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Launch of the Arabic Version of the Creative Economy Report in Abu Dhabi

On the occasion of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015, the Arabic version of the United Nations Creative Economy Report 2013 Special Edition “Widening Local Development Pathways” will be launched, on 27 March 2015.
The Report focuses on creative economy at the local level in developing countries. Co-published in 2013 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the UN Office for South-South Co-operation, it examines trends of creative economy on the ground in the global South, and points to opportunities and recommendations for future policy and local authority action.

UNESCO has just published the Report in Arabic, thanks to the support of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation.  During a special launch event organized in the framework of the Abu Dhabi Festival 2015, an annual celebration of national and international arts and culture, a panel of international experts will reflect on the issues raised by the Report and share their experience in cultural and creative industries.

 Anna Paolini, Director of UNESCO’s Doha Office, in discussing the Report, stressed how “targeted investments in training and infrastructure will synergize with the innovative and creative young entrepreneurs in the Arab region, allowing the creative economy to expand.”  

As H.E. Hoda  Al Khamis-Kanoo, Founder of the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation stated in the Report “Creativity enshrines the soul of a nation. It is the bedrock of its cultural, economic and social development.”

Cultural industries, which include publishing, music, cinema and design, have a determinant role to play in society. The key finding of the Report is concrete: the creative economy is an economic engine, providing jobs and boosting trade and the economy, and at the same time plays a crucial social role, as a platform for identity, dialogue, social integration and an improved quality of life.  This dual economic and social nature is the great strength of the creative economy, and a basis on which we can renew our development strategies.  

The success of cultural and creative industries is enhanced by strengthening local capacities, bringing together diverse stakeholders – from city planners to creators to educators, and facilitating access to markets at national and global level.  In showcasing projects and examples, the Report proves that the creative economy is flourishing in cities throughout the global South, improving livelihoods of local populations:  young professionals can succeed in local markets, and cities with strong local cultural resources attract investors, businesses and the creative industries.  Examples of a textile and design business in Egypt, an art gallery in Lebanon, or investments by the UAE in culture and arts as part of urban development strategies, demonstrate the diversity with which creative economy contributes to the overall well-being of communities.

The Report confirms the creative economy as one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the world economy and a highly transformative one in terms of income generation, job creation and export earnings.  World trade of creative goods and services totaled a record of US $624 billion in 2011 and more than doubled from 2002 to 2011*.  The results of the Report are informing international debates on the post-2015 United Nations development agenda and the role of culture in sustainable development. It speaks to decision-makers, demonstrating some of the key factors that make creative economy initiatives successful on the ground.

Click here  to find out more about the Report and to download the Arabic version.

* Source: UNCTAD Global Database on Creative Economy



The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). UNESCO has 195 member countries and it pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and communication and information.

UNESCO is convinced that no development can be sustainable without a strong culture component. Indeed only a human-centred approach to development based on mutual respect and open dialogue among cultures can lead to lasting, inclusive and equitable results.

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About The Abu Dhabi Festival

The Abu Dhabi Festival is the UAE’s leading celebration of arts & culture. Launched in 2004, it continues to attract high-calibre regional and international artists to the UAE capital every year. Coming up to its 12th edition the festival has secured its place as the region’s largest cultural event and in the course of the decade has established working partnerships with some of the world’s most influential cultural institutions including the Edinburgh International Festival, the Royal Opera House, Manchester International Festival and Carnegie Hall. Through a comprehensive series of educational and community programmes, the festival brings together artists, students, community groups and cultural organizations from across the UAE and actively supports emerging Emirati talent as well as promoting the artistic and cultural heritage of the UAE in all aspects of life.

 For more information please visit our website at:

 About ADMAF

The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation seeks to nurture the arts, education, culture and creativity for the benefit of society and the advancement of Abu Dhabi’s cultural vision. Established in 1996 by Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo, ADMAF Founder, the Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth & Community Development, ADMAF Patron and President.

ADMAF’s broad range of initiatives - including the Abu Dhabi Festival, year-round education and community programmes, and, The Nationals’ Gallery - brings together audiences of all ages and nationalities. Through them, it nurtures the creative talent of the UAE and beyond, in partnership with leading national and international institutions.

 For more information please visit our website at: