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Latifa bint Mohammed gives green light for governance system and 100-day plan to develop Al Quoz Creative Zone

12 Jun, 2021

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), expressed her confidence in the ability of committee and executive team members of the Al Quoz Creative Zone to work together effectively to develop the project in accordance with the high standards outlined in its project plan. 

She emphasised Dubai’s commitment to implement 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 Dubai a global capital of the creative economy, the   preferred destination for creatives and the world’s best city to live and work.

Her Highness’s remarks came during the project committee’s first meeting chaired by her to discuss the implementation of the Al Quoz Creative Zone. The meeting, held in the presence of His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), and Vice Chairman of the Committee; His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality; His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy; His Excellency Helal Saeed Almarri, and Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism); and Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, discussed a comprehensive proposal to manage the project, aiming to develop an integrated creative ecosystem for creatives, cultural innovators and entrepreneurs. The Zone will enhance the value of Al Quoz as a regional and global centre for designers and creatives who wish to live, create and work within it and from a professional and lifestyle perspective. The meeting also deliberated on the approval for the project’s governance system and its objectives and progress indicators of the 100-day plan to implement its first phase.

Her Highness said: “This is a pioneering project with ambitious goals, and we want it to be the best model for a creative ecosystem locally and globally. We have a clear vision to accomplish this unique national project in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who continues to inspire us with his leadership and unique forward-thinking philosophy in shaping the future. I have confidence in the outstanding competence of all committee members and their ability to actualise this initiative at the highest standards and to realise His Highness's vision for a future in which Dubai leads the global cultural scene and is the pre-eminent hub for talent and enterprise in the creative economy.”

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa approved the governance system for the project, which defines the roles and functions of all project teams. The Executive Team includes Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director-General of Dubai Culture, the Chairperson of the Team; Eng Hussain Al Banna, Executive Director of Traffic Department, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), the Vice Chairperson of the Team; and representatives from Dubai Culture, RTA, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Economy, and wasl Asset Management Group.

The infrastructure development project team, headed by Eng Hussain Al Banna from RTA, includes representatives of Dubai Municipality, wasl Asset Management Group and Dubai Culture, while the creative community support project team is headed by Lina Zain Al Din from Dubai Culture and includes representatives from Dubai Economy and Dubai Tourism. All these teams are supported by a Dubai Culture team. 

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa emphasised the importance of integrating the roles of team members and the need for cooperation and team spirit. Her Highness also approved the 100-day plan, a comprehensive development plan that outlines the priorities for the teams and their goals and project indicators. Priorities for the infrastructure development project team include conducting a comparative study on similar projects that combine living, working and public creative spaces; developing a multi-use space model; submitting recommendations to the project committee; and identifying activities related to the creative industries sector and necessary permits in the Al Quoz Creative Zone.

His Excellency Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Roads and Transportation Authority and Vice Chairman of the Al Quoz Creative Zone Committee, said: "The approval of the governance system for the project and the progress indicators of the 100-day plan marks the completion of a key stage in transforming the Al Quoz Creative Zone into an integrated centre that attracts innovative and creative individuals from around the world. The initiative will create an artistic and cultural destination for tourists. RTA supports the Al Quoz Creative Zone with a series of projects focused on facilitating the movement of residents and visitors to the area. It includes the redesign of roads and pathways in the area by developing an infrastructure to integrate various means of transportation and flexible mobility in Al Quoz and connecting the zone with the Al Safa metro station, the construction of common paths for pedestrians, bicycles and e-scooters, the implementation of a bridge designed creatively for pedestrians, bicycles and scooters on Al Manara Street, 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. RTA will add aesthetic and innovative features across various facilities and transportation means in the Zone in alignment with the project’s brand identity.”

His Excellency Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, said: “Dubai continues its march towards consolidating its position as a destination and hub for the creative economy in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Al Quoz Creative Zone project is an embodiment of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to create a conducive environment for culture and creativity to flourish and enhance Dubai's global profile as a magnet for creatives in various fields. The leadership’s objective is to provide an ideal environment for developing the talent of future generations and offering a platform for fostering exceptional achievements in the creative and cultural fields. We will employ all the resources that we have to achieve a quantum leap in the creative sector in cooperation with our partners so that the Al Quoz Creative Zone becomes a beacon for creative excellence in the world.”

His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of Dubai Economy, said: “We look forward to moving forward with the implementation of the Al Quoz Creative Zone in an optimal manner that would befit Dubai's leading position and role in the cultural sector regionally and globally, in line with the directives of our wise leadership. At Dubai Economy, we are committed to utilising all our capabilities, expertise and human resources to achieve the highest levels of cooperation, coordination and partnership with various government and private entities in order to realise this project, consolidate the growth of the creative economy and enhance its contribution to the emirate’s GDP, thus contributing to achieving Dubai’s future aspirations."

His Excellency, Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (Dubai Tourism), commented: “With Dubai taking the lead globally in restarting various sectors, a key focus now is to accelerate the momentum of recovery through strategic initiatives like the Al Quoz Creative Zone, based on 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 the global capital of the creative economy by 2025.  Our city’s progress has always been driven by innovation and during this time of rapid change, the relevance of rethinking traditional business models has led to Dubai providing unique flexible platforms for a new generation of creative entrepreneurs. In line with Dubai’s goal to become the world's best city to live in, work and visit, Dubai Tourism is committed to play a key role in ensuring the success of this latest dynamic hub designed to further grow the city’s cultural and creative offering and help increase the creative industry’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP to five per cent within the next five years.”

Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, commented: “The development of the project’s governance system and the elements of its comprehensive 100-day plan came as a result of the joint efforts of Dubai Culture and the members of the Al Quoz Creative Zone Committee. We are working closely with each other according to a framework created to achieve the future vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. At the Authority, we will spare no effort to implement the project and fulfil its goals within the time frame outlined for the plan. This represents an ambitious new journey in which we will combine our efforts to strengthen Dubai's position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent. The project will enhance Dubai’s creative economy and serve the needs of the creative community in a manner that enhances their development and growth.”

His Excellency Hesham Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group, said: “Our mandate is to help realise 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 the ideal place to work, live and visit. We are pleased to extend our support for the development of the Al Quoz Creative Zone, especially as this project will cement Dubai’s position as the capital of the global creative economy and a destination for creatives. Backed by our accumulated experience across multiple sectors, we will work in full harmony with all our partners in the project to ensure its timely completion.”

Priorities for the infrastructure team include providing flexible mobility, launching the visitor transportation service from Al Safa Metro Station to the Al Quoz Creative Zone, developing the initial design for pedestrian routes and individual transportation means and providing advisory services (study and design) for transportation integration and flexible mobility in the Zone, in addition to renaming the streets in the area and encouraging landowners there to provide units for creatives.

Priorities for supporting the creatives include activating cultural visas for creatives in Al Quoz, launching a dedicated platform for them within ‘Invest in Dubai’, offering a membership programme called “Al Quoz Creative Membership”, and developing an integrated marketing strategy to attract talent and spread awareness locally and globally about the Zone.

Based on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai the capital of the global creative economy by 2025 and in line with the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa appointed the members of the committee created to implement the Al Quoz Creative Zone project on 14 April 2021. The committee includes members from government entities that will participate in the implementation of the project: RTA, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Culture, Dubai Economy, Dubai Tourism and wasl Asset Management Group.

Following this, Dubai Culture held two Al Quoz accelerator workshops, the first of which was held on 19th of April featuring representatives of creative industries, members of the creative community and committee members. The workshop discussed a number of topics including multi-purpose laws and spaces, physical infrastructure, creative business support systems for enhancing ease of services and business set-up, attracting talent, and understanding the perceptions of the creative community. The second workshop held on 27 April featuring representatives of the committee members, discussed the 100-day plan and identified priorities for project implementation.
 
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