H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has approved the ‘Rehabilitation and Revitalisation of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood Strategy’ and the ‘Public Art Strategy’ that form part of a broader strategic framework to preserve local heritage and strengthen Dubai’s position as a city at the forefront of shaping the global and regional cultural landscape.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan affirmed that supporting cultural diversity and empowering the cultural and creative sectors, which constitute important segments of the local economy, are key priorities for Dubai.
The Crown Prince said these efforts are in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the emirate a global creative economy hub, an incubator for talent and a destination for art and culture enthusiasts.
His Highness further said: “As part of our comprehensive efforts to preserve our historical assets and enhance their profile locally and globally, we have developed a strategy to rehabilitate and revitalise the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, which dates back to the 19th century. We seek to turn it into a leading cultural destination that highlights our nation’s authentic architectural and urban heritage. We also adopted the Public Art Strategy that will contribute to making Dubai a globally unique ‘open art gallery’ that offers distinctive creative and cultural experiences.”
Sheikh Hamdan also praised the efforts of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, under the leadership of H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Authority, for setting up a mechanism to support and attract public art talent from around the world; creating the appropriate environment for public art to flourish; setting governance frameworks; developing policies and legislation to regulate the roles of stakeholders and partners; and creating a strategy for programmes, events and initiatives within the private sector, in addition to the Authority’s pivotal role in marketing and promoting historical places in Dubai.
He also praised the efforts of various partners in the public and private sectors who have contributed and continue to support the approved strategies that are aligned with the directives of the leadership in addition to participating in public art projects.
These partners include Dubai Economy and Tourism, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Land Department, the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Roads and Transport Authority and Dubai Police. Sub-partners include Emirates Airlines, wasl, AMG, Emaar, Dubai Holding, Dubai International Financial Centre, supporters, financial institutions, art sponsors and private companies as well as other stakeholders and the community of art lovers, which includes residents, visitors, students, artists and curators.
H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, expressed her appreciation for the support and guidance of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and his deep commitment to developing the cultural and creative sector in Dubai.
Her Highness said the vibrant growth of the sector in recent years reflects Dubai’s position as a growing global and regional hub of creativity. Sheikha Latifa also underlined the importance of the two new strategies that complement the Authority’s roadmap for the growth and transformation of the sector. “Driven by the vision of the leadership, we seek to accelerate the implementation of our strategic plan to make Dubai the capital of the global creative economy. We have established strong links of cooperation with government departments as well as private sector institutions to expedite the realisation of Dubai’s broader goals. We continue to launch new initiatives, projects and programmes to enhance Dubai’s status as a major global focal point of cultural and knowledge-related activity. The level of support provided by the public and private sectors and the broader Dubai community reflects the value placed by all stakeholders on encouraging creativity and preserving our cultural heritage.”
The objectives of the strategic plan for Al Fahidi were based on the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan; the priorities related to culture and heritage in the Dubai Strategic Plan 2030; the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s strategic roadmap; and global standards for the development of cultural neighbourhoods.
The strategy seeks to reposition the neighbourhood as a cultural tourism destination by transforming it into a platform for young people to showcase their creative talent and start-up companies in the cultural sector to showcase their offerings. It also aims to rehabilitate the neighbourhood’s facilities and infrastructure as well as improve its general appearance.
Furthermore, the plan aims to highlight Al Fahidi as a distinctive historical neighbourhood that showcases the nation’s cultural identity and promotes art, culture, creativity, innovation and the UAE’s heritage.
The Public Art Strategy aims to promote new artistic trends, cultural innovation and the new creative movement in the emirate through a unified governance framework. The Strategy, which seeks to contribute to economic growth, is being implemented with the participation of partners from all sectors including the private sector.”
The three pillars of the Public Art Strategy include: Economic growth by stimulating cultural tourism, creating new opportunities for local investment, moving the economic wheel for accompanying sectors, and creating new jobs.
Development of the cultural infrastructure by encouraging youth to contribute to improving technical infrastructure, advancing Dubai’s competitive position in terms of cultural interaction, and maintaining the emirate’s tourism and cultural identity.
Sustainable urban and community development through the enhancement of societal cohesion between different nationalities through art, and the creation of an integrated environment and sustainable system, starting from the development of the artwork to its maintenance and presentation to the public.
The general strategic plan for the rehabilitation and revitalisation of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood seeks to reach various target audiences through a series of events and programmes throughout the year that reflect the neighbourhood’s vision and artistic and cultural identities.
These include innovative interactive experiences to attract the younger generation and art enthusiasts; art forms that reflect the vibrant creative identity of the neighbourhood; interactive tours that creatively highlight the history and heritage of the region; and performing arts stemming from Emirati heritage. Implemented over several phases, the two strategies will lead to the initiation of various programmes, events and projects.