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Dubai Font Story

Expression is the way everyone shares their thoughts, ideas and emotions. Writing is a form of expressing oneself and Dubai is giving the world a new tool to communicate with. The Dubai Font. Designed to unite the world through the power of expression.

The Dubai Font is a project commissioned by His Highness, Sheikh Hamdan, and launched by The Executive Council of Dubai in partnership with Microsoft. The font reflects modernity and is inspired by the city. With a font family of 4 weights, it was designed to create harmony between Latin and Arabic. The very form of Dubai Font celebrates the union of heritage and innovation, giving the world access to a new form of high quality typography. This is the first time that a typeface, created specifically for a city, is integrated with Microsoft and is available for free to all users worldwide. The Dubai Font is more than just a font. It is an embodiment of a vision – one of promoting literacy, unity, and forward-thinking laced with tradition, carrying within it aspirations beyond its outlines. It is young, dynamic, and full of passion and energy.

This typeface is designed to ignore barriers and empowers everyone by offering high quality design that is optimized for reading on screen and free for use in design, office communication, and even embedding in applications. The font will reach over 85 million in 180 countries worldwide, thanks to Microsoft. The government of Dubai approached Microsoft with the idea of partnering on a new font family, ones that would not only be useful for Office customers, but one that would also fill gaps in the Office font set, and be used worldwide.

The Dubai Font was commissioned by the Dubai Executive Council and designed by Monotype’s Dr. Nadine Chahine and its design team. It introduces a new global medium for expression, one driven by compassion and a desire to innovate, strongly in collaboration with Microsoft.

Self-expression is an art form. Through it you share who you are, what you think and how you feel to the world. To do so you need a medium capable of capturing the nuances of everything you have to say. The Dubai Font does exactly that. It is a new global medium for self-expression. By celebrating the past and embracing the future, transcending all barriers, the Dubai Font is the voice of our brave new world.

This font was created in partnership with Microsoft. Now available worldwide in Office 365.

For all other usage, you can download the font here.

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Microsoft

The General Secretariat of Executive Council of Dubai in partnership with Microsoft has undertaken an initiative to empower youth across the globe by pioneering new means of self-expression. To spread the message across the world and to truly promote literacy and education, Microsoft has helped turn a vision into a reality. The organization is dedicated to bettering and enabling people with the tools necessary to facilitate individuality through self-expression. Using their global reach and software as a platform for this powerful initiative, they are a key driver behind the creation of Dubai Font and its vision. The four weights of the Dubai Font (Light, Regular, Medium and Bold) supporting 23 different languages are shipping with Office 365 and available for other Office versions as well, giving over a billion people free access to a new medium for expression..

This Font will reach at least 180 countries and approximately 100 million users all over the world. It fits perfectly with the commitment of both Dubai and Microsoft to support innovation, reading, as well as Dubai’s vision to become one of the most inclusive cities, as well as the city’s mission of creating more design and technology locally, rather than just consuming technology, as well as Microsoft’s vision to make the world’s best fonts accessible to all.

The support of Microsoft for this project and for the inclusion of the font in Office 365 worldwide, was also a result of the vision of Dubai behind this font, and how the city plans to use this ubiquitous and universal medium in many important initiatives that are also deeply important to Microsoft globally. An important one of which, is the fight against illiteracy. Microsoft is essential to facilitating accessibility to the font, and subsequently, to spreading a message of inclusion and unity, worldwide. This historic partnership was announced in 2016, the year of reading, and giving. Microsoft relates strongly to both, and as does the Dubai Font. We are proud to engage on this journey with partners who share our values.

In partnership with

Monotype

The company behind some of the world’s most famous typefaces, Monotype, was commissioned by The Executive council of Dubai to design the Dubai Font. Monotype is a leader in empowering expression and engagement through a combination of type, technology and expertise. Leading the project is Dr. Nadine Chahine, an award-winning type designer working as the UK Type Director and Legibility Expert at Monotype. Along with the full team, they produced a truly revolutionary font family.

Dr. Chahine’s research focus is on eye movement and legibility studies for the Arabic, Latin, and Chinese scripts. With her wealth of knowledge in the field of legibility, Monotype created a typeface that embraced the values that shape the city of Dubai. Values like Harmony, Respect, Tolerance and Tradition are reflected in the font. The typeface itself embraces the traditional scripts that got us to where we are today.

But the font was also developed for the world of today and tomorrow. Where values like Modernity, Smartness and being Bold, define development and shape our future. The Dubai Font therefore integrates softer and more simplified forms to create a typeface that is more practical for everyday use.

The letters, particularly Arabic, have improved legibility: the openness of the letters invites readers to consume words with ease and efficacy. Although inspired by traditional Arabic calligraphy, the latter relies heavily on angular shapes and edges. The result is that most Arabic typefaces have harsh edges. The Dubai Font is made for reading and as such is a flowing font that encourages readers and promotes literacy. Monotype started the design from scratch. The idea was to capture the spirit of Dubai in a legible typeface, meant to promote innovation, reading and self-expression.

Drawing on the look of traditional Arabic script and Dubai’s futuristic visage, Dr. Chahine crafted a typeface design truly based on the essence of the city its people, culture and structure. The result was a harmonious meeting of old and new, local and global. The Dubai Font is more than just a font. It is the embodiment of a vision. It empowers people around the world to share their ideas and thoughts, uniting us all through the medium of expression.