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Published June 22, 2024

2 minute read

Opportunities and Impact of Investment in the Creative Economy

This article showcases the UAE's approach to economic growth through creativity and culture by focusing on the creative economy and aligning with global trends towards diversification and sustainability.


“The UAE is a global economic capital, and creativity is part of our economy and our quality of life and a major engine for the future of our country.” – H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

Creative industries are the new frontier, transforming art, design, technology, and entertainment into powerful economic and cultural growth engines. The global community is looking for new ways to develop strong economies, and creative industries are helping. The creative economy globally is estimated to be valued at $2.25 trillion, 10% of the world’s GDP.

The United Arab Emirates is at the forefront of this transformative shift, strategically investing to harness the creative sector’s innovation and economic diversification opportunities. The country envisions a future where creativity is not just a part of our economy but a vital driver of our economic success. 

The UAE’s Strategic Moves As a Blueprint for Creative Development

In 2021, the UAE introduced its National Strategy for the Cultural and Creative Industries, which seeks to increase the share of this sector to 5% of the national GDP by 2031. It involves 40 initiatives to grow talents, professionals, and the business environment. On April 3rd of the same year, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. This strategy intends to raise Dubai’s creative industries’ GDP from 2.6% to 5% by 2025 and the number of creative workers from 70,000 to 140,000.

“The UAE is a global economic capital, and creativity is part of our economy and of our quality of life, and a major engine for the future of our country,” said H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

UAE’s government is committed to welcoming global talent and fostering cultural interchange by implementing various policies and programs, including the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy, the Cultural Visa Program, and developing hubs such as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Design District. The DCES gives creators tools and assistance packages to address the market’s requirements. 

Looking Towards the Future of the UAE’s Creative Economy

The potential of the creative industry in the UAE is immense, and platforms like Investopia are providing avenues for creative stories and business models to evolve into lucrative investment opportunities. Idris Elba, a multi-talented individual who attended the Investopia 2024 program in Abu Dhabi, has underscored the significance of a thriving creative economy and its vast investment possibilities.

“The creative economy gave the world an idea of what America and its culture are all about. It told the world the “American story”. The UAE could be on the same path if it can use the creative economy well. In Abu Dhabi, there’s a fantastic policy on incentivizing film productions, and it works; it brings many film companies here to take advantage of it, and everyone wins,” he said.

The UAE’s focus on the creative economy aligns with a vision of establishing the country as a cultural destination and expanding its economy. The creative thrift in the UAE is poised to be more than an economic stimulus. It seeks to change our economy by improving social value, promoting sustainable development, and positioning us as a forerunner in cultural growth.

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