The world’s first city font, Dubai Font, was launched today (30 April), the first Microsoft font created by a city and named after it.
The Crown Prince of Dubai, High Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the font in line with UAE’s vision to become a regional and global leader in innovation.
High Highness was personally involved on all stages of the development of the font, from the first design sketches to the execution phase, and has officially directed government institutions in Dubai to adopt the font in government correspondences.
“The launch of the Dubai Font to the world is a very important step for us as part of our continuous efforts to be ranked first in the digital world. We are confident that this new font and its unique specifications will prove popular among other fonts used online and in smart technologies across the world,” said said High Highness.
“Therefore, we urge all government entities to use the Dubai Font in their official correspondence, which is considered as 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,” he added.
The Dubai Font was designed by Dr. Nadine Chahine in collaboration with a team from a global agency, Monotype. The font bridges a gap between Arabic and Latin texts, presenting harmonious typefaces that combine the two scripts.
‘The openness and harmony of the people in the UAE, the essence of Dubai and its vision to become the quintessential modern Arab city were our source of inspiration to design the Dubai Font,” sauid Chahine, typer director and legibility expert at Monotype.
The font was simultaneously designed for both Arabic and English and later extended to include 21 other languages.
It is the first typeface that is freely available for both private and commercial use that are optimisied for screen appearance.
The number of available Arabic fonts that are freely available is relatively small and usually with costs attached. Dubai Font will help cover that gap, according to the Dubai Font website.
The font is rooted in local heritage, adopting a mix of Muhaqqaq and Naksh calligraphy for the Arabic and Dutch design for the Latin.
Its other aim is to support the technology industry by making available high quality fonts for app and web developers with no licencing costs attached.