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Dubai Culture’s Theatre Art Innovation Lab discusses creative ideas to empower the theatre sector

The Theatre Art Innovation Lab launched by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) at the Al Safa Art & Design Library has generated innovative and creative ideas and solutions for empowering the theatre sector in Dubai and the UAE. Featuring a series of sessions and interactive workshops, the event facilitated a fruitful exchange of knowledge and provided a platform for brainstorming ideas and discussing the challenges facing the theatre and arts industries. The ideas, suggestions, and plans generated during this event will form an important part of the drive to enhance Dubai Culture’s strategy. 

The Theatre Art Innovation Lab provided breakthrough ideas for developing and defining the future of theatre in the Emirate. Some of the major ideas generated include the formation of a special consultative committee under the auspices of Dubai Culture that will be tasked with managing theatre as an art form with the help of a specialised team. Another idea proposed was the establishment of a technical academy to refine the skills of aspirants and professionals and position local theatre as an enabler of community engagement. 

A number of noted professionals and experts in the field of theatre participated in the initiative, which sought to provide a platform for solution-oriented dialogue and the discussion of innovative ideas for the development of theatre. Participants included Samira Ahmed, Habib Ghuloom, Abdullah Saleh, Omar Ghobash, Walid Jallaf, Walid Zaabi, Hafez Aman, Ahmed Shamsi, Jamal Matar, Khalifa Al Bahri, Aisha Al Qasab and Abdulallah Al Miqbali.
Talking about the initiative, Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture, said, “The initiative has produced a range of outputs including some striking ideas that will contribute to the development of theatre. The Lab facilitated a healthy exchange of knowledge and ideas and the participants came up with solutions to the challenges that the theatre industry should overcome to capitalise on the impact of this art form, which has the potential to create a happy and intellectually empowered community. We will ensure that these ideas and suggestions are taken into account in the best possible way.”
She added, “In order to create and implement result-oriented solutions for the theatre industry, we have to recognise that cultural awareness and identification of talent are important requirements. The industry is part of the larger creative economy, whose development will substantially contribute to national GDP. Theatre is an innovative sector, which requires support in the form of platforms for learning and refining the skills of our youngsters and recruitment of talent like the graduates of the Dubai Youth Theatre Festival. This can be done by creating a solid infrastructure that will help pave the way for the creation of a self-sustaining sector.”
Dubai Culture announced that it will take into consideration all the proposals and ideas suggested during the Theatre Art Innovation Lab and incorporate them into its strategy. The ideas and suggestions generated will be used to create programmes and specialised sessions, some of which will be implemented before the end of this year. Based on the results, Dubai Culture will announce its plans to empower the sector, spread its presence and impact across the Emirate, and reinforce the important role it has played in developing and shaping the cultural landscape. 

Her Excellency Hala Badri also noted that educational institutions and media play a key role in the development of the theatre sector and highlighted the need for them to join hands with Dubai Culture and other related establishments to promote this art form. 
The Theatre Art Innovation Lab emphasised on adopting a collective approach, and the need to integrate the efforts of local media organisations and educational institutes, in order to create a harmonious and interactive environment that will bring together aspirants, artists, and experts from various performing arts centres. During the session, experts also touched on issues like talent management, incentive initiatives, and international representation.
The participants also underlined the need to treat theatre as a science, form a team of academic specialists, and ensure systematic planning under the leadership of Dubai Culture. A well-thought-out blend of culture and education was another key suggestion made during the session. Other ideas included, marketing for theatre, supporting local artists and promoting the role of media in supporting this art form. 
The participants also pointed out that promoting happiness is an essential aspect of the overall theatre strategy and said the sector can play a key role in enhancing the community’s happiness. Dubai Culture said that it is currently working on implementing these ideas and solutions in the best possible way.

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and highlight the UAE’s rich heritage. The Authority’s mandate is to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures to enhance Dubai’s position as a creative and sustainable global city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature. It also seeks to empower these sectors by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally.