Public Art in Abu Dhabi: Murals
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To see some breathtaking art in Abu Dhabi, you do not necessarily have to visit a museum or gallery. The city is filled with public artworks for everyone to enjoy (and, of course, take a couple of selfies). In this article, we have selected several public murals for you that look beautiful and also have a deeper meaning behind them.

Murals at Sheikha Fatima Park

This huge (46,000 m2) park in the centre of Abu Dhabi is great for a whole family to spend a day together. You can have some rest in one of the park’s green spaces or take part in a full range of different activities it offers. But what makes this place even more remarkable is the six colourful murals created by UAE-based artists. These are:

  • Curious Puppies by Chinese artist Jack Lee dedicated to our four-legged friends. It should be mentioned that Sheikha Fatima Park is the 1st one in Abu Dhabi with a special area for pets, so the mural celebrates this fact. Lee’s public artwork is complete with ropes so viewers can pretend as if they were walking the depicted dogs.
  • Save the Day created by artist Marwan Shakarchi in collaboration with the New York Institute of Technology. The mural is devoted to memory, its importance, and playfulness. It portrays a woman with her head in the clouds whose appearance displays memory’s effect on us as individuals.
  • To produce Dhow to the Moon, artist Kaveh Ahangar worked with the American Community School. This artwork illustrates the UAE’s journey of progress and tech advancement. It features a space shuttle, a symbol of the UAE space programme, and the ocean, which refers to pearl diving, crucial for Emirati society back then. Thus, the mural connects the past and the future of the region.
  • Mother Portal is the result of a collaboration between artist Rollan Rodriquez and NYU Abu Dhabi students. The mural depicts a modern Emirati woman, a figure of the all-governing mother, and represents the nation’s journey from its history full of rich traditions to a future that is expected to be bright and successful.
  • In Living Colour created by Maddy Butcher and the New England Centre for Children pays tribute to those who live with autism: those who experience life and communicate their place in the world differently. Bursting with colours, the art piece reminds us that life with autism is also rich and imaginative.
  • Spirit of Hospitality by Paul Bruwer and students of Zayed Uni refers to the warmth of Emirati culture and commemorates HH Sheikha Fatima. It tells of how important it is to pass on traditional gestures of hospitality and take pride in the culture of our past.
Dhow to the Moon by Kaveh Ahangar created in collaboration with the American Community School.

Mural at Marsa Al Bateen

In Marsa Al Bateen Marina, one can find the largest public artwork in the region (14m high and 2,000+ sqm in area) created by well-known Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra. In this mural titled The Tolerance, he celebrates cultural diversity. It showcases the faces of people of various ethnicities and from different backgrounds in front of bright colours and shapes in a kaleidoscopic theme. Commenting on his work, the artist said: “[…] It does not matter where you are from or what you look like, you will find tolerance, respect, and peace within diversity.”

Al Qattara Murals

Although Al Qattara Arts Centre is located in Al Ain, not in the Abu Dhabi city, it is still situated in the emirate. Until 6 January 2024, the Centre is hosting new murals produced by 20 artists from different cultural backgrounds and art schools. The artworks can be found throughout the centre’s rooms and corridors. This year, the theme of the showcase is Under The Sea, so you are invited to have a look at its diverse interpretations presented by Saggaf Al Hashemi, Atma Al Dhaheri, Sarwa Abdulrahman, Zainab Al Hashemi, Reem Al Mazrouei, Fatima Jawad, and others.

You may also be interested in looking at WAVE by d’strict.

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