Look: This portrait of Sheikh Mohammed is made up entirely of coffee beans

The Egyptian expat spent two months working on it and poured his heart into brewing this unconventional art piece


Waad Barakat

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George Sobhi's portrait of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.
George Sobhi's portrait of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.

Published: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Jan 2024, 11:21 PM

An Egyptian expat used thousands of coffee beans and meticulously glued them to the canvas to create a unique portrait of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. He spent two months working on it and poured his heart into brewing this unconventional art piece.

George Sobhi's unique talent and distinct technique is gaining traction and is making heads turn at the World of Coffee. For the first time, he has created a detailed painting of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

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"This painting took me two months, and I spent 50 working days at a rate of ten hours per day,” George said while sharing the process of creating the painting with Khaleej Times.

With attention to detail and an unwavering passion for his craft, George discovered new ways to utilise coffee beans in his artwork, earning him widespread admiration.

“I choose the picture, then the design, and of course the purpose of the painting. I read a lot about the characters and the details of their life to be influenced by them while I draw. I decided on Sheikh Mohammed because he is a role model for all the youth, and he gives opportunities for great minds and talents."

George Sobhi with his collection
George Sobhi with his collection

George's participation in the World of Coffee exhibition marks a significant milestone in his artistic journey. "I hope Sheikh Mohammed visits the Coffee Exhibition in Dubai and likes the paintings at our stall,” he said.

His journey as a coffee artist began when he arrived in the UAE and sought to break away from traditional artistic norms. Fascinated by the medium of coffee beans, he delved into exploring its potential as a tool for creating fine art.

Over the years, George has showcased his masterpieces in numerous cultural and artistic exhibitions in the region, with governmental and private institutions recognising his exceptional talent. "Ambition, passion for success, and the nurturing environment in the UAE inspired me from the beginning," Georgen said. His paintings, created entirely with coffee beans, have garnered attention for their striking visual appeal and the profound messages they convey.

With nine years of experience as a coffee artist, George's work has gained significant recognition on social media platforms, gathering attention from governmental and non-governmental organisations. He believes that art is not limited to a specific profession but rather encompasses the essence of human experience, with a tangible appreciation for materials and tools that have been nurtured since childhood.

George explained his choice of medium, "The influence of the Gulf, Arab, and Middle Eastern environments inspired me to use coffee beans. The material is challenging to work with, but it symbolises strength and durability, reinforcing the message behind each artwork." As a much-loved beverage in the region and a significant import-export commodity, coffee adds a layer of cultural significance to George's creations.


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