Murals capture the spirit of Dubai's Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Seven artworks are dotted around the area formerly known as Al Bastikiya

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During the recent Sikka Art and Design Festival, visual artists, performers, musicians and designers came together at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood for concerts, readings, screenings and to produce new murals in the cultural area’s famed narrow alleyways.

Eight artists from the UAE and the region created pieces during the event, which ended last month, inspired by the spirit of the district. These will be on display for at least six months.

'Al Fahidi Beauty Tree'

'Al Fahidi Beauty Tree' by Saggaf Al Hashemi. All photos: Antonie Robertson / The National

Emirati artist Saggaf Al Hashemi’s work is called Al Fahidi Beauty Tree and it represents his vision of peace, beauty and love. It is a three-dimensional artwork inspired by the theme of the festival, which was “celebrating art, celebrating growth”.

'Tree of Wisdom'

'Tree of Wisdom' by Gary Yong.

Malaysian-Chinese artist Gary Yong created a piece called Tree of Wisdom. It combines abstract and figurative styles, and focuses on wisdom as a human value. It reflects the artist’s perspective that a single thought or idea can grow and expand, to influence and inspire others.


'I-Live' by Evgenia Silvina and Grimm Van Gestel.

This mural, called I-Live, by Russian artist Evgenia Silvina and Belgian artist Grimm Van Gestel, imagines an alternate dimension. It features an “android character" who sets forth their own perceptions and realities into the world via energy. It encompasses images of nature, computer data and elements of Dubai life.

'Tech Naash'

'Tech Naash' by Mahmoud Al-Sharqawi.

Bahraini artist Mahmoud Al-Sharqawi, who is known by his stage name Huvil, made Tech Naash, a display that merges the worlds of heritage and technology through a traditional dance in a virtual urban world.

'Music Sounds Better with You'

'Music Sounds Better with You' by Perryhan El Ashmawi

Music Sounds Better with You, by Egyptian artist Perryhan El Ashmawi, who lives in Bahrain, explores the ideas of cultural spirit and contemporary innovations colliding. “Innovations in the fields of technology, experiences and modern trends have become an influential part in various aspects of life, from work, entertainment, communication and relationships, and with them, traditional ways of life are transformed to others that are more advanced,” El Ashmawi says. “My mural is in line with the festival's theme and Al Fahidi spirit – it explores the beauty that comes from mixing ancient and modern.”


'Sisterhood' by Anne Laure Romagny and Robin Chloe-Azaide.

Sisterhood was created by French artists Anne Laure Romagny and Robin Chloe-Azaide, and aims to highlight women in couture wandering Al Fahidi. It combines ideas of tradition, culture, avant-garde fashion, street style and patterns in an explosion of colours.

A 20-metre mural

A mural created at at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Forsan Park and now on display at Al Seef until the end of Ramadan.

This 20-metre artwork is being displayed at Al Seef, and formed part of an extension of the Sikka Art and Design Festival. It was created originally at Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Forsan Park, with participation from the New Zealand Pavilion, and will stay in Al Seef before being shipped back to New Zealand after Ramadan.

It was part of a street art activation presented by the pavilion’s Entertainment and Culture Sector, under the theme of Care for People and Place.

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