Take to the streets
Engaging and thought-provoking, discover some of the best places to immerse yourself in the UAE’s growing urban art scene.
Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi
This impressive 600-metre mural runs parallel to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Street. Commissioned by Aldar Properties, the collection of work pays homage to the UAE’s heritage and unique Bedouin traditions. Created by Dominican-born figurative painter and street artist, Elio Mercado and his team took five weeks to complete the series of paintings – during which they battled soaring temperatures, high humidity and sand storms. Each painting depicts an iconic cultural scene or pastime, such as Emirati women weaving palm fronds, the serving of Arabic coffee and a young boy walking a camel.
City Walk, Dubai
Aiming to draw both residents and visitors into conversation, Dubai Walls, the initiative created to promote street art in the region, invited 16 renowned street artists to work their magic on the walls of City Walk, a trendy retail and leisure space. Representing five different continents, artists from various backgrounds brought this urban destination to life with a host of compelling artworks. Look out for designs by Eelus, a British artist who temporarily pipped Banksy to top spot for the fastest selling art print, and controversial fine art and street artist RonEnglish, who coined the term POPaganda. Don’t miss the popular I [heart] Dubai/DXB pieces created by Nick Walker, one of the world’s foremost street artists.
A well known stretch of ‘old Dubai’, the bustling streets of Karama received a vibrant face lift when eight street artists were invited to perk up some of its previously plain buildings. Now featuring a total of 24 brightly coloured murals across 12 apartment buildings, head down to spot everything from 3D artworks to abstract animals.
Dubai Street Museum, Dubai
Part of the city’s efforts to transform some of its streets into an open-air gallery, the first phase of the Dubai Street Museum saw 2nd December Street transformed by a collection of 16 paintings highlighting local arts and culture. Spearheaded by Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, Dubai Street Museum will aim to implement several phases over the space of five years. This first initiative features an eclectic variety of playful images including Emirati children in traditional outfits.
Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai
Part of the #WOWJBR 24-week campaign, which launched in November 2017, Dubai’s popular beachfront promenade Jumeirah Beach Residence is being transformed by a variety of imaginative graffiti art and street installations.