Dubai Culture Wins ALECSO Award with Smart Application

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Authority awarded best cultural application in the Arab world

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, recently won the ALECSO App Award, which awarded its mobile smart application ‘best cultural application in the Arab world’. The award was presented by the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) at a ceremony in Dubai held in December, which recognised the best mobile applications in education, culture, science and education.

Director of Information Technology Department at Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Mohamed Yousif Al Hammadi said: “Dubai Culture’s IT efforts continuously employ advanced technology trends in order to provide innovative creative services, making the Authority a key government catalyst carrying out the Emirate’s vision to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. An example of Dubai Culture’s work in this regard is the recent launch of our corporate application which was awarded the ‘Best Government Mobile Service’ for the tourism sector during its second edition. Our recent win of an ALECSO Apps Award is testament to our focus on employing the latest developments and rapid changes in information technology, to strengthen and promote the cultural and creative fabric of Dubai.” The competition attracted a total number of 1,350 applications from 19 Arab countries. The Authority’s participation stemmed from its commitment to participate in regional and international events related to innovation, to further raise awareness of the UAE’s advanced technological position in the world. This event provided an opportunity to the Authority’s delegation to exchange knowledge, ideas and experience in the cultural field. The 2016 ALECSO App Awards were held under the theme ‘Arab applications by Arab Capacity’, in an initiative that aimed to support entrepreneurship in the Arab world. The competition also served to identify and shine a spotlight on young and emerging IT talent in the region, thereby empowering them and contributing towards their development. Furthermore, the competition also sought to develop and support the production of mobile applications in the region. The Authority’s focus aligns with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to deliver world-class smart services and infrastructure to create happiness, achieving higher satisfaction rates for visitors and exceeding their expectations. It also comes in line with the ‘Dubai Government Towards 2021’ initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai. The Authority won an ALECSO App Award for its Dubai Culture smart application, which has recently been enhanced with a number of new features. The app utilises ‘augmented reality’ as a tool, supported by ‘iBeacon’ technology which enables users able to identify sites of historical interest and provides notifications of nearby historical sites. Through the medium of a smartphone camera, the app also overlays smartphone screens with information and interactive images. The ALECSO Apps Awards aim to achieve a number of objectives including identifying young talent in the Arab world, encouraging producers to create and innovate, and creating a network for mobile applications developers in the region. In addition, the awards also aim to contribute towards promoting Arabic digital content, in order to support and encourage young people to employ new smart mobile devices to serve education, culture and science.

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority:

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) was launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in order to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape. The Authority has grown to play a major role in the realisation of the Dubai Plan 2021, to highlight Dubai as a thriving capital for creative industries and further embed the Emirate’s credentials as a city of happy, creative and empowered people.

As part of its mandate, Dubai Culture has several initiatives that are focused on strengthening both the historic and modern cultural fabric of Dubai, including Dubai Art Season – the city’s premier umbrella arts initiative which kicks off with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and encompasses Art Week including Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai, and SIKKA Art Fair, Middle East Film & Comic Con, SIKKA Art Fair – an annual event aimed at promoting Emirati and local artists in the UAE and the wider GCC region, Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre – an annual festival that fosters the art of theatre in the UAE and that is celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2016, and Dubai Next – a dynamic platform that aims to showcase the Emirate’s cultural ethos and its vibrant creative scene on the global stage.

The Authority’s other key initiatives include Creatopia – the nation’s first government empowered virtual community that guides and nurtures the creative culture of the nation and provides a platform of information and opportunities that lead to exposure and personal growth.

Dubai Culture also plays a leading role in support of the UAE National Strategy for Reading 2026, in particular by undertaking a major refurbishment of all Dubai Public Libraries branches to transform them into state-of-art cultural and artistic hubs. Across all of its branches, Dubai Public Library also provides children and young adults with a range of educational and entertaining activities that encourage the use of its facilities. The ‘Our Summer is Filled with Culture & Arts Programme’ is a Dubai Public Library initiative which complements the UAE National Reading Strategy, with its activities open to all age groups, and which revolve around four key themes: happiness, reading, family and the future.

The Authority also manages more than 17 heritage sites across the Emirate, and is a key government stakeholder in the development of the Dubai Historical District. As the custodian Authority of Dubai’s museum sector, Dubai Culture will officially launch Etihad Museum in December 2016. The museum will provide a platform to encourage cultural exchange and to connect Emirati youth with their culture and history. As part of the Authority’s mandate to support Dubai’s vision of becoming the focal point of diverse cultural exchange (regionally & globally), all of its museums will provide a catalyst to preserve Emirati Heritage.