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

13 Feb 2024
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.

Dubai, UAE, 13 February 2024: 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: “We are very excited for this collaboration, marking the first of its kind. 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.