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11 December 2023

Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum: an innovative platform to support the creative economy


Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is now welcoming registrations to attend the Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum. This initiative aims to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit within the cultural and creative industry, empower aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their creative visions into successful ventures and celebrate and highlight the importance of this growing sector.

By providing a comprehensive support system that combines business skills, networking opportunities, and a competitive pitch which culminates in a financial award, the inaugural Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum paves the way for a thriving ecosystem where creative entrepreneurship can flourish, driving economic growth, innovation, and positive change. By continuing to emphasise the significance of this sector and supporting emerging talents, Dubai Culture bolsters Dubai's vision to be a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

The forum includes a rich programme of free keynotes, panels and workshops scheduled for 2 and 3 November in Al Quoz Creative Zone. Two noteworthy keynotes feature Pallavi Dean, Founder and Creative Director of Roar, discussing her insights on building a design business in Dubai, and a presentation by Hani Asfour, Associate Dean at DIDI. Four engaging panels led by industry experts will also be organized: From Placemaking to Creative Making, Dubai Success Stories, Cultural Fluency and Community-Powered Business: The Impact on Business Strategy, and The Creative Investor. Additionally, the forum provides 12 enriching workshops covering a variety of subjects in business strategy, leadership, design approach and experimentation, and technical skills.

Highlights are the ‘Brand Sprint’ workshop by Ideation Lab, which delves into brand strategy development and effective presentation, and Venture Souq's ‘Pitching to an Investor 101’ workshop, teaching attendees how to transform ideas into viable investment projects.

The forum will also witness the announcement of the winner of the Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Competition, designed to empower healthy entrepreneurial competition and inspire groundbreaking ideas bolstering Dubai's cultural and creative sectors. Garnering 182 submissions, seven candidates have been shortlisted to present their concepts to a jury at the forum. The jury, comprised of esteemed industry professionals and investors, will assess these entries before announcing the competition's winner.

The competition offers a unique opportunity for exposure and validation, with the award serving as a catalyst for the winner’s business growth, enabling them to invest in their ideas, develop prototypes, scale operations or explore new market opportunities. The first-place winner will be awarded a financial grant of AED 50,000 in addition to various support packages.

Khulood Khoory, Director of the Projects and Events Department at Dubai Culture, affirmed the Authority’s keenness, saying: “Dubai Culture seeks to strengthen the cultural and creative industries by supporting and qualifying those with innovative ideas to ensure the development and enrichment of the creative scene in the emirate, and to increase its attractiveness to creatives, investors and entrepreneurs, which contributes to achieving Dubai’s ambitious vision of being the global capital of the creative economy by 2026. The forum constitutes a vital platform to encourage entrepreneurs to introduce their ideas and turn them into successful projects as well as bringing forth their capabilities to develop new and sustainable products capable of meeting the needs of the local and global market.

Through its comprehensive programming, the forum provides creatives and entrepreneurs with opportunities to explore in Dubai and benefit from a range of services that can develop their skills and enhance their businesses.”

The Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum will include a Community Hub that will provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to explore the creative and cultural entrepreneurship ecosystem in Dubai. Forum participants can meet with Dubai Culture’s partners from the public and private sectors, including the Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Small and Medium Enterprises Development (Dubai SME), a subsidiary of Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Dubai Economy, Letswork, wasl Asset Management Group, LinkedIn, Zoho, Makeworks UAE, Hayi, and the Commercial Bank of Dubai with the aim to learn more about the services, resources, and opportunities that they provide to entrepreneurs to support their innovative projects and contribute to the development of their professional and personal skills. In addition, 10 sessions will be held at the creative majlis, enabling members of the creative community to obtain guidance and one to one micro mentorship sessions on a range of topics, as well as networking opportunities.