Giant fridge magnets tower over Dubai's skyline in new digital video project

Rohith Jagadisha's latest 3D series is inspired by his visit to Expo 2020 Dubai with his family

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Dubai's skyline has enjoyed yet another creative overhaul, through a new video project titled Meta Souvenir. It features digital art "souvenirs" over some of the emirate's most recognisable landmarks, infusing them with added colour and intrigue.

The video was produced by Rohith Jagadisha, whose previous project depicting Dubai's skyline being overun by giant origami figures rapidly went viral.

Though he now lives in India, Jagadisha worked in Dubai for 13 years. The two skyline projects were inspired by the time he spent with his daughter Vipanchi, 7, exploring the city's landmarks, especially amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

While his previous video was dedicated to his daughter, Jagadisha has devoted this one to the people of Dubai, saying that it offers a fresh take on souvenirs. "[When] most people go to a landmark, they take home a little souvenir to remind them of their trip. In this project I want people to experience meta souvenirs. Moments become memories. Cherish your memories — you can visit them and can live in them."

Jagadisha says his latest video was particularly inspired by visits to Expo 2020 Dubai. "At that time, we bought a few souvenirs for our daughter — key rings, fridge magnets, passport stamps and so on. In the crowd, she lost one of her souvenirs and she was very depressed. She asked the little robot to find it for her." Jagadisha decided he would bring those souvenirs back through the magic of 3D animation.

The video cycles through a series of landmarks, attached to letters that spell out "DUBAI". It starts with a cartoon-like Burj Al Arab projected over the Dubai shoreline, with the letter D behind it. Moving on, a U towers over the desert, with a stylised camel and oasis scene. B sits behind a glistening Burj Khalifa, while A stands behind Emirates Towers and I straddles Cayan Tower, the city's beloved "twisty" building, alongside Atlantis, The Palm.

The video culminates in scenes reorganising the landmarks with several variations, spelling out "I love Dubai".

In a previous interview with The National, the 3D artist said he was shocked by the response to his last video. “I never expected this at all. People really love it. But actually, this was something I did just for my daughter.

“My daughter and I used to go to Pearl Beach every day, sit there and be mesmerised by the Dubai skyline, just enjoying the view. I’d completely created Dubai in 3D in the past, and used to always take her with me to all these places, so she knew them very well. She was amazed."

Scroll through images of Rohith Jagadisha's previous Dubai skyline project below

Updated: September 29, 2022, 8:58 AM