Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition successfully concludes its ninth edition

Press release
Published May 8th, 2017 - 09:09 GMT
The ninth edition of Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition.
The ninth edition of Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition.

Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has successfully concluded the ninth edition of Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition, which is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council.

The exhibition is a flagship initiative under the Dubai Art Season umbrella and served as a conclusion to the season, taking place from 15th to 30th April in Wafi Mall. The exhibition fulfilled Dubai Culture’s mandates to support artistic talent and preserve Islamic heritage by showcasing esteemed experts’ work in the classical calligraphy style, as well as newer adaptations that bring creative, modern flair to the art form.

Dr. Salah Al Qassim, Advisor to Dubai Culture and Head of Dubai International Arabic Calligraphy Exhibition Committee, commented: “We have received a lot of positive feedback from our guests and the public, who have all been very impressed by this year’s exhibition. This is a testament to the Authority’s commitment to enhancing the exhibition year after year, which was reflected clearly by the rich programme of workshops and panel discussions that provided deep insights into specialised calligraphy topics. The exhibition also attracted influential artistic figures from the UAE and the Islamic world, including a panel discussion that hosted His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr and the celebrated calligrapher Mohammed Ozcay. Professionals, consumers and the general public were equally interested in the exhibition, as 90 per cent of the artworks showcased were sold by its conclusion.”

The exhibition presented works from over 50 international calligraphy artists, with dedicated sections for ‘Classic’, ‘Modern’ and ‘Illuminated’ calligraphy works complemented by the collection of His Excellency Mohammed Al Murr, to offer visitors an evocative blend that celebrated the myriad facets of Arabic calligraphy.

The exhibition served as an interactive platform that brought together artists and visitors to acquire a better understanding of calligraphy, highlighted Emirati talent, contributed to encouraging emerging talent, and opened up new educational horizons for young attendees.

Alongside the exhibition, Dubai Culture offered 24 workshops and lectures for all ages, where visitors learned first-hand about both classic and modern calligraphy techniques. These included workshops provided by studio Abjad Design, ‘Arabic Lettering for Fiction’ in collaboration with Christian Sarkis, ‘Written Words with Different combinations’ with Mohammed Jawad Zadah, a workshop on the experience of writing the Holy Quran in a novel form with Mohammed Safar Bati,  and ‘The Development of Nastaliq in the Ottoman Era’ with Professor Mustafa Ugur Darman.

Tarek Atrissi also hosted a workshop about ‘Monumental Arabic Typography: Lettering in the Public Space’, while Muhammed Yaman Karmala Rabbi explored ‘Yassir in Thulth and Jali’ and Dr. Nadine Chahine shed light on ‘The relationship of Arabic Calligraphy and Type Design’.

This year, a dedicated section was created for children at the exhibition, which included a reading corner with bilingual books for children and adults, and an area for creative workshops such as ‘Islamic Tiles’, ‘Poetic Geometry’, ‘Layers of Meaning’, ‘Words In Imagery’, ‘Pattern and Perspective’, and ‘Positive & Negative Designs’.

Dubai Culture aims to enhance Dubai’s cultural scene and draw attention to the Emirate’s rich heritage with a variety of initiatives that take place throughout the year. This is the second edition of the exhibition organised by the Authority, fulfilling its mandate to build bridges of constructive dialogue between different civilisations and cultures through enriching initiatives that benefit the Emirate’s citizens, residents and visitors.

Background Information

The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority

The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) Was Launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Uae Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture Plays a Critical Part in Achieving the Vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 of Establishing the City as Vibrant, Global Arabian Metropolis That Shapes Culture and Arts in the Region and the World.

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