Dubai to create world's longest graffiti scroll to celebrate The Union

Named Rehlatna, the event will take place from November 29-30, near Jumeirah Beach Park and will be open to all families, citizens, expats, and visitors.

By (Wam)

Published: Mon 17 Nov 2014, 5:17 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 5:17 PM

Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has announced that an art project celebrating the progress of The Union will be initiated on November 29, and when complete, it will be the longest collaborative graffiti painting in the world, setting a new Guinness World Record in that category.

The graffiti painting, called Rehlatna or (Our Journey) will stretch 2180 metres.

Shaikh Hamdan has issued a directive, in conjunction with preparations to celebrate the UAE’s 43rd National Day, to organise a new culture and art project with a theme inspired by the progress of the country’s union.

The art piece will take the shape of the UAE map, portraying the seven Emirates and highlighting the crucial stages in the country’s progress throughout history, including numerous milestones from its golden past as well as the achievements of the present era and illuminating the promising future of the UAE.

This project comes in response to the clear directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the Emirate of Dubai into an open museum that will dazzle the world and highlight the unique human experience behind its distinguished achievements, putting its artistic scene on par with the booming economic and urban scene prevalent throughout the emirate.

Saif bin Markhan Al Ketbi, Director-General of the Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai, stated: “Rehlatna will serve as a unique ‘documentary’ with a contemporary artistic vision, highlighting the progress of The Union and merging the efforts of a number of distinctive graffiti artists from across the world who will apply their talents while working on a creative platform alongside their peers from the Arab world, including renowned Emirati artists.”

Al Ketbi predicted that Rehlatna will see wide participation from the public, adding, “the event is scheduled to take place from November 29-30, near Jumeirah Beach Park and will be open to all families, citizens, expats, and visitors in the country, opening the door for everyone to share the joy of our National Day celebrations and festivities. It is an open platform, where people will be permitted to join the painting project under the guidance of qualified artists.”

Ismael Al Hashemi, Head of the Organising Committee for Rehlatna, said he expects the participation of more than 100 artists in creating this painting.

Al Hashemi added: “There will be 70 international artists forming the core of the art team working on the painting. They are the most esteemed artists in this field. They will be joined by some 30 Arab artists and 20 Emirati artists, who will work closely on Rehlatna. Additionally, participation will be open to all, especially to school and college students. We will coordinate with their educational institutions to promote the spirit of national participation in this unique artistic, celebratory work.”

Al Hashemi also highlighted ongoing efforts to coordinate between various institutions and official departments to encourage their employees to participate in the event, in addition to offering rewards for the best artworks that meet the given criteria. Their final work, in the context of Rehlatna, will be used and promoted in the most unconventional ways that have yet to be disclosed.

Al Hashemi praised the involvement of the sponsoring bodies: Brand Dubai, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce, The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards, Dubai Police, the Road and Transport Authority, Dubai Culture, SkyDive Dubai, and X Dubai.

Dr Khaled Al Zahed, Vice-Chairman of the Rehlatna Organising Committee, stated: “The project will require some 7,000 aerosol paint cans. The empty cans will then be used to create further artistic works after the event.” He also pointed out that all components of the Rehlatna artwork will be made from environmentally friendly materials.

Dr Al Zahed also announced that each participant in Rehlatna will receive an accredited Certificate of Participation, a valuable gesture given the project’s expected inclusion in the Guinness Book of World Records and its prominence in the National Day celebrations.

Hasan Abdulla Al Mazroui, Event Manager for the new art project, emphasised that the organising committee had ensured that only environmentally friendly paints will be used, adding that the used cans will later be recycled as part of ongoing efforts to create a sustainable green lifestyle. He also pointed out that a variety of recreational and cultural activities will be held at the project venue to entertain the visitors and students.

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