Participants of Al Quoz Accelerators workshops praise it as an incubator for creative innovation and facilitator for the creative industry

Abdalla Al Mulla 

Dubai, UAE: The creative talents who participated in the Al Quoz Accelerators workshop launched by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) in cooperation with its partners at Alserkal Avenue, brought together representatives from the emirate’s creative community to nurture creativity and innovation in the sector.

The workshop reflected the keenness of the government entities involved in the implementation of the project to support creativity and creative talents based on the community’s aspirations. It also affirmed the Al Quoz Creative Zone development project’s role as a historic step to strengthen Dubai’s role as a source of creative innovation and empowered creative industry.

Mohammed Saeed Hareb, of the creative community members who participated in the workshop, asserted the importance of the project, stressing that the reality in the Al Quoz proves the possibility of transforming the industrial environment into a creative one, thanking Dubai Culture for its efforts and for bringing together all concerned parties, in order to update legislation and provide incentives by listening to creative talents and identifying their needs.

Abdalla Al Mulla said: “The workshop produced important outputs to address the challenges that the creative community experiences in Al Quoz, including the provision of business licenses, identifying the type of rental contracts, and zoning among others. Frameworks that are put in place to facilitate these matters will have a ripple effect that will positively affect other sectors.”

A historical step

Vilma Jurkute, Executive Director of Alserkal, said: “With Dubai forming a key pillar for arts infrastructure and the creative economy in the region through the contribution of homegrown initiatives, such as Alserkal, it is only natural that we would steer towards contemporary policy-making processes. Formulating an enhanced plan for Al Quoz that places community, expertise and knowledge at its core is a landmark attempt by the government to solidify Dubai’s role as a conduit for disruptive innovation in the creative industries.”

Will and determination

Butheina Kazim, Co-Founder of Cinema Akil, said: “This is the first time that we see a comprehensive and consensus-based effort on behalf of the creative community and beyond. Dubai Culture’s efforts to build an integrated infrastructure and comprehensive system to serve the creative industries, as well as bring about real change by transforming the challenges and obstacles that creative people face into strengths, are truly exceptional and require long-term work. These efforts reflect Dubai Culture’s will and determination to form a realistic view of the aspirations of the creative community and work to fulfill them, which, in my opinion, will ensure the desired transformation that we all aspire to.”

Local manufacturing

Hind Bin Demaithan, Owner of Hamzat Wasl studio, expressed her optimism about the launch of the project and the importance of establishing Al Quoz Creative Zone, saying: “The focal point that the project can provide is in producing the materials in Dubai instead of shipping them from outside the country, especially when we have the infrastructure that would enable us to manufacture these items at a cost equal to their manufacture in other countries, thus enabling creatives to produce and create more as well as motivate them with the support from the government entities.”

Success for everyone

Dariush Zandi, who lived in Dubai for over 40 years, said: “This workshop is a very important step, especially as it gave us the opportunity to express our stories and the challenges that lay ahead. Together, by exchanging views, we will witness success. My ambition was to find a space for work, living and entertainment, and this project strives to make it happen. For me, the most important result of this project is the success of the emirate, which is ultimately a success for us as well.”

Implementation and transparency

Tala Badri expressed her happiness with the project and her optimism in achieving its goals, adding: “I think the most important thing that must be done is to finalise the plan, put it into action, and inform the public of what is happening to ensure a sense of transparency.”

The working teams in the Al Quoz Accelerators workshop addressed the strengths of Al Quoz; the weaknesses or challenges facing the creative community; the available opportunities and capabilities; and innovative, creative ideas. The workshop resulted with a road map for Al Quoz Creative Zone over the next five years, the components of the 100-day plan and timeframes for its implementation were defined, and dates were set for future meetings with committee members and project-based working groups as well as developing a mechanism for exchanging information on developments.