Ministry of Culture launches second phase of National Creative Relief Programme

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Mohamed Nass - - The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development has launched the second phase of the National Creative Relief Programme to support creative and cultural companies during the pandemic.

The programme provides financial grants ranging between AED15,000 -75,000 to independent creatives and small creative companies with less than ten employees, in addition to a new category for companies that employ between 10-20 people. Applications are open from 1 to 14 July via the Ministry's official website.

Some of the cultural and creative industry areas covered by the programme include museums, performing arts, photography, books and interactive games.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, said that the National Creative Relief Programme achieved important results in the first stage by providing direct financial support to 87 creatives and companies, where the financial grant covered 100 percent of the monthly average financial commitment for individual creatives, and 70 percent of small companies’ financial liabilities.

She said the pandemic has revealed "many challenges and opportunities in the creative sector which we are currently studying to implement policies that will enable the growth of this sector and enhance its readiness and ability to respond to changes and developments."

"We continue to study the cultural and creative industries sectors and their vulnerability due to the crisis caused by COVID-19, where we saw an urgent need to launch a second stage of the programme and include a category of companies with 10-20 employees. We increased the financial value of the grant to a maximum of AED75,000 in order to maintain the sustainability of these companies, and ensure their growth and development in the creative market to drive the process of cultural development and knowledge sharing that comes at the forefront of the UAE’s development pillars," Al Kaabi added.

"The creative sector is the most resilient and powerful in the region, thanks to the close cooperation between different institutions that enrich the cultural scene in the country and ensure the competitiveness of the creative economy in the UAE. Many creative communities have provided support programmes and economic incentives to encourage entrepreneurs and creatives to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis."

The applications will be reviewed and evaluated by a specialised committee and according to a specific criteria which include size of loss, the amount of financial setback, and the production of creative content in the UAE during 2019, to ensure that the support reaches those who are most affected. All UAE residents and citizens who meet the criteria can apply for the financial grant.

The cultural and creative industry areas covered by the programme are the following; natural and cultural heritage; performing arts and celebrations; visual arts and crafts; books and journalism; and audio and interactive media.

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