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Waterfront Market Shortlists 14 Artists in Mural Painting Competition

A judging panel composed of leading personalities in art and business in the UAE has chosen the 14 best artworks that qualified for the final stage of the Waterfront Market’s Mural Painting Competition, an initiative which aims to celebrate art in Dubai and contribute to the preservation of the country’s culture and heritage.


The competition has been running in partnership with Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated entity for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, as the main sponsor for corporation and support, providing expertise and support in ensuring its success. The partnership between Waterfront Market and Dubai Culture is seen as a strategic alliance that can help bring in future collaborations aimed at promoting arts, culture, and innovation, as well as help reinforce the local art community.

The Waterfront Market, Dubai’s largest, integrated, quality, fresh-food destination, announced the panel of judges which includes Khalil Abdulwahid Hassan, Director of Fine Arts Department at Dubai Culture; Maitha Al-Marri, one of the UAE’s upcoming visual artists; and Lachlan Gyde, Executive Director for Retail, Residential, & Commercial at Ithra Dubai, the master developer of Waterfront Market.

The top 14 final artworks were chosen from over 100 submissions by members of the creative community throughout the UAE that were assessed based on artistic merits such as creativity, uniqueness, visual impact, balance, and accurate depiction of the competition’s theme. The judges noted that the selection was not an easy choice, but they had to make their decisions following the criteria which focused on the technique, theme, and the eloquent portrayal of the UAE’s social, cultural, and economic journey to today’s modernity. They will soon select from the shortlist the winning artwork, which will then be painted by the artist on the Waterfront Market’s main wall, measuring 8.5 meters in length and 4.5 meters in height, to become a permanent icon that depicts the UAE’s rich cultural heritage and economic development.

Khalil Abdulwahid, Director of Fine Arts Department at Dubai Culture and an award-winning artist and recipient of numerous accolades, commented: “The Waterfront Market initiative will play a pivotal role in enriching the UAE’s unique and thriving artistic landscape by providing Emirati artists with the opportunity to showcase their artistic skills, express their talents, and create new works of art. It will also aim to honor and encourage them in line with Dubai’s goals to promote talent and enhance Dubai’s status as a sustainable and creative city for culture, arts, heritage, and literature, improving the comfort and happiness of people in Dubai, in line with Dubai Plan 2021.”

Previously, Khalil Abdulwahid won numerous awards such as the Suad Al-Sabah Awards at the Kuwait Gulf Exhibition in 2010, the International Young Visual Arts Entrepreneur in 2008, and the distinguished prize at the Sharjah International Biennial in 1997, among others.

Gyde, from Ithra, who has led several major real estate developments worldwide, said: “The launch of this unique mural painting competition brings artists together, highlighting the UAE’s lively creative community to capture the country’s rich heritage in an art piece. Supporting and encouraging talent goes right to the heart of what Ithra does.”

Young Emirati artist Al-Marri, who actively works on various projects in Dubai, added: “It is an honor to be part of the jury panel for this endeavor and recognize the outstanding works and achievements of UAE artists. Judging the works will not be an easy job, but it come as validation of all I have accomplished. As an artist, I know the effort that was invested on those art samples, and it is more than justified.”

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