Sheikha Fekri’s design celebrates the beauty of ‘ghutra’, the traditional head scarf worn by Arab men
Dubai, May 3, 2020: Parking meters in certain areas of Dubai have started sporting an arty look, following a unique initiative launched by Brand Dubai and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
One of the artists whose works were selected to be featured on the parking meters is Sheikha Fekri, an Emirati student of Environmental Health Management at Canadian University Dubai (CUD).
The move to add a touch of art to the parking meters is a joint project between Brand Dubai, the creative unit of the Government of Dubai Media Office, and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to creatively revitalise parking spaces in key areas of Dubai. The objective is to turn Dubai into an open museum, with tolerance and diversity being the theme of the artworks.
In Sheikha's words, her illustration was inspired by “the ghutra (the traditional head scarf worn by Arab men) as a background, with the words representing the diverse cultures we have in the United Arab Emirates.”
Ghutra or shemagh is a traditional Arab headdress fashioned from a piece of square, usually cotton cloth, typically worn by Arab or Kurdish men to protect the face and neck from sun burn.
After she submitted a few pieces of artwork to the project, Brand Dubai got in touch with Sheikha with the news that one of her submissions was chosen for the Project. Sheikha also got the opportunity to explain her artwork to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Sheikha, who has always considered art a hobby, says she would like to encourage others to pursue their hobbies as well. “Do what you love. You never know what will come out of it,” she advised.
Sheikha’s artwork can be spotted on parking meters around Jumeirah Beach Road and Dubai World Trade Centre.
The project, executed in collaboration with six Emirati and expatriate artists, is part of Brand Dubai’s efforts to enhance the creative ambience of public spaces in Dubai and initiate new connections with the community through art.
Around 100 parking meters in Jumeirah, Dubai Media City and Al Mustaqbal Street have been enlivened with 15 artworks inspired by the themes of diversity and tolerance. The Parking Meters project is part of the #DubaiSpeaksToYou initiative, which aims to create unique aesthetic experiences for people as part of converting the city into a canvas for art and creativity.
Besides Sheikha Fekri, the other Emirati artists contributing to the project are Reem Al Marri and Issa Al Noaimi. Dubai-based expatriate artists taking part in the project include Ari Puguh, Dina Sami and Rosanna Lamo-Villanueva.
The project supports His Highness Sheikh Mohammad’s vision of transforming the city into an open-air museum that enhances the city’s aesthetic environment.