Dubai – MENA Herald: The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for heritage, arts and culture, today unveiled Creatopia (www.creatopia.ae), the nation’s first government empowered virtual community for creativity to mark the inaugural UAE Innovation Week, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

Creatopia was launched at an event held at Dubai Design District (d3) under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikh Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.  Driven and mandated by Dubai Culture, Creatopia aims to mobilise, activate and inspire talents in Dubai while promoting a new level of partnerships, engagement and collaborative communication within the culture, arts and heritage sectors.

His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, introduced the concept of Creatopia. A centre for the creative community of Dubai to gather in and grow around, it facilitates engagement with peers as well as authorities and independent talent seekers, for sharing and exchange of creative resources, thereby aiding individuals in personal growth.

By connecting creative individuals with like-minded peers and exposing them to relevant news, Creatopia guides and nurtures the creative culture of Dubai. It provides a platform of information and opportunities leading to exposure and personal growth. Creatopia also provides creative individuals with the satisfaction of belonging to a community within which they can properly use their talent

At the event, Creative Dubai, a book that charts the evolution of Dubai’s creative industry was also launched. It features insightful interviews of creative professionals who have been an integral part of the progress that Dubai has achieved in driving the creative sector over the years. Creative Dubai, showcases the diverse initiatives led by the government and the private sector that helped the city to achieve transformational growth as a cultural capital, taking it one step closer to achieve the goal of Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a ‘city of happy, creative and empowered people.’

A discussion on Creative Dubai was also held with Jamal Al Sharif, Managing Director of Dubai Media City and Dubai Studio City; Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing; and Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai, sharing their views on Dubai’s creative economy. The session was moderated by James Piecowye, Associate Professor, Zayed University.

Dubai Culture is organising a series of activities to mark the UAE Innovation Week. These include an Art Lab being held over two days, on Nov. 25 and 26, to be attended by over 70 representatives of Dubai’s creative sector including artists, gallerists, studios, government officials and officials from the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. It will discuss the challenges currently faced by artists in Dubai, prioritising the most urgent areas of need, before considering the opportunities best suited to government intervention.

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: “While Dubai has achieved impressive strides in promoting the cultural scene and fostering creative industries, the UAE Innovation Week offers us a significant platform to engage the community further and identify innovative ideas that will enhance the city’s creative economy. Dubai Culture’s initiatives are aimed at achieving the goal of Dubai Plan 2021, announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to establish the city as the home of ‘creative, empowered and happy people.’

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa added: “Creatopia is a comprehensive platform that will establish Dubai as a new global centre for creativity and enhance the city’s cultural identity. It will strengthen opportunities & resources for creative professionals to unlock their imagination and true potential. With Creatopia, we are driving critical and creative thinking, which are the fundamental priorities to nurturing the next generation of innovators in creative industries. It will transform Dubai into a unique creative destination for both emerging and established artists.”

His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais added: “His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has outlined a clear vision for the future of Dubai in which smart initiatives, innovation and creativity will be the driving forces of all-round progress and the happiness of the city’s residents. The two initiatives – Creatopia and Creative Dubai are a natural progression for Dubai Culture to proactively assemble and connect a network of creative talent, government entities and online resources. These projects showcase the emerging potential of the cultural sector as a source of jobs, as a fertile ground for talent and entrepreneurs and as a contribution to Dubai’s position as a global hub for culture and arts.”

“The responsibility to creating a cultural and creative ecosystem lies with us. The government entities need to support talent, innovation and promote collaboration with the creative community at large. Academics and educational institutions need to look at the courses and programmes they offer and how they are contributing to the success of our emerging talent. The creative community must open its networks online so that everyone cannot just succeed but thrive in this ecosystem. We believe that it is important to organise and facilitate the growth of Dubai’s cultural scene by ensuring an integrated approach that will inspire talents and attract cultural professionals to the city. With these initiatives we are bringing a new mind-shift that brings insight and innovation together.”

Dubai Culture also organised a children’s ‘Makey-Makey’ workshop at Dubai Design District that was open for children from 4 to 12 years. Organised in partnership with Dubai Design District and Rochester Institute of Technology, the workshop featured activities that promote computational thinking and interactive design.