After exploring the attributes of a cultural hub, five metropolitan areas were chosen for being thriving local creative scenes that deserve international attention.

The list features Mexico City, Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), Belgrade (Serbia’s capital), Bangkok (Thailand’s capital) and one from Africa — Dakar, the capital of Senegal.

Here are four reasons why Dakar is one of the world’s most creative cities:

Host of festivals and event

Dakar hosts several festivals like World Festival of Black Arts, Biennial of Contemporary African Art, St Louis Jazz Festival, Dakar International Neighborhood Film Festival, World Festival of Negro Arts, International Book Fair of Dakar and Dakar Arts Festival.

“In 2022, the city is set to be the first African location for the Youth Olympic Games,” BBC adds.

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Home of creatives

BBC writes that the country is a “hotbed for the nation’s new generation of artists, designers and students."

Senegalese’s creatives include painter Kassou Seydou, writer Mohammed Mbougar Sarr, fashion designers Selly Raby-Kane and Sarah Diouf of Tongoro, the brand responsible for some of Beyoncé’s amazing looks.

 Beyonce wearing a colourful two-piece by Tongoro Studio
Beyonce wearing a colourful two-piece by Tongoro Studio

The Museum of Black Civilisations

Since opening in December 2018, the museum has quickly become one of the most talked-about and visited places in the country. It is also known in French as the Musée des Civilisations noires (MCN).

Photo courtesy of The Museum of Black Civilizations
Photo courtesy of The Museum of Black Civilizations

This 150,000-square-foot, circular structure holds amazing displays that explore various centuries and continents. The exhibitions include “Cradle of Humankind,” “African Civilizations: Continuous Creation of Humanity” and “The Caravan and Caravel.”

Photo courtesy of The Museum of Black Civilizations
Photo courtesy of The Museum of Black Civilizations

Its curatorial mandate is to be a “political, cultural, artistic and economic response of the ‘Negritude’ against the technological and cultural devaluation of black civilisations”.

More museums and art centres 

Dakar is home to several other museums and art centres like the Cécile Fakhoury Gallery, House of slaves, Léopold Sedar Senghor museum and Raw — a cultural centre for “art, knowledge and society.”