The United Arab Emirates seem to have everything the most demanding mind could hope for—from the tallest building to a skiing dome in the middle of the desert, not to mention tons of money. Now it also has its own font. Welcome the Dubai font.
I have visited Dubai to work with my clients there, the Gulf News, for about 15 years. I have seen the explosion of progress in that futuristic city. As a runner, I am always mesmerized by the speed of construction, and by the number of cranes that appear in the skyline and without which we could not imagine that this was Dubai. It is a skyline that changes with every visit.
Now, there is also a Dubai font, in both Arabic and Latin. The font was announced last week in a series of near-simultaneous posts on Twitter from a regional division of Microsoft and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai. A video explains the purpose of the new Dubai font.
“Expression knows no boundaries or limits,” the video said. “Expression is strength and freedom. It defines who you are.”
Designer for the font is Nadine Chahine, with whom we had the pleasure of working during the redesign and new font creation (Gebran 2005) for the Lebanese newspaper, An Nahar. Nadine, is a London-based type designer specializing in Arabic fonts and the first woman to be type director at Monotype, a 125-year-old global company.
I talked to Nadine about the creation of the Dubai font:
It’s been a great honor for myself and Monotype to be involved in this project. The purpose of the typeface is to provide a legible design that has harmony between Latin and Arabic and can provide high quality typography to the users of type without any cost attached. I hope that people will enjoy using it!
Miguel Gómez, art director for the Gulf News, shared his comments about the Dubai font with me, too:
Not many cities have their own typeface, and for Dubai, this font will become a strong element of consistency and personality, also, because there is a need of professional fonts that have Arabic and Latin versions, I am sure that Dubai font will gain popularity in the Arab world very fast.
Miguel sees other advantages for the creation of Dubai font:
A new typeface is always welcome and Dubai font is special for various reasons:
1.- It is going to be used in all Dubai government communications
2.- It is free for anyone to use worldwide.
3.- Most important, it’s a font that has Arabic and Latin versions that are compatible and in various weights, something very useful for bilingual publications that are quite common in Dubai.
Download Dubai font:
In The New York Times:
Headline: Dubai Introduces Its Own Font, Lauding Free Expression It Does Not Permit
In the Gulf News:
Dubai unveils official new font
Dubai’s new font event tweets
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad introduces Dubai font
Nice to be quoted in this Editor & Publisher article about the value —and charm—of print Sunday editions of newspapers.
SIPConnect 2017, to be held in Miami June 21-23, is a program of the Inter American Press Association, IAPA, or SIP (Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa). The venue will be the Hilton Miami Downtown Hotel.
Join us at the SIPConnect Hemispheric Conference 2017. Organized by the IAPA, SIPConnect is a gathering of media and digital businesses to encourage more audiences and higher revenues. It’s a laboratory for new ideas and successful experiences for the digital transformation. As in the 2016 successful meeting that was attended by media from the US, Latin America and the Caribbean, experts in digital businesses and representatives of innovative companies will participate in this event.
For more information: http://www.sipiapa.org/notas/1211078-llamado-sipconnect-2017