I have in the past, on both the blog and on social media, shared my absolute adoration of graffiti and street art. There’s something about it that I feel drawn to. Maybe it’s the colour and graphic nature of the tagging, maybe it’s the idea that art can come from a different walk of life than most people imagine it originates, or maybe it’s a combination of all of those. But for me, you simply can’t beat it.
I had only seen one wall of graffiti on my first day in Dubai and I had assumed that that was all there was on offer to me. The rest of this part of the Emirates, as far as I knew, was new; built for tourists and dripping in grandeur and luxury.
As I’m sure you’re well aware of by now, I don’t do high end. I love nothing more than the bustling grit of the inner west in Sydney (where I live) and my apartment sits across the road from an entire laneway adorned with street art. So while I was oohing and ahhing over the lush interior design of The Palace Downtown – where I stayed during my visit to Dubai – part of me was yearning to experience some of that familiar dirt – for lack of a better word.
It wasn’t until our tour leader, Xavier from 1001 Events, told us on our second-last day in Dubai, that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (ruler of Dubai) wanted us to check out the longest graffiti wall in the word, that I thought all of my Christmases had come at once.
We took a detour from our journey toward Atlantis Dubai Water Park and stopped at the colourful U43. The expanse of street art here is painted onto walls in the shape of the UAE, created by over 100 artists. The whole idea, envisioned by the Prime Minister of Dubai, was to make this area similar to a museum, where locals and visitors could get a glimpse in the city’s past, present and future.
Needless to say, I was in my own private heaven. The wall is almost 2.5 kilometres long, so to say it’s big is an understatement.
What do you think of this area? I’d love to hear your thoughts about it in the comments below.