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Mohammed bin Rashid issues law on DCAA, two decrees appointing Maktoum bin Mohammed as DCCA chairman, Ahmad Bin Byat as DCCA director general

In his capacity as Ruler of Dubai, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (may Allah protect him), has issued Law No. (15) of 2014 Concerning Creative Clusters in the Emirate of Dubai. The newly- issued law stipulates that the name "Dubai Technology and Media Free Zone Authority" be replaced with "Dubai Creative Clusters Authority" ("DCCA").

The law aims to promote the emirate as a regional and international hub for creative production and boost its competitive edge in this field; contribute to implementing the strategic priorities of the Government of Dubai; enhance the economic growth of the emirate; and support, promote, and develop creative products in the emirate by attracting and licensing corporations and companies specialised in this field.

Moreover, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has issued Decree No. (44) of 2014 Appointing His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Deputy Ruler, as chairman of the DCCA; and Decree No. (45) of 2014 Appointing Ahmad Bin Byat as director general of the DCCA.

The newly-issued legislation constitutes the start signal for the launch of a new phase of work in the emirate of Dubai with a comprehensive and in-depth focus on the creative sectors which are key to development in Dubai, and which support the Dubai Strategy for Innovation announced in November 2014; and underscores the great attention paid by the wise leadership of the emirate to creativity as an indispensable resource for sustainable development and a basic constituent of the process of development, modernisation, and growth of Dubai.

Commenting on this, His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the DCCA, affirmed that the authority, under its former mandate, played a pivotal role in Dubai's economic system. He added that since the establishment of the authority 15 years ago, Dubai Internet City was the heart of this giant economic cluster, and today, thousands of Arab and international companies are successfully functioning thanks to the favourable and investment-supportive environment in Dubai. Such companies see in Dubai all the potentials that may enable them to best conduct their business; such potentials are the result of the ambitious vision of Dubai's wise leadership; a vision that promotes innovation and opportunities for creativity-driven growth while maintaining a high standard of professional ethics.

His Highness said the authority has contributed to making Dubai a springboard for global companies to enter new markets targeting over 2 billion consumers. He added that Dubai has made this possible through providing efficient and highly reliable infrastructures as well as a balanced and effective legislative framework. The authority has succeeded in attracting foreign companies operating in various creativity-based sectors wishing to be part of the Dubai success story. The authority, His Highness affirmed, has succeeded over the years in driving innovation and economic growth in Dubai and in forging successful partnerships at the regional and international levels.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum expressed confidence that the functions, duties, and powers of the DCCA under the new law will allow the DCAA to contribute, through ambitious plans, to achieving Dubai's innovation goals at the regional and international levels, and establishing creativity as an important element of life in general, and a key resource for the Dubai knowledge-based economy.

In a step to underscore the importance of innovation and creativity, a huge budget of over 4.5 billion dirhams has been allocated to investing in two innovation-driven projects, namely Dubai Internet City's Innovation Hub and Dubai Design District's Creative Community. The two projects aim to attract creative individuals in the areas of technology, telecommunications, media, modern sciences, and design from around the world through providing an inspiring and dynamic environment conducive to creativity and innovation.

To meet its objectives, the DCAA will develop the policies and programmes aimed at attracting and supporting SMEs and creative business leaders by promoting entrepreneurship and innovation, providing financial support, creating forums for creative industries and the government, and providing a platform for research, intelligence and specialised studies.

The DCAA will continue to be responsible for licensing, visa, and zoning regulations for the diverse free zones encompassing Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource Zone, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, International Media Production Zone, Dubai Knowledge Village, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Biotechnology and Research Park (DuBiotech), Energy and Environment Park (EnPark), and Dubai Design District (d3). These clusters are owned and operated by TECOM Investments, Dubai's pioneering master developer of industry-focused clusters.

Commenting on the new mandate, Ahmad bin Byat, Director General of the DCCA, said, "For 15 years, the authority has played a vital role in the development of TECOM Investments' clusters by developing business-friendly licensing and zoning regulations that ensure ease of starting and operating businesses, world-class sustainable infrastructure, and a high quality of life for the community. With the launch of the Dubai Strategy for Innovation, it is important to evolve the role of the authority to continue to support these clusters and to further develop the creative industries and team work spirit across Dubai".

"Creative industries are fast-evolving and made up of a diverse range of activities which use intellectual capital as their primary input. These industries generate high-value, highly-skilled, and sustainable employment and play a central role in driving innovation and growth, with critical spill-over effects for the wider economy. The DCCA's role is no longer limited to licensing and establishing creative businesses, but extends to include enabling these businesses across Dubai, especially SMEs, to compete on regional and international stages," Bin Byat added.

"The DCCA's leadership is very excited about its new mandate. We will work with other government entities and our business community to promote an enabling environment for innovation and ultimately make Dubai the most innovative city in the world. We will strive to enhance ease of doing business and improve the quality of our services, to position Dubai as the regional and international destination for start-ups, established industry leaders, and creative talent across the globe," Bin Byat affirmed.

"We anticipate these changes will deliver valuable benefits to the thousands of companies operating under our jurisdiction and, in the meantime, we would like to assure our business community that there will be no disruption but rather further improvement to our existing services," Bin Byat said.

The authority has successfully established industry councils and committees to champion key creative industries, investing AED40 million annually towards the Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai Film and TV Commission, and Dubai Design and Fashion Council. It will continue to establish industry bodies in line with the new mandate and partner with local, federal, and international entities to bring the latest thinking on innovation and creative industries to Dubai. 


Since its inception in 2004, the Dubai International Film Festival ("DIFF") has established itself as the region's leading film festival, and has become a credible platform for Arab filmmakers, in addition to being a major contributor to development and growth in the industry. With the support of the DCCA, the DIFF seeks to continue to support the Arabic cinema industry and further showcase the talents of the Arab filmmakers.

Dubai Film and TV Commission has played a key role in promoting Dubai as a dynamic filming destination for local and international productions and supported the growth of the emirate's film production industry. The commission is excited about the opportunities that being part of the DCCA offers and looks forward to its support in furthering innovation in the film and TV production industry.

The Dubai Design and Fashion Council seeks to create global opportunities and invigorate a world-class design community in Dubai. In line with its role within the DCCA, it aims to establish a framework for the industry that will position Dubai as an internationally respected city for design. With the support of the DCCA, the Dubai Design and Fashion Council plans to invest in talent development and education, as well as policy development and research, and build the design industry from the grassroots up.

As of today, the authority regulates 10 industry clusters hosting more than 4,200 businesses across the media, ICT, education, sciences, and design industries. The clusters have a collective workforce of over 64,000. The clusters have successfully attracted many of the industry leaders in various sectors including Microsoft, Google, IBM, Dell, HP, LinkedIn, SAP, GE, Pfizer, Exxon Mobil, CNN, MBC, OSN, Heriot Watt University, University of Wollongong, and Manipal University, among others.







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