A cultural and creative resurgence in cities is needed to spark economic recovery and urban renewal. Dubai Media City is a freezone "designed to allow foreign companies to set up base without the need for a local Emirati partner in ownership."
Dubai’s emerging ‘grassroots’ creative and artistic scene is thought to be critical to forming a balance between corporate and community creativity. Here are four projects that are having an effect:
1. The Pavilion Downtown Dubai - This area is said to be "tailored for micro-business ventures", offering free Wi-Fi coffee bars and communal workspaces, or more specifically "incubator spaces" which are "flexible, cheap workspaces for start-ups, artists, freelancer and young entrepreneurs."
2. #SoleOfTheCity - This initiative involved people taking photos of ‘their Dubai’ and tagging the images for social media, resulting in an exhibition at the Jam Jar gallery in June 2012. Small-scale creative initiatives like this are said to be "critical in fostering a ‘buzz’ within a city".
3. Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre - This rather "unassuming" center is lies underneath the the largest indoor ski slope on the planet and offers a "hive of activity, with large numbers of children and students filling the numerous art rooms." It is marketed as an “entertainment and educational centre”.
4. Al Serkal Avenue - Old industrial buildings are being turned into "Dubai’s bohemian quarter". A collection of galleries and communal coffee house is an attempt to "mix the innovate milieu of a production cluster, with the buzz of a consumption hot-spot."