Expo 2020 Dubai: Stunning sand art tribute to Sheikh Mohammed at Pakistan beach


Dubai - Three artists get together to create massive portraits on seashore in Pakistan

By SM Ayaz Zakir​/Mahwash Ajaz

Published: Thu 23 Sep 2021, 6:16 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Sep 2021, 6:23 PM

A trio of sand artists who wanted to pay tribute to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Expo 2020 Dubai created a massive portrait of the Dubai Ruler as well as the Expo logo on a beach in their hometown in Pakistan.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Zubair Mukhtar said, “The portrait of Sheikh Mohammed is very special to me. It was made out of respect and admiration for the Dubai Ruler.”

Zubair and his artist friends also wanted to create something unique for their countrymen working in the UAE.

“The UAE has given a lot to Pakistan and to our people who work there, so we wanted to wish Dubai the best of luck for organising Expo 2020 Dubai,” said Zubair, who has created several works featuring famous personalities.

Zubair, famous for his sand art in Pakistan, said that sand art requires special tools, high accuracy and precise knowledge to make them.

“These special tools are made from wood, iron and some other materials... We spent nearly 50,000 Pakistani rupees (Dh1,084) to make the tools that were involved in the making of sand art creations.”

The gigantic Expo 2020 Dubai logo measuring 55x65 ft was made at the beginning of this month, while the portrait of Sheikh Mohammed, measuring 62X75 ft, was done on September 20.

Explaining the process of creating the sand artwork, Zubair said the portrait was first drawn on paper, following which it was outlined on the seashore.

“The areas that are highlighted and darkened is done using a darker shade of soil,” he said.

It was not easy to create the massive portraits, said the artist. “We took about two-and-half hours to create the Expo 2020 logo but took us more than four hours to complete Sheikh Mohammed’s portrait. We wanted it to be perfect.”

Sand art requires a large space, and after toiling for hours, and the artwork remains only for a few hours before it gets washed away by the waves.

“After we finished the artworks, we went on top of a hill adjacent to the beach to click pictures of our creations. We used our mobile phones to click photos as none of us owned drones to take aerial shots.”

The artist said that he had never been to Dubai and it is his dream to visit the place once. “I hope and pray to Allah that Expo 2020 Dubai is a massive success, and I will try to visit the event with the will of Allah,” Zubair concluded.


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