Dubai gets its own font, now available in 180 countries
The next time you open Microsoft Word, you will find Dubai Font as an option that will allow you to express your thoughts in words.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai, launched the Dubai Font on Sunday.
On this occasion, he officially directed government institutions Dubai to adopt the font in government correspondences, saying it is considered a positive shift that will boost the emirate's competitiveness in smart technology.
"This should be a commitment from the Dubai government to guarantee the dissemination and success of this initiative on a local and global level," Sheikh Hamdan said, noting that the font is the new tool for a more tolerant and happy world.
The font, now available to more than 100 million users of Microsoft Office 365 around the world, is the first font to be created by a city and named after it.
Designed for more than 180 countries and 23 languages integrating Arabic and Latin typefaces, Dubai Font, which will expand over the next phase to include more languages, is aimed to reflect the city's symbols of tolerance, happiness and respect, enabling people to express, communicate and connect.
The Executive Council of Dubai also enabled individuals to download the font from the website: www.dubaifont.com and integrate it into the system for free.
How it began
Sheikh Hamdan had directed the General Secretariat of the Executive Council in January 2016 to work on the design of a package of electronic fonts bearing the name of Dubai to include a distinctive font for the Emirate in both Arabic and English, later expanding to 21 other languages.
Nadine Chahine, Type Director and Legibility Expert at Monotype UK, led the design team of six who worked on developing the font for the past year and a half.
She said the design is inspired by the city's growth into a destination that includes different cultures and nationalities that live in tolerance and peace.
Dubai Font blends the emirate's past while looking at its achievements and future.
"I always visit Dubai and see it growing. It builds a new example of a modern Arab city that holds traditional values," said Chahine.
The typeface includes Latin script system, which covers the Western-Europe languages including English, Italian, Spanish, Icelandic, German, French, Atlantic, among other languages. The Arabic script system covers Arabic and Persian languages.
The font, available in three styles as 'Dubai', 'Dubai Medium' and 'Dubai Light', can be italics, underlined and bold.
Chahine said the font will expand to include other languages over the next phase.
She added that the font's simple design is meant to make it easy for people to express themselves and communicate. "The aim was to make the font legible, while also conveying the spirit of Dubai as a city with openness to other cultures who live on its land in harmony and peace," said Chahine.
Ihsan Anabtawi, Regional Director, Applications and Solutions at Microsoft Gulf, said the font will spark international curiosity towards Dubai.
"A number of 100 million people will see Dubai as they open a document or an email. This gives great visibility to this great city from all over the world," said Anabtawi.
"Hopefully people will also be curious enough to learn the story behind the font," he added.
Of Microsoft's collaboration, he said the vision Dubai held was in line with the company's mission statement.
"The message Dubai wants to send through the font is about inclusion and empowerment of people taking different walks of life living together in harmony," he said.
Dubai Municipality implements Dubai Font
In response to the launch of Dubai Font, Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality, has issued a directive to use the font in all municipality transactions with immediate effect.
Lootah has asked the municipality officials to begin to implement this font in the municipality's operations in line with the directives of the Government of Dubai and in support of the efforts to enhance the emirate's role and to emphasize its excellence in the digital world.
Lootah stressed that he has instructed the relevant organizational units in the municipality to work under these instructions as of today.
"Born and raised in UAE, Sherouk Zakaria is a Senior Correspondent at Khaleej Times. Joined since May 2016, she covers Dubai Municipality, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), special events and humanitarian issues. Her choice of journalism as a career stems from her passion of telling people's stories and writing to inspire or make a difference. In her free time, she's an occasional theater and film actress. Sherouk received her BA in Mass Communications from the American University in Sharjah in 2013. Before joining Khaleej Times, she was a senior lifestyle/entertainment editor for a magazine in Dubai."