Master plan to turn Dubai’s Al Quoz into one of the world’s largest creative hubs approved

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and other officials of the Higher Committee of the Al Quoz Creative Zone.
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Higher Committee of the Al Quoz Creative Zone today approved the master plan for the Al Quoz Creative Zone during a meeting chaired by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council.

The master plan provides a comprehensive blueprint for developing the community infrastructure; public services and spaces; and artistic ambience of the zone over the next four years. The project aims to create a supportive ecosystem that eases the journey of creatives and entrepreneurs through all stages of the creative industry value chain – from design and implementation to distribution and marketing.

Sheikha Latifa said: “Today marks another key milestone in the development of the Al Quoz Creative Zone project, which is set to turn the area into one of the largest creative zones in the world. Launched as part of our leadership’s vision of transforming Dubai’s creative economy and raising its contribution to local GDP, the project creates a model for Dubai’s future creative zones. The development of the zone will further raise the emirate’s position as a regional and global destination for creatives. Apart from providing an exceptional infrastructure, we are also committed to put in place a policy framework that will enable the creative industry to thrive. The implementation of the master plan will yet again demonstrate the spirit of partnership that has driven Dubai’s remarkable development over the past few decades.”

The meeting was attended by Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Vice Chairman of the Committee; Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality; Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture; Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of Digital Dubai; Mona Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO); and Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim, CEO of wasl Asset Management Group (wasl AMG).

Global benchmarking

The master plan was developed by Dubai Municipality after studying and benchmarking various leading local and international creative clusters and drawing from best practices and successful models that are a good fit for the zone.

Al Quoz Creative Zone will be one of the largest communities of its kind in the world both in terms of total floor area and scale of creative activity. Land use in the Al Quoz Creative Zone will be optimised to boost creative activity within the community. When completed, the number of creatives based in the Zone is expected to increase from 900 to 20,000, while creative spaces will expand eight-fold, recreational and support spaces will triple, and commercial spaces will increase by 30%.

The integrated community offers a cost-effective working and living environment for artists, professionals and entrepreneurs. The Zone will provide housing for over 8,000 people and attract 33,000 visitors per day. The distinctive identity of the Zone, combined with its diverse cultural, educational, recreational and entertainment offerings, is expected to bring visitors and tourists throughout the year.

Unique schematic plan

Driven by a pioneering vision, Al Quoz Creative Zone features a unique schematic plan that allows the provision of flexible spaces that take into account profitability and flexibility and achieve the vision of Al Quoz Creative Zone by accommodating all the different creative activities and other supportive spaces within an integrated and supportive environment that guarantees living and co-working facilities for land owners and creatives.

The master plan will ensure the provision of 2,900 affordable housing units for creatives and extensive public spaces designed for hosting events and activities. Public spaces will be highly interactive with unique entertainment activities and attractions located in outdoor spaces and along pathways equipped with entertainment and attractions, and public spaces for rest, recreation, social events, and artistic displays. In close coordination with key stakeholders, preliminary plans have been drawn for technical infrastructure networks required for the smooth functioning of the Zone. The Al Quoz Creative Zone will facilitate easy and flexible mobility for pedestrians and a unique open-air ambience for community activities.

Unique public artworks placed across the zone will create an aesthetically distinctive identity for the community and offer a unique experience for visitors.

The master plan has been designed to create a vibrant cultural and creative destination that brings together diverse stakeholders, encourages the public to engage with art, culture and creativity and creates opportunities for creatives to collaborate, network, share knowledge and access learning resources.

Guide for the zone’s development

In addition to the master plan, a guide will be provided for the Al Quoz Creative Zone’s development that includes standards and guidelines designed to preserve the urban form and the industrial identity of Al Quoz through mechanisms to benefit from existing warehouses and transform them to accommodate various creative activities and businesses.

The project’s Higher Committee meeting also reviewed the progress since the previous meeting, and the development of the three phases of Al Quoz Creative Zone, which include:

• Phase One – Infrastructure development works, including the first phase of flexible mobility, transportation integration, including linking Al Safa Metro Station and Al Quoz Bus Station to Al Quoz Creative Zone with pedestrian, bicycle and individual 4km transport paths, providing three transportation centres, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge above Al Manara Street, in addition to infrastructure networks.

• Phase Two – Development of public spaces and site coordination.

• Phase Three – Placement of public art installations across the Zone.