DUBAI // The third annual Sandscapes festival will be held at Dubai Park next weekend with an art exhibition, workshops and live music among the activities lined up.
The exhibition will feature the work of Russian, Syrian and Asian art students, and funds raised from the sale of paintings will be used to buy art supplies for students with special needs who study at the Mawaheb studio in Dubai's Bastakiya area.
"The idea behind this event is to provide a platform where art and music can come together for amateurs," said Manupriam Seth, a Dubai-based artist who organises the festival together with his wife Harpreet, an architecture professor at Ajman University.
"This is a community event and all the participants are based here. So this is an opportunity for residents to come together, meet each other and paint, draw and sing," said Mr Seth.
Local bands will perform a variety of musical styles, from jazz and rock to Indian classical music, at the festival. The line-up includes a band of students from Emirates International School.
Festival-goers will also be able to buy T-shirts and a fabric-painting kit for Dh30, and take part in a group painting session.
The organisers hope to attract more than 300 art lovers to Sandscapes 2012, which will take place on January 6 from 3pm to 9pm at the Dubai Park in Oud Metha, opposite the Ismaili Centre.
About 150 people took part in the event last year, when it was held at the Emirates Marine Environmental Group reserve at Ghantoot.
"There was complete integration at last year's event so we are really looking forward to this," said Gulshan Kavarana, an art teacher at Mawaheb.
"Last year, there were families with children with special needs and other families as well, and their real focus was on the art. That's what all the people truly cared about."
"It was great for the children because the show is held outdoors and draws different people from all walks of life."