Dubai Culture and DIEDC announce winners of Islamic Creative Economy competition

Wednesday 31 October 2018
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, history, and literature, in collaboration with the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC), announced the three winners of the first Islamic Creative Economy (ICE) Competition on 30th October during the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES) that took place in Dubai.

The ICE competition aims to shed light on new ideas and innovative projects that strive to redefine the nexus of culture, commerce, and technology, as well as to help the artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs behind them bring their visions to life. It’s an international competition that attracts a large number of partners and participants and is evidence of our drive to support young talent, establish long-term strategic partnerships and aid the development of creative projects.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture, commented: “The competition supports the vision of establishing Dubai as the global capital of the Islamic economy by empowering and guiding entrepreneurs and creating newer opportunities for the rest. It also aligns with the objectives of Dubai Plan 2021 to enhance the happiness and comfort of people living in the Emirate, encouraging them to continue developing their skills, and motivating them to be creative and innovative. Dubai Culture organises and supports a diverse array of events, initiatives, and partnerships to nurture talent, promote synergy between the creative industries, and position Dubai as a global cultural capital.”

Of the 37  entities — ranging from international and local partners, governmental and non-governmental organisations — that took part in the competition’s outreach programme to help reflect on its role in the Islamic culture, 10 finalists were shortlisted, and three winners were selected by a jury and voted upon by the audience.  Evaluation of the nominated startups was based on a myriad of factors that included innovation, technology, feasibility, market opportunity, scalability, and inspiration among others. The jury members were Ameera Amir, Founder & CEO of Weyakum & Lahum; Glen Meh, Head of Development Innovation in the Innovation Skills team at Nesta; and Moustafa Fahour - Founder & Patron of the Islamic Museum of Australia. The winners were chosen for their innovation and their application of technology in advancing upon and propelling their business to a global level of ingenuity.

First place was bagged by Francesco Cavallari, Founder & President of Video Games Without Borders (VGWB), a nonprofit organisation and a global community of people that believes digital games can make the world better; second place went to Karim Jabbari, Founder of Made From Words, a company that helps create interesting projects socially and artistically; and third place was awarded to Mohsen Hazrati, Founder of Team Engare, a company that makes games based on geometry, the basis of Islamic art.

The first winner will be receiving a cash price of $15,000, the second winner $10,000 and the third $5,000 to progress upon their business ideas and further advance them to benefit and strengthen the Islamic Creative Economy.

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “In line with the shared commitment of DIEDC and Dubai Culture to invest in the art and culture segments of the Islamic economy that are shaping new industries with considerable potential for development, the Islamic Creative Economy Competition is an attempt to encourage the younger Muslim population to express themselves artistically, and empower innovators to realise their creative dreams. We congratulate the winners of the inaugural edition of this ground-breaking competition, and are optimistic that the initiative will grow in scope and scale in the years to come.”

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to 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, with the aim to empower these sectors by developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally.

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