Dubai is known for its cutting edge building designs. Lots of steel. Lots of glass. Lots of interesting angles. So you might be surprised to find buildings and walls decorated with murals. Street art in Dubai is alive and well.
Throughout my explorations, I found two areas where murals are clearly used to complement the design and architecture around them. This is no haphazard collection of wall paintings on blank walls in fringe neighborhoods. These works have been thoughtfully curated to augment and enhance the surrounding space.
City Walk Area
Yes, Dubai has many shopping areas. But City Walk is unique in that it was designed to emulate European streets. There are many stores (high end retailers of course) and restaurants with outdoor cafe seating. There are also entertainment venues with activities for all ages. It’s designed to be a destination for the whole family. Indeed, as the sun sets, the temperatures drop, and the breezes pick up, City Walk becomes alive with activity.
Adding to the architecture is a series of murals that blend in so effortlessly with their surroundings that, at times, it can be easy to miss them. Little gems hide around corners while large paintings look as if they are part of the building design. It’s colorful and humorous and some of it even a little bit irreverent.
Al Fahidi Historic Neighborhood
This historic neighborhood was established in the early 1900’s by Persian pearl and textile merchants. The traditional buildings have been beautifully restored, and the area is now home to artists, galleries and cute eateries. Wandering the narrow lanes, you don’t know what colorful surprises await as you round the next corner.
Exploring the wall art in these two areas brought the city to a more human scale for me. After seeing so many big, cutting edge buildings, it was nice to see art that I could look in the face.
Thanks for visiting.