Interview: Antoine Dufilho

•March 13, 2020 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

‘Sequential’, the first solo exhibition in the Middle East by celebrated French artist Antoine Dufilho is one of the rare show which not only collectors of high-end artifacts waiting for but car lovers will not forget for long time.
The exhibition by French artist has started at the MAD Gallery located in Dubai Mall for three months as the artist expecting to see collectors and admirers of luxury cars will hold his artifacts he designed for highly precision, love and professionally.
A captivating and avant-garde exhibit of twelve kinetic masterpieces, out of which ten pay homage to the seductive lines and precision engineering of coveted automobiles, Sequential offers art lovers the chance to discover the symmetry and captivating curves of automotive art. Two additional independent art works will also be on display that are sure to amaze and enthrall audiences: a reimagined interpretation of the Burj Khalifa, in all its awe inspiring glory and the Kinetic Green Cube, an example of quintessential kinetic art, whereby the viewer creates the movement of the cube by walking around the sculpture.
A signature feature in Antoine Dufilho’s sculptures are the optical illusions that he creates by rotating the base of the art works, whereby it feels as though the sculptures are in motion and moving, leaving the viewer surprised and transfixed.
“All twelve sculptures are available as limited editions of twelve pieces worldwide (eight pieces and four artistic proofs), except for the limited edition of one piece. Sequential will primarily showcase scaled down artistic interpretations of iconic automobiles spanning the Porsche 356, Porsche 911, Ford GT 40, Jaguar Type E, Lamborghini Aventador and for first time ever, four models of two car pairs, consisting of Bugatti and Ferrari,” he said while talking to the Gulf Today.

He has been designing high-end avant-garde pieces for last eight years and has been showcased in a number of cities around the world. “This is first time my artworks are being displaying in a gallery known for high-end pieces. Even though Dubai is known for its high-end and luxury fast cars among Westerns, we are expecting to see a number of collectors to turn up,” he added.
The exhibition took over twelve months to complete as Antoine Dufilho incorporated a new method called “anodization” which effectively colors metal while retaining the metallic appearance of the material. Moreover, the limited edition artworks are created by meticulously hand crafting sculpting rods and plates into successive layers and materializing the vehicle into a modern automotive framework, thereby revealing the contour of the car, and creating the illusion of movement as viewers walk past the art works. Antoine Dufilho’s educational background in architecture provides a conceptual foundation in which his innovative artworks are established, allowing him to create modern sculptures that are unique and alluring at the same time.
The twelve art works include five sculptures created specifically for Dubai, including the iconic Burj Khalifa and four models (of two pair car sculptures) of ’The Bugatti Atlantic 1936 & Bugatti La Voiture Noire 2019’ and ‘The Ferrari F40 1987 & La Ferrari 2013’.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Interview: Nada Debs

•March 13, 2020 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

With the Holy Month of Ramadan fast approaching, retailers across the country are making all necessary arrangements to provide new collections – from edible items to furniture to home decoration.
Besides the plethora of new varieties to celebrate the month of giving including the smooth supply of foodstuff, the retailers are also unveiling plans to engage families and visitors.
In this regard, the Dubai Festival City Mall has been running ‘The Lego Festival’ till March 14, offering an array of family-friendly activities to all the Lego fans out there with its seven exciting zones.
With each of the zones celebrating a popular Lego play theme, families can take part in multiple activities inspired by the Lego brand such as building life-sized sculptures, trains, snowmen and fire engines. The Festival Bay area features an Asian market with delicious street food and pop-up stores that are all included as part of the Lego Ninjago Zone.
The festival also has something for older and more advanced Lego fanatics where they can test their mechanical skills as they engineer buildings at the Lego Technic and Architecture Zone.
Ikea, the region’s leading Swedish home furnishing retailer is collaborating with Lebanese designer Nada Debs for the launch of their 2020 Ramadan Collection, LJUV.
Talking to Gulf Today, the Lebanese designer said that the philosophy behind the ‘Ramadan Collection’ inspired her to design the household range and showcase to the world the unique Islamic geometry patterns. “There are many Islamic geometry patterns being used for centuries to create artifacts around the world. Being in the design field for decades, I have been designing high-end products in Lebanon and this is the first time I’m in Dubai along with my art pieces which are part of the Ramadan Collection,” she said.
Raised in Japan, Nada studied design at Rhode Island School of Design in the United States and has since settled in Beirut, Lebanon. Having spent significant periods living and travelling around the world, all of her work is connected to her experiences.
When the team started brainstorming with Nada, they chose to take a modern approach to show a good mix of Middle Eastern and Scandinavian culture in the range. Products such as the floor cushions and low glass tables are apt for low seated gatherings. Meanwhile, the trays and pastry dishes add a Middle Eastern flair to any home with their geometry patterns and soft tone colours. There is also a colourful selection of patterns and textiles that are woven together with the accessories to give your home a festive modern look. The ceramics and glassware will add the final touch to your dining table setup and make it easy to host many guests in holy month of giving. The ‘Ramadan Collection’ sale across all Ikea stores starting 12 March.
For the Dubai Food Festival, City Walk is set to delight foodies with exclusive promotions, live entertainment and much more from 12 to 14 March.
Spend the day at City Walk with the family and allow musicians to serenade you with their melodic performances. And keep an eye out for the juggler, the human sculpture and Candy Girl Roller skaters that make for Insta-happy clicks while thrilling the little ones every evening.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Sharjah Used Books Festival begins

•February 27, 2020 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | SHARJAH

The seventh edition of the used books festival has begun in Sharjah and it will offer avid readers one million reasons to buy books and quench their thirst for knowledge.
The four-day ‘Used Books Festival’ is being organised by the Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) at Khalid Park in the Emirate and will run till Feb.29 from 10am to 10pm.
Commenting on the Fair, Jehad Abed Alkader, General Coordinator of the Festival while talking to Gulf Today on Wednesday, said, “The Fair started with around 100,000 books in 2007 and has grown exceptionally since then. This year we have collected over one million books from our partners including students, parents, organisations, academic institutions and individuals.
“SCHS, on the directions of Sheikha Jameela Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Director …
-Published At The Gulf Today

Interview: 2nd Runner up Camel Trek Marathon 2020

•February 26, 2020 • Leave a Comment

‘UAE’s Camel Trek Marathon is a chance to explore local culture’

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

Expatriates in the UAE has always find ways to explore about the local culture and heritage through a wide spectrum of opportunities offering by government bodies. The UAE is one of the country has an exceptional history, culture, and heritage and these could be experience in one single journey as ‘Camel trekker’.
This was stated by Anna Aiko, 40-years old Japanese expatriate from France who was one of the 13 trekkers participated and had experienced their own camel race as part of the recent Camel Trek Marathon and won the second place.
Talking to the Gulf Today, she said that “I have been started travelling since the age of five to explore the ‘silk road’. The journey of life has brought me in Dubai and being shuttle between Japan-France and UAE. Last year I started exploring an opportunity to ride camel and found a chance to be part of the famous ‘camel trek’. This gave me an opportunity to explore UAE deserts on camel backs from Empty Quarters, Abu Dhabi to Dubai along with other trekkers from different nationalities. The unique and memorable trek – 700-km covered in 26 days – part of the HHC initiative aimed to promote the Bedouin lives and discover the UAE heritage,” she said.
She was one of the 13 camel trekkers experience their own camel race as part of the Camel Trek Marathon. The participants consist of various countries including China, Japan, Britain, Romania, Finland, United States of America, Germany, Armenia and UAE showcased their experience in racing camels in the desert.
“Being experienced as two-time came trekker in the UAE, the participation in the ‘camel marathon’ was purely as an adventure.
She worked as art director for a prominent photographer working for prestige brands and famous celebrities from around the world. “Since five years ago I was starting travelling around the world to explore places, cultures and heritages to know more about the world in which we are living. Travelling along with other nationalities as part of the ‘camel trek’ I found as a unique experience of culture exchange, knew about various nationalities and their history, arts and more,” she said.
Aiko reprised that in UAE they learned about the history about the camel as one and only mode of travel from one place to another especially in the enormous deserts by the locals which was fascinated each and every participants especially expatriates. “Last year while crossing Empty Quarters desert first time, I cried not for being afraid but travelling on the backs of camels as our ancestors did in the past and having the same experience,” she shared her emotions of fascinated by the beauty of the dunes while the sun was setting on the horizon.
Meanwhile, the camel marathon was also attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, this second camel race ran for one km.
The cultural and heritage races were organized by Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center (HHC) held in Al Marmoum area in Dubai.
The participation of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai at the second race lit up the faces of the participants as well as the audience who gathered to cheer up their favorite participants out of 13 trekkers also hailed the presence of the crown prince.
Abdullah Hamdan Bin Dalmook, CEO of HHC, said this year’s Camel Marathon was different from the previous years because of the preliminary races that boosted the level of competition coming into the 5th National Day Camel Marathon.
Camel riders above 30 years old got more training opportunities and became more familiar with the racetrack.
Bin Dalmook also thanked Sheikh Hamdan for his continued support to the promotion of heritage sports and added that not only the level of competition increased but the spirit of community sport was also elevated.
Rashid bin Markhan, HHC deputy CEO, added: “The prizes given to winners this year also increased and particpants to the 30th place will gain prize money.”
Ali Saeed Bin Saroud, Executive Director of the Dubai Camel Racing Club, for his part, thanked the HHC for the great cooperation in achieving the goals of the race and in gathering young people in boosting their knowledge on heritage sport.
Alexis from China finished in first place, followed closely by Japanese-French expat Anna Aiko in second place while Rabab Elguwiri from Finland came in third position. British expats Jodi Mercati and Shirley Wilkinson finished in fourth and fifth places respectively.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum honored the 13 contestants with shields bearing the Center’s logo and in-kind prizes.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Rashid Centre has a new classroom

•February 26, 2020 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

Educational and training centres that cater for people of determination are always looking forward to philanthropists in society to extend their support for much-needed facilities that have hit a roadblock for some reason or the other. In this regard, an Emirati businessman and philanthropist has come forward and provided funds for opening a fully furnished classroom in the Rashid Center for Determined Ones.
The new facility was inaugurated by Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman of the Rashid Center for People of Determination, along with Emirati businessman Youssef Mohamed Abdullah Al-Qaz. The noble and charitable endowment is part of an ongoing charity in memory of his late father, may God have mercy on him.
The new classroom will accommodate more students who were on waiting lists, bringing the number of the centre’s classes to 33 to accommodate about 240 students of different ages across 43 nationalities.
Sheikh Juma Bin Maktoum Al Maktoum said, “We are pleased with the support of the public and private sectors in supporting the Centre’s development and enhancing its humanitarian role in integrating and empowering the people of determination in our society and achieving the vision of good leadership and its directives. Perhaps the initiative of the Emirati businessman, Youssef Mohamed Abdullah Al-Qaz, constitutes an additional new block in achieving what we are all looking for in the UAE – to be a friendly country of people of determination.”
On the occasion Al-Qaz said, “It is an honour for us to support the Rashid Center for People of Determination in its expansion and increase its absorptive capacity to serve more people of determination who are in our conscience.”
The event was also attended by a number of guests and patrons of the centre who vowed to continue their support towards the betterment of students with determination.
-Published At The Gulf Today

Interview: Deputy CEO HHC

•February 3, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Falconry in UAE: From hobby to ‘heritage sport’

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

Once a hobby for locals, now with the support and extraordinary passion of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, falconry has became part of the Dhs40 million Fazza Championship.
This was stated by Rashid Bin Markhan, Deputy CEO, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre (HHC), while talking with Gulf Today on the newly initiated Fakhr Al Ajyal (Pride of Generations) Championship for Falconry – Telwah on Saturday.
“Some years ago falcon breeding was considered as a hobby to train these birds for hunting but for the first time the Crown Prince took the step to create a series of heritage activities in Fazza Championship…
Published At The Gulf Today

Kuwaiti actress Nour Al Ghandour charms Rashid Centre students

•January 29, 2020 • Leave a Comment

By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

Students with determination are always thrilled to have guests especially from the showbiz industry. It gives them a chance to display their inner talent of acting, singing and dancing.
The students of the Rashid Centre for People of Determination in Dubai had one such experience when celebrated Kuwaiti actress Nour Al Ghandour visited them.
She was received by the students led by Maryam Othman, Director, Rashid Centre, who accompanied her on the tour of the centre. During the tour, the Kuwaiti showbiz star was briefed on the ongoing educational and rehabilitation programmes designed for the students of determination based on their age and grades.
The centre has currently enrolled around 300 students, belonging to different nationalities, age groups who are being trained and educated in a number of skills by the qualified and experienced staff.
The excitement was palpable in the interaction between Al Ghandour and students at the various classrooms and training workshops. “My day at the Rashid Centre was full of fun and entertainment and I felt that it also gave Rashid Centre’s students a positive energy,” said Al Ghandour.
The students were sharing their hobbies and skills in drawing, singing, sports, embroidery, accessories design and agriculture, and happiness overwhelmed her as she answered the queries from the excited students who wanted to share their stories with her.
“The visit to the centre by outside guests can bring about a positive change in the overall behaviour among these students as the guests especially from the showbiz industry end up sparking happiness and joy on the faces of the students.
They (students) gave me the positive energy that I am looking for and they did not feel their disabilities but rather the inherent challenges and desires of them in life,” she said.
She further pointed that it was an honour for her to visit this humanitarian project in the Emirate of Dubai, which is comparable to, or even superior to, similar centres in the most advanced and civilised countries in the world. This assures the national leadership’s interest in the people of determination, their issues and their rights, and that they are in their right conscience.
Maryam Othman also accompanied her on a tour of the centre’s classes and training and professional workshops from trade, embroidery, photography and organic cultivation. She explained the centre’s goals and vision, in addition to the artificial intelligence unit that the centre intends to open soon.
-Published At The Gulf Today