Handicrafts creative city

Isfahan And Bandar Abbas


Considered as a hub for crafts and folk art, Isfahan is the third biggest city in Iran, with 1.5 million inhabitants. Its creative sector comprises the country’s most specialized craftpeople in 167 different disciplines, including carpet weaving, metalwork, woodwork, ceramics, painting and inlay works of various kinds. According to Isfahan Territorial Planning, at least 9,000 craft and folk art workshops and enterprises contribute to the Isfahan economy, the majority of which are located in the historical Naqsh-e Jahan Square, inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979 and dedicated to the sector.

While the Naqsh-e Jahan Square remains the major centre for showcasing high-grade works through permanent exhibitions, other events give both a local and international focus to the city’s dynamism in the field of crafts and folk art, such as the International Cultural Heritage Festival, which attracts the annual participation of 26 countries worldwide. The highlight of this event is the workshop dedicated to female artisans, emphasizing Isfahan’s commitment to valuing female artworks to perpetuate traditional know-how.

Bandar Abbas, located on the southern coast of Iran, is the gateway to other nations. Handicrafts and local art, seafood, local music and song are the main cultural characteristics of the city. However, handicrafts and local arts are the oldest and most prominent creative industries within the city and include three categories: practical and marine crafts, local clothing, and local musical instruments. For Bandar Abbas, the art and crafts industry is an important part of the city's economy, with annual turnover of about $US 2 million and exports of nearly $US 1.5 million, as well as generating 8000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the fields of production, distribution, advertising, sales, export, and training of local industries.