Dubai launches long-term artist visa as part of new cultural plan

Artists and creatives from around the world will now be able to work in Dubai, following the announcement of a new long-term cultural visa.

The visa is intended to attract artists, authors and innovators to Dubai, establishing the city as an incubator for regional and international talent — with government leaders claiming it as the first visa of its kind worldwide.

The visa is part of a significant new culture strategy which aims to position Dubai as a key creative hub. Announcing the plans, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said: “No global city is complete without a fully developed cultural dimension.

A vibrant cultural life and environment is an integral part of any economic hub. Dubai has many cultural assets that enable it to be a global cultural destination and a centre for talent and innovation.”

As part of the new plan, Dubai will set up seven ‘Schools of Life’, cultural centres which will equip young people with artistic and creative skills. A ‘free zone for creatives’ will be established in the city’s Al Quoz locality, offering artists a wide range of services and resources.

A raft of new events and festivals were also announced, including the Dubai International Literature Season, an openair film festival, the Hatta Cultural Carnival, and an ‘Art for Good’ initiative which raises funds for social and community causes.

Sheikh Mohammed added: “Cultural projects and initiatives should be comprehensive and directly deal with all segments of the society. Our civilisational development can be measured by our cultural growth.

We must project an intellectual, cultural and knowledge heritage befitting us as the Arab nation and enhancing Dubai’s status as a beacon of culture.”