Rachel Whiteread composed a pattern of overlapping rings in the Olympic colours. The rings explore the emblem of the Olympic Games, and also represent marks left by drinking bottles or glasses.
Rachel Whiteread composed a pattern of overlapping rings in the Olympic colours. The rings explore the emblem of the Olympic Games, and also represent marks left by drinking bottles or glasses.

Olympic-themed posters becoming collectable



There are now two weeks to go until London 2012 kicks off in style, and the excitement is growing - not just in sport but in the design world, too.

At the end of last year, 12 of the UK's leading artists, including Turner Prize winners Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread and Chris Ofili, alongside the famously controversial Tracey Emin, were commissioned to celebrate the Olympics and Paralympics by creating contemporary posters summing up the sporting pride surrounding the 2012 Games.

The posters are all vastly distinct. Emin's is pretty and poignant - bearing no direct sporting motif - with the words "You inspire me with your determination and I love you" scruffily handwritten above a sketch of two birds outlined in a smoky black ink. Organisers said her piece was a "charming and tender tribute" to the Games.

Whiteread, who happened to be the first woman to win the Turner Prize, has designed a colourful patterned poster, made up of overlapping circles representing the Olympic rings, which also look like the stains left behind from glasses on a table. Meanwhile, Ofili's poster is dedicated to the "unknown runners" of the city who run outside his window - with a mythical black and white creature striking a strong running pose.

This year's Olympic posters, which are all on sale for £7 (Dh41) at the Tate Britain, are proving hugely popular. But it's not just contemporary Olympic art that's so coveted - vintage Olympic posters have also been increasing in popularity. In March, London's financial district of Canary Wharf kick-started its build-up to London 2012 with an exhibition (on tour from the Victoria and Albert Museum) celebrating a century of Olympic posters.

Sally Williams, the public art consultant at the Canary Wharf Group, says the posters carry broad popular appeal with their ability to relay messages through strong imagery. "The posters provide a fascinating record of our world," she says. "They are a visual document of sport and art, politics and place, commerce and culture."

Vintage Olympic posters are also increasingly collectable, as seen at a recent Olympic memorabilia auction held at Christie's in London. Total sales clocked in at more than £1 million (Dh5.7m), with the most expensive poster, advertising the London Games of 1908, selling for an impressive £15,000.

The first Olympic poster was officially commissioned a century ago to celebrate the Stockholm Games of 1912 - apparently, the 1908 poster for the London Games wasn't officially Olympics-endorsed. Swedish designer Olle Hjortzberg was told to create a poster that would show Sweden as a dynamic and strong country. His print, of a proud muscular man waving an Olympic ribbon, carries all the traits that are associated with the vintage vibe so popular today - classic typography, strong colours and an art nouveau finish. One of these sold for £2,500 at Christie's.

According to Jim Lapides, the owner of the International Poster Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts, you can expect to pay anything between $100 and $2,000 for posters from 1964 onwards, while most pre-Second World War posters sell for up to $8,000.

"Olympic posters are first and foremost advertisements, but many are collected around the world as masterpieces of illustration and graphic design," he says. "The Olympics themselves are one of the most exciting subjects to many collectors - sport at its highest and purest level. Also, the posters are beautifully printed stone lithographs featuring rich textures and bright colours, often done by the best designers in the host nation. The drama and excitement surrounding the Olympics over more than 100 years make the posters more collectable than ever."

However, if you don't have the cash to spare to start an Olympic poster collection, it is still entirely possible to get into the spirit of the Games and add some sporting flair to your home. Allposters.com has a vast range of reproduction Olympic posters from as little as £5.99, including the iconic London 1948 Games print, which shows the Olympic rings on top of Big Ben and a very kitsch range of post-1950s Olympic posters with fantastic typography for graphic art fans.

Look out in particular for Mexico's 1968 Winter Olympics poster (a real throwback to the Sixties, with a swirling black and white hypnotic design) and Los Angeles's 1932 poster, which is simple and unfussy, in white and blue.

Try ILoveRetro.co.uk for the most famous Olympic prints, including Franz Wurbel's 1936 poster for the controversial Berlin Olympics held just before the Second World War, which shows a laurel-crowned athlete towering over a chariot. Most of the originals of this were destroyed during the war.

There are also plenty of Olympics-inspired prints and posters for your walls that specifically celebrate 2012, without resorting to tacky tourist memorabilia. London-based Swiss artist Ursula Hitz (www.ursulahitz.com) has created typographic screen prints of a giant Games torch out of words, listing an A to Z of all the sports that will be played.

Meanwhile, the quirky printing company Mr PS (www.mr-ps.co.uk) is celebrating the Olympics with a nod to nostalgia, with a specially designed tea-towel featuring a nonchalant champion sportsman in a 1920s swimming costume, above the words "Going For Gold".

"It's our take on the Olympics," says designer Megan Price. "There are tight restrictions regarding Olympics-inspired merchandise, so we didn't want to do anything too obvious. It's a tongue-in-cheek look at the sporting competition which fits into our retro, British style."

The London 2012 Festival website, www.london2012.com/festival, has information on how to buy the limited edition prints or posters as well as information about the exhibition of Olympic and Paralympic Posters at Tate Britain during the London 2012 Festival

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian

Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).

Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).

Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming

Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics

Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Afghanistan fixtures
  • v Australia, today
  • v Sri Lanka, Tuesday
  • v New Zealand, Saturday,
  • v South Africa, June 15
  • v England, June 18
  • v India, June 22
  • v Bangladesh, June 24
  • v Pakistan, June 29
  • v West Indies, July 4
Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

SCHEDULE

Saturday, April 20: 11am to 7pm - Abu Dhabi World Jiu-Jitsu Festival and Para jiu-jitsu.

Sunday, April 21: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (female) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Monday, April 22: 11am to 6pm - Abu Dhabi World Youth (male) Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Tuesday, April 23: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Masters Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Wednesday, April 24: 11am-6pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Thursday, April 25: 11am-5pm Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Friday, April 26: 3pm to 6pm Finals of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship.

Saturday, April 27: 4pm and 8pm awards ceremony.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Clinicy
Started: 2017
Founders: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Alobaid and Saud bin Sulaiman Alobaid
Based: Riyadh
Number of staff: 25
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding raised: More than $10 million
Investors: Middle East Venture Partners, Gate Capital, Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment

The five types of long-term residential visas

Obed Suhail of ServiceMarket, an online home services marketplace, outlines the five types of long-term residential visas:

Investors:

A 10-year residency visa can be obtained by investors who invest Dh10 million, out of which 60 per cent should not be in real estate. It can be a public investment through a deposit or in a business. Those who invest Dh5 million or more in property are eligible for a five-year residency visa. The invested amount should be completely owned by the investors, not loaned, and retained for at least three years.

Entrepreneurs:

A five-year multiple entry visa is available to entrepreneurs with a previous project worth Dh0.5m or those with the approval of an accredited business incubator in the UAE.  

Specialists

Expats with specialised talents, including doctors, specialists, scientists, inventors, and creative individuals working in the field of culture and art are eligible for a 10-year visa, given that they have a valid employment contract in one of these fields in the country.

Outstanding students:

A five-year visa will be granted to outstanding students who have a grade of 95 per cent or higher in a secondary school, or those who graduate with a GPA of 3.75 from a university. 

Retirees:

Expats who are at least 55 years old can obtain a five-year retirement visa if they invest Dh2m in property, have savings of Dh1m or more, or have a monthly income of at least Dh20,000.

Common OCD symptoms and how they manifest

Checking: the obsession or thoughts focus on some harm coming from things not being as they should, which usually centre around the theme of safety. For example, the obsession is “the building will burn down”, therefore the compulsion is checking that the oven is switched off.

Contamination: the obsession is focused on the presence of germs, dirt or harmful bacteria and how this will impact the person and/or their loved ones. For example, the obsession is “the floor is dirty; me and my family will get sick and die”, the compulsion is repetitive cleaning.

Orderliness: the obsession is a fear of sitting with uncomfortable feelings, or to prevent harm coming to oneself or others. Objectively there appears to be no logical link between the obsession and compulsion. For example,” I won’t feel right if the jars aren’t lined up” or “harm will come to my family if I don’t line up all the jars”, so the compulsion is therefore lining up the jars.

Intrusive thoughts: the intrusive thought is usually highly distressing and repetitive. Common examples may include thoughts of perpetrating violence towards others, harming others, or questions over one’s character or deeds, usually in conflict with the person’s true values. An example would be: “I think I might hurt my family”, which in turn leads to the compulsion of avoiding social gatherings.

Hoarding: the intrusive thought is the overvaluing of objects or possessions, while the compulsion is stashing or hoarding these items and refusing to let them go. For example, “this newspaper may come in useful one day”, therefore, the compulsion is hoarding newspapers instead of discarding them the next day.

Source: Dr Robert Chandler, clinical psychologist at Lighthouse Arabia