plans to double the number of companies operating in the cultural and creative industries, create new jobs and raise the average income of the workers.

This comes as part of the UAE’s National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, on Monday.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, the UAE’s Minister of Culture and Youth, said cultural and creative industries are a major driver of sustainable development to diversify the economy and increase the economic contribution of the cultural and creative industries to at least five per cent of the GDP in the next ten years.

The UAE is home to 22 free zones that cater to and attract freelancers and creative start-ups to set up, live, and work in the UAE.

To achieve these objectives, the UAE’s strategy focuses on 40 initiatives covering three main segments including talents and creatives; professionals and business environment; and enabling the business environment. These include 16 initiatives aimed at talents and creatives; 10 initiatives for professionals and the business environment; and 14 initiatives for enabling the business environment.

Al Kaabi explained that the strategy of the Ministry of Culture and Youth is based on the partnerships between the public and private sectors.

"Given the critical importance of the cultural and creative industries on the global economy, the United Nations declared 2021 as the ’International Year of Creative Economy for Sustainable Development’ which underlines the strong link between these industries to achieve global sustainable development despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” she added.

The minister explained that the National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries is working to unite efforts at the federal and local levels to achieve the strategic objectives of institutions operating in this sector, in partnership with the government and private sectors, educational institutions and non-governmental organisations.

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced technology, said the UAE focuses on enabling its economy to be one of the strongest and among the most active economies in the world.

"The partnership between the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology and the Ministry of Culture and Youth comes as part of the efforts to drive growth in the economic sectors for the next fifty years, and we are committed to supporting the cultural and creative industries as part of the government's strategy. We offer our support through the standards and technical regulations sector within the ministry, to ensure the sustainability of cultural and creative industries through policies, regulations and legislation, as well as a combination of culture, creativity and advanced technology, to facilitate the availability of these products in global markets,” he said.

Dr Abdulrahman Al Awar, Minister of Human Resources and Emiratisation, said the strategy will improve market competitiveness, which would positively reflect on the country’s global competitiveness.

The UAE is leading the Arab world and is second globally in the field of creative goods and services. It ranks sixth in the world in the creative goods exports index, according to the results of the Global Innovation Index 2021.

Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, UAE’s Minister of Economy, said: “The launch of the National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries represents a huge leap in the development of the creative economy. It plays a key role in enhancing the country’s position as a leading destination in this promising, diversified and rich sector full of opportunities.”

He said this initiative will lead to the development of industries related to culture, heritage, creativity, arts and entertainment, including digital and new media, and support the new economic sector in the country.

Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid, UAE’s Minister of Community Development, said her ministry will launch several initiatives and programmes to promote sustainable development in this vital sector.

“Most notably, we will be monitoring closely the work of non-governmental organisations and institutions operating in the cultural sector, and improving the mechanism for classifying and publicising associations (technical service).

“We will enable the formation of associations and non-governmental organizations in the cultural and creative sphere and help them play a more central role in the economic development of the nation. We will work to establish more such institutions for greater impact by developing the legislative system to support this sector,” she added.

Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE’s Minister of education said the Ministry of Education is working on several plans including designing cultural and creative education programmes for early childhood, to identify creators from an early age, discover their talents, and nurture them as future creators to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy for Cultural and Creative Industries.

The ministry is also working on initiatives to stimulate creativity in the educational system and enhance creative skills development programmes by reviewing curricula, to identify gaps and keep pace with recent developments in the field of cultural and creative industries.


“We will also organise programmes that enhance future skills and global citizenship in cultural and creative industries. Development of grants for cultural studies and research is also part of these initiatives that will provide a balanced approach to develop the cultural and creative industries sector and align it with the needs of the labour market,” he concluded.

Hanan Ahli, Director of the Federal Center for Competitiveness and Statistics said the centre entered a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Culture and Youth to develop the economic statistical framework for the cultural and creative industries, in cooperation with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the national statistical centres.

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