All posts tagged: Culture Dubai

Betawi – Karama, Dubai

The evening we discovered Betawi was one of those jarring moments when you realise your brain plays tricks on you. We had walked down that road a hundred times before, and at least ten times in the previous week alone. And yet suddenly, Betawi appeared out of nowhere. How had we missed it? Where was it hiding before? Surely this place wasn’t always here? The questions were many, but the answers were none. Despite having been on our way to a different restaurant, we had no choice but to go inside. [Written by I’m Not A Fiend] The cute interior is brightly decorated, with Indonesian artifacts, plants, and black and white photos of  Indonesian scenes. I noticed a framed picture of a couple in traditional dress sharing a bicycle, with a tropical scene behind them. We started discussing how much we’ve been wanting to travel to Indonesia, Bali and Java in particular! The gamelan, the temples, the street food, the tropics; it’s another world we’re keen to explore. What made me immediately happy upon sitting down …

The Gates of Satwa

Walking the busy streets of Satwa is a unique experience. But turn a corner down a different direction to usual, and you’ll find yourself in the back streets. Cycling these back streets is a different experience altogether. [Originally published on I’m Not A Fiend] From the urban neon lights of Satwa Road and Al Diyafah, just seconds later you feel transported to a sandy village. One storey buildings as far as the eye can see, dusty palm trees, and scrawny cats that eye you up and down from the top of a dumpster. Cockerels crow and goats bleat from behind fences. Who lives in these ramshackle abodes is an eternal mystery to me. In many, it seems to all be men, up to twenty. What are their lives like? It’s another world, and it’s right under our noses. This is Satwa still though, and commerce remains a dominant fixture. Only now it’s nothing but bakeries, tiny grocery stores, and the odd building supplies shop, whose supplies seem to have remained toppled up in the dusty shelves for …

Fair Played Music. Dubai

“Every city has its own sound. It is created by musicians that are working hard at their craft and fighting for a chance to be heard against the most popular music that comes out of Hollywood, New York and London.” said Dubai based music producer and entrepreneur Joshua F Williams in a recent conversation with FNND. There is a lot of music being made in Dubai by locally-based artists. Whilst very popular within the local music scene crowd, a lot of this music has yet to make its way into to ears of the everyday Dubai’an. All over the world independent musicians often struggle to get their music heard through traditional outlets such as radio and have to rely mainly on their live performances to gain new listeners and generate an income, and Dubai is no exception. As co-founder of Fair Played Music (together with Fahim Al Qasimi), Williams hopes to change this very soon. The idea behind Fair Played Music is simple; instead of switching on the radio and listening to music made in the US or UK, why …

The Other Side – live music, done right

When you step inside this intimate, rustic, industrial space you are instantly transported to the live music venues found in cities with histories steeped in live performance, pulsating with energy, and anticipation for what is to follow. Suddenly, the feeling that you are part of a living, breathing and relevant music scene is palpable in Dubai. Look for the stage and you will quickly realize there is none – with nothing separating the musicians from the crowd, and band members rubbing shoulders with their audience. Come performance time, the bands take to the floor; simply rocking up and starting to perform without introduction, dimming of lights or other gimmicks. It’s a music experience in its most simple, yet most effective form; an honest and refreshingly down to earth approach to live performance. The Other Side is a new music concept in and for Dubai, and has modeled itself after underground music scenes of established arts districts around the world. The experience is further heightened by the irony of the venue being located in the swanky Address hotel …

In conversation V: Hassan Sharif

Hassan Sharif lives and works in Dubai. He has made a vital contribution to conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East through 40 years of performances, installations, drawing, painting, and assemblage. In his early artistic maturation, Sharif rejected calligraphic abstraction, which was becoming the predominant art discourse in the region in the 1970s. Instead, he pursued a pointedly different art vocabulary, drawing on the non-elitism and intermedia of Fluxus and the potential in British Constructionism’s systemic processes of making. Sharif graduated from the Byam Shaw School of Art, London, in 1984 and returned to the UAE shortly after. He set about staging artistic interventions and the first exhibitions of contemporary art in Sharjah, as well as translating art historical texts and manifestos into Arabic, so as to provoke a local audience into engaging with contemporary art discourse. In addition to his own practice, Sharif has encouraged and supported several generations of artists in the Emirates. He is a founding member of the Emirates Fine Art Society (founded 1980) and of the Art Atelier …