5 artists on how the UAE's landscape will look like in future
Artists let their imaginations fly to portray the landscape of the UAE in 2050.
The UAE may have its feet firmly planted in the present, but its gaze is fixed at the future. As we welcome 2020, WKND invited some of the region's most talented illustrators to draw their vision of the future, and what it entails for us
Smile At The Future By Melvin San Miguel of Dubai Person
Dubai-based artist Melvin San Miguel envisions a future where art will take centrestage.
"Today, we can already see the movement towards making art more visible to the public."
In this artwork, Melvin illustrates the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, where the world will follow its lead in prioritising the well-being of its people.
"An explosion of happy faces will inspire positive changes throughout the world," he says.
"Dubai will also be the smartest city by harnessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence and machine learning. This technology will be integrated into the services and experiences in the city that will help it become more efficient and improve everyone's quality of life. New technologies introduced here, such as autonomous cars, flying taxis, large-scale 3D printing and blockchain will be more common in the future. Space travel will be more accessible to everyone. Some of the initiatives in Dubai to be paper-free in transactions will help the city reduce waste and make it more eco-friendly, along with energy and water-efficient technologies for sustainability and protecting the environment."
Art and tech, he predicts, will continue to complement each other in the same way that creativity and abstract thinking allow technologies to evolve in unexpected ways.
(Dubai Person is a series of highly relatable snapshot cartoons by Sam Saliba, the owner of Art Painting Lab and illustrated by creative engine Melvin San Miguel. You can follow them on Instagram @dubaiperson)
Capital 50 By Dora D'souza
Dora D'souza's journey as an artist began when she left her job in Hong Kong to focus on her passion. Moving to Dubai only enabled it. Today, her Instagram account is full of drawings that have mental health and self-care at its core. The UAE, says Dora, will see a "conscious shift" towards a cleaner and greener future, with AI and humans enjoying a harmonious co-existence.
In this illustration, Dora imagines a scenario where our cities will need renewable energy resources. "It shows what an eventful weekend in Dubai 2050 would look like, where flying 'solo' will be a totally casual thing to do."
Extensive use of renewable energy depicted in solar panels on building rooftops and wind turbines around the city provide clean energy to the city. "Ocean water will be filtered through bio-desalination where marine life and nature come together to provide clean water to drink. As eco-sensitive citizens, we will live by the 're-use and recycle' mantra." The artwork also portrays electric cars and hoverboard transportation that will reduce carbon emissions. "UAE 2050 looks exciting," she assures.
(You can follow Dora's works on Instagram - @ensominnd)
New Beginning By Geeta Ladi
Al Ain-based illustrator Geeta Ladi is in love with fantasy, a reason why her Instagram page is full of children's illustrations. When asked to imagine what the future might look like, she states that intricate architecture and high-tech infrastructure will continue to tower over the UAE's landscape. "Explorations of our neighbouring planets and building colonies there shouldn't surprise us either," she adds.
In this illustration titled New Beginning, Geeta attempts to convey the same. "I feel the UAE is not only about glittering skylines and shopping - it is also abundantly rich in its natural beauty, whether it be shimmering deserts or natural reserves, scenic mountains or decades-old dunes. My illustration tries to depict a future where the UAE is setting an example of creating alternative resources to save our planet, and progressing in space, technology and infrastructure. It is also talking about family, education, health, and a clean environment, while staying true to its natural landscape."
Geeta adds that technology will empower the UAE to tackle challenges such as climate change and provide cures to chronic ailments. More importantly, "it will continue to build stronger communities and better living. We artists love the energy and spirit of UAE".
(You can follow Geeta's works on Instagram - @go_illustrations)
Far Too Beyond By Stephanie Goveas
Stephanie Goveas was 19 when she learnt photo manipulations. A 9-6 internship followed, which made one thing crystal clear - art would be her calling. Today, the Dubai-based artist is known for her quirky lifestyle illustrations. She imagines a future where all things big and bright in the UAE will only get bigger and brighter. "Technology and lifestyle would have taken a hold of living standards, which would push for more robotic services delivered at a quicker pace."
The same ethos has been represented in this digital artwork. "In the image, you have personalised UFOs flying around to place food in your arms while preparing it on the spot. Escalators and lifts will be obsolete. Buy your very own propellor to reach your destination faster than your Rovers. Planet decors will overtake stone decorations and animals will have wealthier security with metal detectors." She adds that trends in lifestyle and art will supersede expectations. "Art takes time to be appreciated. We'll cling onto Van Gogh because The Starry Night is timeless. Technology will push for artistic mediums of all sorts."
(You can follow Stephanie's works on Instagram - @steph.psd)
A New Order By David Bekhazi
An ambassador for Dubai Tourism, providing an in-depth look into everything Dubai has to offer, David Bekhazi believes in inspiring the world through art and storytelling. After his stints as Creative Director at Publicis Groupe and Horizon FCB, he is now head of creative at Edelman Middle East. An influencer of Lebanese origins, David has, over the past five years, curated his Instagram account and become an influencer in his own right, showing the world the art and culture of the Middle East, but from a very personal perspective. His illustration is a mix of acrylic oil painting, charcoal drawing and collage of pictures with doodles and sketches. "Dubai is at the centre of the universe, as depicted by the golden brush and the planets, while triumphant women with raised hands showcase the emirate as a universal city empowering women. Burj Khalifa is still an iconic landmark and the astronaut aims for the infinite, while the Arabic calligraphy and the apostrophe symbolise communication, hinting to the world the significance of the language. The globe at the bottom is a connecting factor: Dubai connecting the world and beyond."
(You can follow David's works on Instagram - @davidbekhazi)