Abu Dhabi is investing at least 30 billion dirhams ($8.17 billion) to speed up the growth of its culture and creative industries.
A further 22 billion dirhams is expected to be rolled out for the industry over the next five years with a large portion to be channelled to the development and support of cultural institutions, mainly new museums, state news agency WAM reported on June 8.
Abu Dhabi’s government has already committed to the building of the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Large-scale projects in the past include Louvre Abu Dhabi and Al Hosn.
The emirate has spent around 8.5 billion dirhams in the last five years for the culture and creative industries, including in flagship projects Yas Creative Hub and Saadiyat Cultural District. The money also went into building soft infrastructure such as the Creative Visa that was announced earlier this year.
Abu Dhabi is also positioning itself as a centre for Arabic language and has invested in platforms such as the Sheikh Zayed Book Award and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.
The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi will bring all culture and creative industries under its roof. These include film and television, multimedia, gaming, e-sports, heritage, crafts, design, publishing, visual and performing arts.
The authority is also expanding its portfolio to include a new sector to support the emirate’s creative industries and oversee the Creative Visa programme. “Its mandate will include regulating, promoting and developing a number of strategic initiatives and overseeing organisations including Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Gaming, and Abu Dhabi Film Commission, as well as training and development programmes such as creative lab and Arab Film Studio,” said WAM.
Details of the new sector will be announced soon.
Neighbouring emirate Dubai is also investing in the development of its creative economy. Dubai most recently in April announced a committee to develop a new creative district as part of its efforts to becomg the "capital of the glocal creative economy" by 2025.
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