Dubai has become the first city in the Middle East and 24th in the world to be appointed a UNESCO Creative City of Design. During a press conference held recently at the Youth Hub in the Emirates Towers the UNESCO announced the selection of Dubai as the first Creative City of Design in the Middle East within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).

The announcement was done in the presences of the top officials of Dubai’s major government departments, including Abdullah Al Basti, Secretary General of Dubai Executive Council, Dawood Abdulrahman Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, Ahmed Abdulkarim Julfar, Director General of Community Development Authority, Mohammed Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO of Dubai Design District, Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Mohammed Abdulla, Chairman, Dubai Institute for Design and Innovation (DIDI), Nasser BuShehab, Executive Director of Strategy and Corporate Governance Sector, RTA, Badr Al Gargawi, Deputy Director General, Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Mohammed Al Bahri, Chief Executive Officer, Engineering and Urban Planning, Mohammed Al Bahri, Chief Executive, Engineering and Urban Planning and Ahmed Bukhash, Executive Director, Urban Planning, Dubai Creative Cluster Authority.

The UCCN, founded in 2004, has currently 180 Members from 72 countries covering creative fields such as Art & Craft, Design, Film, Literature, and Media Arts. It was created to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 180 cities work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

“Yet another feather is added in the cap of achievements of Dubai and we are grateful to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE 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,” said Al Hajiri.

He said that the design is the process of finding creative solutions to problems in order to improve lives. “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,” said Al Hajiri.

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 Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has taken a proactive approach to innovation and creativity in Dubai’s public and private sectors.

He said this approach was reinforced by the establishment of the Dubai Design District as a specialised body to support creativity and the Dubai Institute for Design and Innovation, the first educational organisation to stimulate innovation and provide university learning opportunities at the highest international standards.