4 UAE students' impressive artworks set to come alive on Yas Island

The unique eco-friendly designs tell a story that captures the country's values and heritage

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Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 25 Aug 2023, 2:38 PM

Last updated: Fri 25 Aug 2023, 2:41 PM

Four students from Dubai and Sharjah will soon see their artworks come to life on Abu Dhabi's Yas Island after winning a sustainable art competition.

Miral, in partnership with Aldar and Creative Lab overseen by Creative Media Authority, hosted the Yas Design Contest to foster creativity among UAE university students by inviting them to submit designs for a pop-up installation.

More than 26 entries from across the country fulfilled the criteria: The designs should be a piece of public art; may act as a backdrop for photos; must tell a story about the UAE; and must be partly or entirely made using eco-friendly materials.

Participants had to share a technical submission with a detailed write-up, a sketch of their design, a visual mood board, and a materials list.

After a thorough evaluation process and a public vote, the trio of Indian students Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai, and Egyptian student Radwa Elkasas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, were declared as winners.

Arfa, Shifa and Gopika won with their submission titled Habat Al-Lulu, inspired by UAE’s rich history of pearl diving, and Radwa was recognised for her work named Evolving, a photo booth with three panels depicting the nation’s past, present, and future.

Winning teams pocketed a Dh5,000 cash prize and will see their designs built and temporarily placed at select spots on Yas Island, serving as unique backdrops for residents' and tourists' photos.

The students are looking forward to seeing their designs brought to life.

Radwa said she felt incredibly amazing after being named an individual winner. “I feel so proud that I am representing my university in this competition.”

Gopika, Shifa and Arfa noted that winning the contest has been a “great opportunity” for aspiring designers like them.

“We would like to thank the Miral Group for providing such an opportunity for us to be able to showcase our passion and interest in the field of design through our pop-up installation. We are honoured that we can represent our love for the country,” they said.

Taghrid Alsaeed, executive director of group communications and destination marketing at Miral, and one of the judges, congratulated the winners and all the participants.

“Your creativity, skill, and hard work have truly shone through your designs, and we are thrilled to see the incredible talent and ingenuity displayed across all the submissions.”

Rashed Al Omaira, chief commercial officer at Aldar Development, said: “We very much look forward to seeing the winning designs come to life on Yas Island, where thousands of residents and visitors will enjoy the installations.”

Khalid Khouri, director of talent development at Creative Media Authority, added: “We’d like to congratulate the winners and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their creative talent in the future.”


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