Dubai Culture Sheds Light on Creativity and Innovation through ‘Islamic Creative Economy’ Competition

Thursday 25 October 2018
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, has announced the list of partners and finalists for the Islamic Creative Economy (ICE) Competition, which was launched in partnership with Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC). The winners will be announced during the Global Islamic Economy Summit taking place 30th – 31st October, 2018.

The ICE Competition is designed to highlight bold new ideas that strive to redefine the nexus of culture, commerce, and technology, as well as help artists, innovators, and entrepreneurs to bring their visions to life. A total of 37 local and international partners from governmental and non-governmental organisations took part in the competition’s outreach programme, reflecting the importance of the competition and its role in promoting Islamic culture, the establishment of a system that helps empower and guide entrepreneurs, and the development of a global system capable of attracting creative entrepreneurs while creating new opportunities for them.

ICE competition partners are: Dubai Culture and Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (organising partners), in addition to the United Arab Emirates Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Thomson Reuters, Dubai Chamber, UNIDO ITPO Bahrain,  BEKRAF - Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (Indonesia Agency For Creative Economy) , Municipality of Torino, the British Council, Torino Chamber of Commerce; NESTA, the Global Entrepreneurship Network, the Islamic Museum of Australia, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, Dubai Design and Fashion Council; in5, Sheraa – Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre, the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre in Dubai Silicon Oasis, Young Architect and Design Programme (Aga Khan Award for Architecture), Ahead of the Curve, the Canadian Business Council of Dubai & The Northern Emirates, Alserkal Group, Alserkal Cultural Foundation, LaunchGood, Wamda, Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, Global Game Jam Inc., Welcome Challenge, Zileej, Games 4 Change, Jsoor, Nuqat, Weyakum, Lahum, PinkTank , Sajory ,GEN Global and Game Arts International Network (GAIN), Salaam Gateway (media partner, and YouNoodle (technology partner).

The partners nominated those who best found inspiration in the heritage of Islamic culture and conceived a business idea that links to the creative economy. After receiving over 120 nominations, 10 finalists were selected to pitch their innovative solutions during the fourth edition of the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES). The top three winners will be selected by a jury and voted upon by the audience, and will be announced on the same day during the Gala Dinner.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture, commented: “This competition is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the capital of Islamic economy. It also aligns with the objectives of ‘Dubai Plan 2021’ aiming to enhance the happiness and comfort of people living in the Emirate.”

Al Nabouda added: “We at Dubai Culture are proud to launch this international competition that attracted a big number of partners and participants. It stands as evidence of its importance in supporting young talent, establishing partnerships, and in developing creative and innovative projects and initiatives locally, regionally, and globally. We are happy to work with all of these partners who nominated participants from their countries, supporting our mandate to promote Dubai’s position as a global, creative, and sustainable city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature.”

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of DIEDC, said: “The Islamic Creative Economy Competition aims to support innovators and spotlight creative ideas that redefine the relationship between culture, trade, and technology. Through providing a platform for startups in the Islamic economy space to market their products and services, and test their viability in the real world, the competition supports the nation’s transformation into a knowledge-based economy.”

Al Awar added: “As an outcome of a strategic partnership between DIEDC and Dubai Culture, the competition seeks to restore Islamic culture to its former glory, and establish an ecosystem that empowers and guides entrepreneurs on their innovative journey.”

He noted that Islamic lifestyle had been chosen as a key pillar of the DIEDC 2017-2021 Strategy, because the growth of the Islamic economy depends on rejuvenating Islamic culture. Young people make up a significant component of the production and consumption cycle, and constitute a majority of the Muslim population today that are keen to express themselves through creative and artistic methods and thereby establish their own unique identity. DIEDC will unstintingly invest in the culture and art segments of the Islamic economy, as they are shaping new industries with considerable potential for advancement.

 The finalists are:

1.       Tomorrow Never Knows Inc. (US)

2.       Kaaba Virtual Experience (Indonesia)

3.       Al Qalam (Egypt)

4.       Video Games Without Borders (Spain)

5.       Team Engare (Iran)

6.       TAKVA (Japan)

7.       Lamsa (UAE)

8.       UNDER-RÂPT Ltd (UK)

9.       Made from Words (Canada)

10.   Arabic Digital Reform Institute (ADRI) (New Zealand)

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 civilizations 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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