Dubai Workforce

Dubai Launches Font Inspired By ‘Self-Expression’ In A Bid To Boost Global Image And Appeal To Youth

Dubai has always been a city of firsts. This time though, it isn’t breaking world records for tallest megastructure or most lavish luxury destination; it’s making headlines for getting its own font, which its government reveals to be inspired by self-expression, a key in its success as an open city.

The Dubai font was designed with the city’s forward-thinking attitude, as well as both the Arabic and English languages, in mind. According to its official website, the font family includes four weights, which reflect the “harmony between the two languages.” This also represents the seamless amalgamation of the old and the new that Dubai embodies today.

The first of its kind for any city in the world, Dubai created the font to send a message about its commitment to promoting literacy and creativity in the country. It also zeroes in on self-expression, which Dubai credits as one of the reasons for its monumental progress. An excerpt from the website’s piece about the Dubai font’s inception can be read below.

“Self-expression is an art form. Through it you share who you are, what you think and how you feel to the world. To do so you need a medium capable of capturing the nuances of everything you have to say. The Dubai Font does exactly that. It is a new global medium for self-expression. By celebrating the past and embracing the future, transcending all barriers, the Dubai Font is the voice of our brave new world.”

The Dubai font is free for download on its website and also has its own hashtag, #Expressyou. The website revealed that the Dubai Font was a collaboration between the Dubai Executive Council and Microsoft. It was designed by Dr. Nadine Chahine of Monotype, a typefounding company with headquarters in Woburn, Massachusetts.

The font was commissioned by Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed al-Maktoum. In an interview with the BBC, Prince Hamdan said that he was largely involved in all phases of developing the font. “It is a very important step for us as part of our continuous efforts to be ranked first in the digital world,” he said.

“We are confident that this new font and its unique specifications will prove popular among other fonts used online and in smart technologies across the world.”

Prince Hamdan also expressed his excitement over the release of the font in a series of Twitter posts on Sunday. He lauded the city’s general secretariat for tapping into technology to “enhance Dubai’s global standing” and to “reach out to the whole world.” The prince also hopes that the Dubai Font will encourage people to see Dubai as a symbol of business growth in the emirates.

The move to release the font could be the government’s way to appeal to its growing population of young people. In fact, the governments of Dubai and the UAE at large have been ramping up their initiatives for the younger generations, which account for a rising percentage of its workforce.

Last October, the Minister of State for Youth, Shamma Suhail Faris Al Mazroui, unveiled the Youth Data hub which gathers data for better market insights that can help the government to improve upon their programs for young workers, students, and entrepreneurs. The initiative was done in partnership with LinkedIn.

In March of last year, the government of the United Arab Emirates also launched an initiative to come up with a Youth Index for the entire region. Spearheaded by the Dubai Economic Council (DEC) and the Emirates Foundation, the research effort’s goal is to connect with the country’s youth, according to the Khaleej Times. The Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority is a partner for the project.

To collect data, young people aged 18 to 35 were surveyed about their health and well-being, employment preferences, civic involvement and economic stability. Data collected from the research will be used to develop more opportunities for the youth and to get them more involved in the region’s global agendas.

Dubai’s economy is expected to grow by 3.1 percent this year, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.

[Featured Image by Thinkstock]