Al Quoz: The brimming hub of creativity in Dubai
Each creative individual is encouraged to start their journey and grow in Al Quoz, says Marwan Ali Naqi, Director of Strategy and Corporate Excellence Department, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority
If there is one space in the city that has ‘creativity’ written all over it — from the artworks on the walls to the graffiti on the floor spaces — it is Al Quoz. This neighbourhood in Dubai is home to hidden gems — always buzzing with exhibitions at art galleries, art performances in warehouses, and open mic nights under the skies. In the recent past, all paths creative and artsy have found an address in Al Quoz, with the neighbourhood emerging as a haven for art practitioners and lovers. In a conversation with Marwan Ali Naqi, director of strategy and corporate excellence department, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, we learn about the highlights that make this neighbourhood a unique, creative zone. “I encourage all creative talents from all over the world to establish their businesses in Dubai, especially in the Al Quoz Creative Zone, where talents can take advantage of the opportunity to live and work in the same area,” he says. Excerpts from an interview:
When did Al Quoz emerge as an art hub for Dubai and even the UAE?
Twenty-five years ago, the first building block of what Al Quoz is today started with the inauguration of The Courtyard (an improvisation theatre and training centre), which until this day serves as a centre that nurtures creativity. Back then, Al Quoz was just an open ground with huge potential that was yet to be cultivated, especially considering its geographic location in the heart of Dubai that positions it as an ideal hub for art and culture.
Looking ahead, where does it stand today?
The area has encouraged several creative talents to set up their businesses there, specifically in the Al Quoz Creative Zone, which enhances the value of the area as a regional and global centre for designers and creatives to expand their creative horizons and live and work within it (the area). This is just the start; however, we anticipate the impact of Al Quoz to ripple across the emirate, giving birth to a multitude of spaces for creative talents and professions to thrive.
What’s the one thing that Al Quoz offers artists (in terms of space, ambience, et al), which no other locality in Dubai can offer?
Al Quoz provides a pioneering environment and a comprehensive system to help develop Dubai’s creative sector within an integrated creative area that provides talents with multi-purpose spaces, tools and incentives to enrich their creativity, establish their businesses, and project their ideas to the world.
As the brain and soul behind it, share your experience of the development of the Al Quoz Creative Zone.
In my opinion, the Al Quoz Creative Zone is a key cultural and creative hub in Dubai for local and international talents as well as for aspiring entrepreneurs and talents seeking to grow their businesses in a friendly landscape. Al Quoz is a unique destination and landmark in Dubai’s 2040 Urban Master Plan, with a series of approved infrastructure projects focused on facilitating the movement of residents and visitors to the area, including, among others, a redesign of roads and pathways; the construction of common paths for pedestrians, bicycles and e-scooters; and the development of a bus route between Al Safa Metro station and the area’s tourist and artistic attractions, such as restaurants, shops and outdoor exhibitions. Dubai is committed to implementing this unique national project in the best possible way, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate a global capital of the creative economy, the preferred destination for creatives, and the world’s best city to live and work in.