Culture Minister visits Google to discuss plans on digitising cultural content

DUBAI, 23rd January, 2019 (WAM) –Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, has visited the regional headquarters of Google in Dubai Internet City and discussed the Ministry’s strategic direction, its plans on digitising cultural content, and the future of culture in the UAE and the Middle East.

Al Kaabi, accompanied by Google’s Head of Public Policy and Government Relations Selim Edde, toured through Google offices, their facilities, latest trends in technology and services offered to their customers in the Middle East and North Africa. During an informal session entitled “Talks at Google”, Al Kaabi spoke about the thriving cultural scene in the UAE, which is derived from a rich history spanning thousands of years.

On her vision for the future of the cultural sector, Al Kaabi said, “The UAE aims to establish an integrated cultural system that inspires the world, maintains our national identity, and at the same time strengthens the UAE’s position on the global cultural map. We hope to make our society more innovative through continued initiatives and creative development of the cultural sector. We aim to stimulate the culture and arts sector by unleashing the creativity of talented individuals and introducing innovative national cadres that promote the cultural movement to create an environment that is beneficial to the overall cultural ecosystem of the country.”

“Technology plays a crucial role in empowering the cultural sector in the UAE. We aim to optimise the huge database of cultural and artistic content available to us for public use,” said Al-Kaabi. “We are currently working on the UAE Cultural Map, an electronic platform that provides detailed information about cultural facilities in the country from geographic locations and services to basic information and facilitates for easy access by individuals visiting or living in the UAE.”

She added, “During the inaugural Al Burda Festival, the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development used studies from artificial intelligence with the participation from 30 experts in the field of culture and arts. The study will help us decipher milestones to shape the future of Islamic arts.”

The Minister of Culture concluded the talk by stressing the importance of cultural and creative industries on the local economy as an economic tool that creates job opportunities, offers professional alternatives and contributes to the country’s overall economy. The Ministry will launch a study to measure the contribution of culture and arts to the total GDP of the state.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Rasha Abubaker

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