10-year Dubai cultural visa application among services on offer as new agreement announced

MoU to offer special incentives to new creative economy businesses


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Published: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 4:07 PM

Last updated: Sun 7 Aug 2022, 6:53 PM

An agreement announced on Sunday will help establish new businesses in select creative economy sectors and support their long-term growth in Dubai CommerCity. These services include applying for a long-term cultural visa, a first-of-its-kind 10-year residency offered to creative talents.

The selected cultural and creative sectors covered in the agreement are music, fine arts, photography, film and video production, video game development, fashion design, graphic design, product design, interior and landscape design, architectural services, advertising services, and IT and software services.

This came as Dubai CommerCity and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) signed the agreement to enhance the emirate’s attractiveness as a global hub for creative economy.

Dubai CommerCity, the region’s first e-commerce free zone, is part of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ).

The partnership will provide creative businesses with special incentives, including creative activities, logistics, consultation, banking solutions and services, and access to creative workspaces such as studios, conference rooms, and exhibitions.

The creative sector is one of the most promising in Dubai, generating the largest share of job opportunities, especially for youth. It also enhances entrepreneurship opportunities and supports micro and small enterprises, which account for 97 per cent of all creative businesses. Despite the pandemic, the sector has witnessed a steady growth in the number of enterprises and employment.

The partnership aligns with the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy launched in 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The strategy aims to double the creative industries’ contribution to Dubai’s GDP to 5 per cent, increase the number of Dubai-based creative enterprises to 15,000, and provide 140,000 jobs in various creative economy sectors by 2026.


Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, executive chairman of DIEZ, said: “The cultural and creative sectors play a strategic role in the national economy, empowering businesses based on knowledge, innovation, and creativity.”

Hala Badri, director-general of Dubai Culture, said: “Through such collaborations, we seek to enhance the cultural sector in Dubai and actively empower its creative economy.”

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