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Majid Al Futtaim Launches New AI-Led Student Initiative in Collaboration with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and American University Dubai

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Majid Al Futtaim Development
Majid Al Futtaim Development

Students from AUD will leverage AI tools to create competitive, visually striking pieces of artwork that re-imagine what the future of Dubai will look like.

Majid Al Futtaim Development, part of Majid Al Futtaim, today announced the launch of a new collaboration with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and American University in Dubai (AUD) that will see students harness the power of AI to create artistic representations of Dubai in the future.

The competition, which aims to foster the next generation of art and design, encourages students to think through the lens of the future, envisioning Dubai’s growth in the next 10 to 15 years. In line with Dubai Culture’s mission to position the city on the global culture map while inspiring and connecting the next generation of talent, all selected artworks will be displayed in a first-of-its-kind public art gallery format on hoardings across Tilal Al Ghaf, Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship community in Dubai.

Ahmed El Shamy, Chief Executive Officer, Majid Al Futtaim Properties, said: “As we inspire students to harness their imagination with AI, we eagerly anticipate the creation of a visionary outlook for the future. At Majid Al Futtaim, we remain committed to equipping, empowering, and elevating the next generation into positions of creative leadership. Our ongoing relationship with AUD is a testament to the synergetic capacity of private sector companies and educational institutions, as we continue to make room for young artists, designers, and engineers to advance their skills and progress from a position of learning to one of leading. In line with our commitment to drive the government’s ongoing vision for the future, we are excited to partner with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority on this unique competition and look forward to extending our collaboration in the future, as we hope to inspire young creatives to play an active role in the transformation of the UAE.” 

Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts & Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, commented: “At Dubai Culture, we believe in the importance of supporting the youth and emerging artists, especially within the field of digital art, which helps elevate the emirate’s creative output and talent participation levels, which in turn strengthens community engagement and nurtures an ecosystem for the next generation of cultural practitioners to thrive. By encouraging the creation and installation of public art and integrating arts into urban spaces, we aim to further enrich our city's vibrant cultural tapestry.”

Bin Kharbash added: “Dubai Culture aims to support and retain local and UAE-based talent and attract creative individuals from around the world across the arts and culture sector to study, live and work in Dubai — to prosper in one of the world’s most desirable and aspirational destinations. Initiatives like this competition help us achieve 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.”

Under the theme ‘DREAMSCAPES: Envisioning the Future of Dubai with AI’, the initiative encourages students to co-create their pieces using any available Artificial Intelligence tools. The aim is to highlight at least one of the following emphases: Cultural, Sustainable, Community, Technological, or Artistic & Architectural Style. Each category is uniquely designed to showcase an element of Dubai’s success, including its rich heritage, commitment to environmental stewardship, inclusive spirit, innovative approach to living, and diverse built landscape.

Dr. Lance de Masi, Interim President of the American University in Dubai, stated: “Partnering with Majid Al Futtaim and Dubai Culture on this student-centred initiative re-affirms the powerful impact of creative collaborations on the growth of the next generation of leaders. We’re thrilled to be able to bring this unique opportunity to our students and are confident that they will rise to the challenge to create some of the most visually appealing hoarding designs Dubai has ever seen.”

He added: “By combining key design aspects across culture, technology, sustainability, community, and architecture, the creative artworks are set to offer a holistic look into the future of Dubai, drawing inspiration from the city’s unrivalled success and its ambitious approach to driving innovation.”

Dr. Sabrina Joseph, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, American University in Dubai: “This unique competition, a collaboration between Majid Al Futtaim, Dubai Culture and the American University in Dubai, is an opportunity for our students to play an integral role in shaping the visual identity of Dubai's future through public art displays that are co-created with the use of AI tools. The competition demonstrates AUD’s commitment to fostering industry partnerships that promote innovation and creativity through the fusion of art and technology.”

The competition will run at AUD throughout the spring semester, with the submission deadline for entries set early on during the term. The initiative will conclude with a winner announcement and award ceremony in April, after which the winning works will be transferred to hoardings throughout Tilal Al Ghaf, Majid Al Futtaim flagship community.

About Tilal Al Ghaf

Tilal Al Ghaf is Majid Al Futtaim’s flagship mixed-use community in Dubai, providing a contemporary and luxurious resort-like living experience. Nestled in the heart of new Dubai, with a stunning lagoon and white sandy beaches at its heart, Tilal Al Ghaf balances luxury resort-style living with a fresh urban feeling. With its exceptional amenities, unique architectural design and unparalleled attention to detail, every home in Tilal Al Ghaf is created with the customer in mind.

Staying true to Majid Al Futtaim’s commitment to sustainable design and living, the community features walkable neighbourhoods connected by a meticulously crafted network of pathways, cycling tracks and jogging trails. A world of culinary experiences, signature Majid Al Futtaim retail selection and a world-renowned school is never more than a short stroll away.

About Majid Al Futtaim

Founded in 1992, Majid Al Futtaim is a diversified lifestyle conglomerate spanning 16 countries across the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The company employs 46,000 people representing 114 nationalities and welcomes 600 million customers to its shopping malls, communities, retail and entertainment destinations each year.

With owned assets valued at US$18 billion, Majid Al Futtaim has the highest credit rating (BBB) among privately-held corporates in the region. The company is committed to becoming Net Positive in water and carbon by 2040.

About Majid Al Futtaim Development

With over 25 years of expertise contributing to the future of cities across the Middle East and North Africa, Majid Al Futtaim Development is the Developer of Choice for the region’s communities, shopping malls, offices and hotels.

Majid Al Futtaim Development leverages innovation, sustainable practices, and human-centricity to create a diverse portfolio of world class mixed-use developments that offer exceptional amenities and timeless experiences, with a holistic approach to placemaking at the forefront of the design process. This portfolio includes flagship communities including Tilal Al Ghaf in Dubai, Al Mouj in Oman, and Waterfront City and Business Park in Lebanon.

With a proven track record of redefining cities and creating unforgettable memories, Majid Al Futtaim Development is also the driving force behind the development of major landmarks across the region such as Mall of the Emirates, Mall of Oman and City Centre Deira, Dubai’s first large-scale, mixed-use shopping destination.

About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), under the leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is committed to enriching Dubai’s cultural scene based on the UAE’s heritage, and is building bridges of constructive dialogue between various cultures to enhance Dubai’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Dubai Culture is keen on reviving and preserving the emirate's historical heritage and developing the regulatory frameworks for the cultural and creative sector in line with its strategic roadmap 2020 – 2025.

The Authority also seeks to empower the enablers that support talent and stimulate active public participation by investing in the various assets under its remit, including the management of five heritage sites, five museums, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children, 17 archaeological sites and nine Dubai Public Library branches, all of which help contribute to creating an economic system that invigorates the cultural and creative industries. The Authority also offers 8 services and 26 sub-services.

About American University in Dubai

Since its establishment in 1995 as the first private university in Dubai, The American University in Dubai (AUD) has been at the forefront of American higher education in the UAE and the region, offering students from all over the world an authentic American university experience. With its genuinely multicultural and diverse community, and beautiful campus situated in one of the world’s most diverse and cosmopolitan cities, AUD offers an immersive global education.

AUD has a rich and storied past, one that has always celebrated academic excellence. This embodiment has culminated in recent QS World University Rankings as, the #1 university in Dubai and the #4 university for international faculty in the world; and, the #2 university for international students in the world.

This, coupled with the annual top Employability ranking of our graduates by the Times Higher Education and QS World University Rankings, is what makes AUD the university of choice.

AUD has developed partnerships with top universities in the world including Georgia Tech, Regents University London, Bocconi, and Science Po as well as a new innovative double-degree program, the International Progression Program in Business and Management (IPPBM), with Manchester Metropolitan University.   

AUD’s accreditations are recognized for their rigorous academic standards and the University is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education and, in the United States, by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, in addition to the most prestigious professional accreditations including ABET, AACSB, ACEJMC, CIDA, NAAB and NASAD.

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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