Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Established in response to the immediate challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the cultural and creative sector in the UAE, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Art Dubai Group launched the Dubai Ideathon. Running from April 7 – 8, the workshop sessions brought together international experts from different fields, all working collectively to find solutions.

Beginning on the 22nd of March, the initiative began with online workshops where 70 members of Dubai’s cultural SME’s and freelancers came together to identify the primary challenges facing the local creative community, from which list of challenges was put together.

On the 31st of March, an Open Call was launched to ask for submissions to address the challenges and join the Dubai Ideathon. Within three days, 320 submissions were received which resulted in over 100 people being selected to help find solutions in workshops taking place on the 7th and 8th of April.   

Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, expressed her pride in the distinguished results of Ideathon, stressing its importance in monitoring possible solutions to the challenges facing the cultural sector in the UAE in light of the current crisis. She said: "The Ideathon initiative provided us with a unique model for the spirit of responsibility and positivity as well as the values ​​of cooperation and solidarity. There is no doubt that this initiative will open broad prospects for us in the next stage to reach potential solutions that can be put into effect to support the creative and cultural societies in the country facing the challenges in the current crisis.”

Pav Szymanski – Artist and Fine Art Lecturer – stated: “The Dubai Ideathon united a broad spectrum of creative individuals in a moment of crisis from all over the world. Above all, it gave us a new sense of direction, future vision and fulfilled the most significant of all needs – to belong and actualise.”

On the 20th of April, the organisers of Dubai Ideathon, that include ATÖLYE design agency and Alcove Advisors, along with the Art Dubai Group, will collate the numerous ideas conceived and will present a series of solutions to Dubai Culture that will be combination of policy recommendations to help support the cultural industry and community activations that can go into prototyping.         



Lena Kassicieh                                                                        
Media Relations, Art Dubai                                                                             
+971 5660 96209 

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

On 8th March 2008, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). The mandate of the Authority is to serve as a dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature in the Emirate of Dubai, and to drive the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape.

Dubai Culture focuses on establishing Dubai as a regional and global centre for creativity, and also seeks to enhance the city's cultural identity in order to drive the creative economy. The Authority strives to enhance the quality of life for Dubai residents to help achieve a key pillar of the Dubai Plan 2021 objectives, which is to create a city of happy, creative, and empowered people.

Under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority has played an integral role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a vibrant global centre for creativity, and in enhancing the city's cultural identity.


The Art Dubai Group is a commercial public/private partnership that for 14 years has launched some of the region’s most successful cultural events and programmes including Art Dubai, Dubai Design Week and the Global Grad Show. The company’s mission is to develop sustainable ecosystems that support the development of vibrant creative scenes.

© Press Release 2020

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