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08 November, 2023

Dubai Culture Announces Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Competition Winner

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) has concluded the activities of the ‘Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum’ held over two days at Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz Creative Zone. This initiative aimed to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit within the cultural and creative industries, empower aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their creative visions into successful ventures and highlight the importance of this growing sector. During the closing ceremony, Dubai Culture announced Fatma Al Janahi as the winner of the ‘Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Competition’, aiming to boost competition among creative minds and inspire groundbreaking business ideas. This is a strengthening tactic for Dubai's cultural and creative industries, supporting and assisting startups with essential tools to connect with the creative community and strategic partners.
Khulood Khoory, Director of the Projects & Events Department at Dubai Culture affirmed that Dubai’s exceptional opportunities offer a sustainable environment that meets the requirements of creative individuals in various fields, offering them the facilitation they need to succeed and thrive, saying: “Dubai stands out with its cultural diversity and advanced legislative system that opens up new horizons for entrepreneurs, enabling them to achieve their goals and ambitions, establish, and run their businesses and projects related to cultural and creative industries, enhancing the emirate's attractiveness to individuals and new investments. Organising the ‘Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Forum’ contributes to the development of the creative community in Dubai and helps towards achieving the emirate's cultural vision to cement Dubai's position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent. “
In this context, 8 high-quality projects advanced to the finals of the ‘Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Competition’ selected from among over 180 applications. A multi-discipline experienced judging panel, including Issa Aghabi, the Founder & Managing Partner of ‘Access Bridge Ventures’, Eddy Farhat, the Executive Director at e& capital, Rafi Dikranian, the Finance & Operations Director at Chalhoub Group’s ‘The GreenHouse’, Mohamed Kazem, Co-Founder of ‘Tamashee’, and Nez Gebreel, the former Chief Executive Officer for the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC), undertook the discussion and evaluation of the ideas and projects participating in the competition.
In addition to the winning project, the shortlist also included ‘Datecrete’ by Sara Abu Farha and Khaled Shalkha, a material research and design studio that helps bespoke green industry businesses replace Portland cement with a sustainable alternative with no traces of concrete or resin, utilising crushed date seeds. Elena Kovalenko presented her project ‘Filming Locations’, an online marketplace where filmmakers, photographers, and companies can find affordable and creative places for filming and hosts can make extra income renting out their properties for shoots.
Murad El Zagal, with his ‘OAM Jewellery’ project, a brand of men's jewellery, also made it to the finals. Mitchell Charles and his project ‘Output Studios DXB’, which highlights a collection of creative spaces for performing arts, also featured in the shortlist. Maher El-Tabchy presented ‘Tabchilli’ a food startup producing hot sauce and other fermented items. The list also included ‘Full Special Studio’ an independent print platform that uses a sustainable alternative to traditional printing methods. Fatma Al Janahi introduced her concept specialising in graphic design techniques and brand development using ideas inspired by Arabic heritage. Bushra AlTalib participated in her project ‘Nammu’, that focused on graphic design and branding.
The first-place winner of the ‘Al Quoz Creative Entrepreneurship Competition’ received a financial grant of AED 50,000, accompanied by a range of diverse support packages provided by Dubai Culture's partners from both the public and private sectors. These included ‘Letswork’, which granted 200 credits for utilisation across more than 100 co-working spaces, who also offered the runners up 100 credits. The ‘Hayi’ app offered a special promotion to enhance their business profile for a full year while also providing an exclusive opportunity for other finalists to share their promotional offers through the platform.
Furthermore, the winning project was presented with a 30-minute individual consultation with Mansi Pavey, the coordinator of ‘Make Works UAE’, where the recipient could receive guidance on production options, materials, and communication methods with local manufacturers, among others. LinkedIn rewarded the shortlisted finalists with exclusive guidance sessions at LinkedIn offices to bolster their business profiles within the cultural and creative sphere. During these sessions, they had the opportunity to learn strategies to connect with the right collaborators, engage target audiences, and effectively showcase their work on the site for maximum impact.
’Zoho‘ rewarded the winner AED 5,000 worth of Zoho Wallet Credits and AED 15,000 to be redeemed on Zoho workshops and trainings, in addition to offering the runners up AED 3,000 worth of credits and workshop and training courses worth AED 7,000.