Dubai earns its stripes as it is named a UNESCO Creative City of Design

Dubai has this week become the first city in the Middle East to be appointed a Creative City of Design by UNESCO - the UN's official body representing education, science and culture.

Announced during a press conference on Sunday, UNESCO representatives announced Dubai's selection as only the 24th city of its kind within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

Dubai was chosen for its identification of design creativity as a means of strategic and sustainable urban development - the central thread that connects the 180 member cities within the UCCN, where the goal is to position creativity and cultural industries at the heart of development plans at local level.

As a means of celebration, the city launched its Four-Year Design Initiative 2018-2021, that will feature five key projects. They include a redesign of current services that will benefit different demographics as part of Design and Innovation for Public Service Transformation initiative.

Dawood Abdulrahman Al Hajiri; Ahmed Abdulkarim Julfar of Community Development Authority; Abdullah Al Basti of Dubai Executive Council; and Saeed Al Nabouda of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority announce Dubai as a UNESCO Creative Cities of Design

A new Dubai National Design Centre will become a hub for local and international projects, while the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) will attract 35,000 global students to design and innovate across all aspects of life, away from traditional infrastructure and building design.

The formation of a Dubai Creative City of Design Council will give an expert panel scope to suggest and apply new design visions, and a four-year Dubai Design and Innovation Festival will celebrate city-wide projects that are predicted to attract international talents and conferences.

Dawood Abdulrahman Al Hajiri, Director- General of Dubai Municipality, said of the crowning: "Yet another feather has been added to the cap of achievements of Dubai and we are grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who instilled the can-do spirit in us and inspired us to attain higher purposes for our city. Thanks to His Highness’s UAE Vision 2021, Dubai accelerates development for a bright and successful future.

Dubai was chosen for its identification of design creativity as a means of strategic and sustainable urban development - the central thread that connects the 180 member cities within the UCCN, where the goal is to position creativity and cultural industries at the heart of development plans at local level

"Design is beyond the product; rather it is the framework by which problems are solved. It puts people and their needs first to convert trash into energy, improve quality of life, increase sustainability and promote happiness.

"Our Dubai city’s history with UNESCO reflects its deep rooted concern and commitment to culture and heritage. Dubai Municipality continues to reinforce the vision of its pioneering leadership and community who together have proven time and time again that they are up to spreading the greatness of Dubai across the globe. Our support of Dubai’s bid to be the first Creative City of Design in the Middle East highlights our commitment to positioning it in the forefront of success and innovation, just like we supported Dubai’s bid to host the first World Expo in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia in 2020."

Praising the achievement, Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Directors of RTA, said that it marks the culmination of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid who has taken a proactive approach to innovation and creativity in Dubai's public and private sectors.

Samantha Kane-Macdonald, INDEX event director, said: "This is just the latest nod to the remarkable design achievements of this wonderful city. As a show that has been at the heart of interior design in Dubai for nearly three full decades, we have watched the city bloom spectacularly from within.

"The new initiatives launched in tandem with Dubai being named a UNESCO Creative City of Design mark the dawn of the next exciting stage for all elements of design based here in the UAE, and we can't wait to see what they bring."

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