Dubai’s new zone to support artists with reduced rents, fee exemptions
Al Quoz Creative Zone will have multi-purpose spaces where artists can live, work, exhibit and sell products, and organise workshops.
Dubai on Tuesday launched a one-stop shop for all things creative: Called Al Quoz Creative Zone, the dynamic hub will be the perfect space for artists and designers to live, work, and create.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of the emirate, inaugurated the zone as part of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy.
With an array of facilities and services, it will serve as the go-to hub for artists’ needs — from multi-purpose spaces to freelancing permits, business licences, and financing solutions and incentives.
Emerging entrepreneurs and artists with projects and activities in the new zone will receive an exclusive ‘Al Quoz Creative Membership’, which gives them access to incentives such as fee exemptions, reduced rents, and logistics support. They will also benefit from training and programmes designed to help artists transform their creative ideas into business.
They will have multi-purpose spaces where they can live, work, exhibit and sell their products, as well as organise art workshops. A smart platform will also enable companies and entities to display rental spaces for creative professionals at affordable rates.
Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said the new zone is the first of numerous plans and initiatives to be launched under the emirate’s creative economy strategy, with goals to transform the city into a world capital of innovation.
A committee — chaired by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) — will oversee the complete implementation of the project. Committee members will include representatives of relevant authorities from the public and private sectors.
One-stop shop, new routes
The zone puts all creative-related services and permits under one roof. Entrepreneurs and active professionals in the sector will be able to issue freelancing permits and a single licence to practise diverse business activities, apart from other official permits.
As part of the new strategy, flexible creative legal frameworks will ease business procedures for creative SMEs and support their growth. Other incentives include exemptions from import and export fees, visa issuance fees, licensing fees and Dubai Chamber fees.
Even mobility will be innovative at the Al Quoz zone, with new scooter, walking and cycling tracks to be set up, in addition to bus stops. There will also be outdoor food kiosks, shops and exhibitions.
It also features the ‘Al Quoz Vanguards’ programme that aims to attract world leading brands to open branches and shops in Al Quoz, as part of efforts to enhance Dubai’s profile as a leading destination for creatives around the world.
The zone will cover a range of fields including publishing, writing, print and audio-visual media, such as cinema, music and video, as well as artistic and cultural industries, cultural heritage museums, historical sites, archives, major cultural events, libraries, and the software and video gaming industry.
It also includes design in all its variations, whether related to fashion, gaming, software, or architecture.
Al Quoz Creative Zone was launched in the presence of Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Part of an ambitious strategy
The Al Quoz Creative Zone marks the beginning of bigger projects and initiatives aimed at developing the creative sector in the emirate and boosting its contribution to the national economy under the overarching Dubai Creative Economy Strategy.
The strategy, which aims to make Dubai a global capital for innovation by 2025, seeks to upgrade the legal and investment environment to enhance the city’s attractiveness to creators, investors and entrepreneurs, as well as local and global investments in creative industries.
The integrated initiative also aims to develop the creative industries sustainably by rolling out legislative, investment and technical frameworks. To advance this aim, a number of flexible packages, incentives and advanced creative incubators will also be provided.
The strategy focuses on providing a suitable and stimulating climate for creatives to generate added economic value from their creative activity. This will be done by integrating creativity with capital investment opportunities that can bring significant returns.
Dubai seeks to double the number of creative companies based in the emirate and boost the creative industries’ GDP contribution to five per cent of Dubai’s economy by 2025, up from 2.6 per cent at the end of 2020.
Dubai commenced the process of developing its creative economy with the establishment of hubs such as Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Design District, which laid the groundwork for a vibrant creative ecosystem in the emirate.
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