Colours, calligraphy and original illustrations are brightening up the parking areas of Dubai Mall Zabeel, the newly opened retail expansion of The Dubai Mall. Designed around the theme of transportation, 52 murals have been created by local artists and designers and are spread out across seven floors of parking.
Most of the designs are illustration-based, like Melvin San Miguel’s playful versions of road maps and traffic signs, or Marlene Krause’s rendering of an oasis in the middle of the city’s busy intersections and overpasses. All of the murals bear elements that Dubai residents can easily recognise – calligraphy, city landmarks, flora and fauna, and street signs.
The initiative is part of real estate developer Emaar's Art Emaar platform, which commissions public art projects across the company's properties, including eL Seed's Declaration at Dubai Opera and Fernando Botero's bronze sculpture of a horse in the Palace Downtown's courtyard.
To make all this happen, Art Emaar sought the help of Art Painting Lab, an art service provider in Dubai that employs artists in-house for client projects.
The company also has a studio in Al Quoz where its artists such as San Miguel and Amna Basheer can produce their work. Art Painting Lab has completed projects for La Perle, creating its stage backdrop for the show, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Zabeel House and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
Their work at Dubai Mall Zabeel is one of their latest and biggest endeavours to date.
The mall expansion, which opened in November, has added 3,000 parking spaces for mall-goers with its multi-floor construction. Connected to the main Downtown Dubai mall through a 200-metre-long footbridge, the expansion is expected to house 63 retail units.