Tue, May 02, 2017 - Page 6 News List

Dubai introduces its font, despite own limits on expression

NY Times News Service

Dubai has long had a taste for the finer things in life. The influential Persian Gulf city has been home to the world’s tallest building, a hotel that offers guests private butlers and 24-karat-gold iPads and even a bakery that sold gold-laced cupcakes for about US$1,000 each.

Now it is getting attention for a slightly less flashy effort that might soon be coming to a word-processing program near you: Dubai has made its own font.

The font was announced on Sunday morning 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.

In a tweet, the prince called the font a “unique project that reflects heritage and culture” of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), “and reaches out to the whole world.”

The new font comes in Arabic and Latin script and is available as part of Microsoft Office 365.

Hamdan shared a video on Twitter that presented it as a powerful tool for self-expression.

“Expression knows no boundaries or limits,” the video said. “Expression is strength and freedom. It defines who you are.”

However, there are quite a few boundaries and limits on expression in Dubai and across the UAE, where the news media is censored to remove criticism of the government or the royal families.

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