Is Dubai really the first city font?

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A few readers asked if the Dubai font is really the first ‘city’ font.

 ” Hello? Geneva? Belfast? Casablanca? Gloucester? ”  – Steve R.

Probably Microsoft/Dubai are making a distinction between a font made specifically for a city (city-state) and a font named after a city.

Back in February, Microsoft described the Dubai font as “… first Microsoft font to be developed by a city and to carry its name“.

Dubai font was created by unnamed firms for the rulers of Dubai. Microsoft added ‘technical support’ and distribution to some of their worldwide customer base (Office 365 customers only).

Unique among the Microsoft supplied fonts is the Copyright notice: ” © 2016 Dubai Executive Council “.

In the end, the Dubai font is a bit of marketing for Microsoft and the Dubai city-state. It doesn’t warrant looking too closely at the hype. Here’s a heading/paragraph from a Microsoft announcement – you get the feeling that even Redmond’s experienced PR people found it hard to get excited about the Dubai font:

Font for the future
Dubai Font is a unique project that reflects the heritage and culture of Dubai and the UAE in a medium that is both appealing and accessible regionally and globally, which in many ways is a reflection of Dubai itself.

43 words that mean absolutely nothing!

What’s special?

The Dubai font is nothing special. Certainly, there’s nothing particularly ‘Dubai’ related about it.

Microsoft claims that it’s the “first font to be designed from scratch for both Arabic and Latin.“.

Arabic fluent readers tell us the Dubai font gives them another choice, especially when a mix of western/Arabic characters are necessary.  It’s useful for some documents, worksheets and presentations.

However, Dubai isn’t publicly available so you can’t rely on all receivers having the same font, even if they have Windows 10 and Office.  That makes it a risky choice for emails because you can’t be sure how the email will look.

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