Snow in Dubai? Artist recreates emirate as winter wonderland

Jyo John Mulloor's work shows various scenes of the city blanketed in white

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About a month ago, Dubai resident and digital artist Jyo John Mulloor had a vivid dream. When he awoke, he remembered every single detail.

“I was back in Karama where I first lived in when I moved to Dubai in 2006. I was looking out the window and it was snowing. The entire area was white,” he tells The National.

Mulloor, who works for the Dubai advertising agency Innocean Worldwide, then did what he knew best — he turned his dream into art.

His first work, from the same vantage point as in his dream, looks out over Zabeel Park, with the towers of Sheikh Zayed Road in the distance. Nearby, he also added the Dubai Frame, which was inaugurated in 2018.

Scroll through the gallery above for more images of snow in Dubai as imagined by Jyo John Mulloor.

It’s a familiar scene for most UAE residents, except Mulloor’s striking work shows the city blanketed in snow.

“I remember, in the dream, it was like Christmas Day, and everywhere you looked, it was just white,” he says.

The first photo digital artist Jyo John Mulloor created of snowy Dubai took him more than 14 hours. Photo: Jyo John Mulloor

It took more than 25 layers of images, many of them photographs shot by Mulloor himself, and more than 14 hours on his trusty 32-inch Wacom Cintiq creative pen display to create the final image.

“I was doing it outside of working hours, just creating little by little every day. You can say I was a bit obsessed with the project,” Mulloor says.

Encouraged by the result of his first work, Mulloor decided to expand it, to include more scenes in Dubai. His first batch features snow-covered pictures of the newly-opened Museum of the Future, Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai Metro, Downtown Dubai, Expo 2020 Dubai and Global Village.

Mulloor shared the photos on his Instagram last week and was immediately inundated with praise.

"I have been a resident of Dubai for 16 years. I have seen the city scaling new heights over the course of time…,” he writes. “We, the residents of Dubai, experience a cooler winter every year, literally and metaphorically. Here, I am imagining a series of visuals on how it would look like if we had a snowy Dubai winter.”

Digital artist Jyo John Mulloor has lived in Dubai since 2006. Photo: Jyo John Mulloor

After the enthusiastic response on social media, Mulloor worked on more images, this time including Deira’s Clock Tower, the mountains of Hatta as well as generic scenes of Dubai.

“I’ve done 13 images so far and I think that’s enough for now,” he says, laughing. “I am busy with work and it takes a lot out of my time. But I am glad I started something that got people talking.”

Mulloor, who is from Kerala in India, and now lives in Dubai Land with his wife and daughter, 7, says he has no plans to profit from this “personal project”.

“I am a digital artist and I like to create, so this is just something I like to do. I don't want to sell them or make money out of them,” he says.

He is, however, grateful for all the compliments he’s received, and hopes that the photos spur conversations, especially about climate change.

“It is not so farfetched and could happen in the future. So I hope people appreciate the photos but also think of things like global warming and have discussions,” he says.

More works by Jyo John Mulloor are here.

Updated: March 01, 2022, 8:38 AM