Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

UAE's brightest creative minds help develop new national brand

Seven teams representing each emirate came together in Dubai on Monday

Teams of artists, poets and calligraphers gathered in Dubai to come up with a design. Photo: Sulthan Khan
Teams of artists, poets and calligraphers gathered in Dubai to come up with a design. Photo: Sulthan Khan

Creative minds from across the UAE came together on Monday to help design a new national brand for the country.

Teams of artists, authors, poets and calligraphers from each emirate gathered in Dubai as part of a competition to come up with a logo and slogan.

Each team consisted of seven members from each of the seven emirates and had just one day to create their submission.

The workshop came following an announcement of the competition earlier this month by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The teams had one day to submit their ideas. Photo: Sulthan Khan  
The teams had one day to submit their ideas. Photo: Sulthan Khan  

“My vision is to combine our [the UAE’s] authentic features with the modern features we have embraced,” said Abdul Qader Al Rais, an award-winning Emirati artist.

“Art plays a big part in this; it is involved in every detail. The colours and the details of the logo all require an artistic taste.

“The diversity in my team is also very promising. It will guarantee that the product will be covered from all angles; the vision of the designer is different than the vision of the writer and the vision of the calligrapher.

“As simple as it sounds, it is not easy to combine the story of the UAE in one slogan.”

The workshop in Dubai’s Design District was organised by the cabinet’s Public Diplomacy Office.

Each of the 49 competitors were selected by their individual emirates’ executive councils.

As the teams huddled together, some said they were looking for an, elegant simple design.

Others argued, loud, bold colours were a better option, ensuring the rebranding really stood out.

One issue seemed to unite the designers – how to best represent the story of the UAE’s past and present in a single image.

‘We greet the future’ and ‘We inspire the world’ were among some of the rough ideas crafted by one of team.

“I am trying to come up with a translation for this one,” said Sara Al Mheiri, 25, a photographer, as she eyed one of the slogans.

“I think right now our main focus is on how united we [the UAE] are and connecting the past and present together somehow.

“Our identity is in Arabic so we are focusing on designing the slogan in Arabic and then providing a translation.

The winner of the competition will be announced in due course. Photo: Sulthan Khan
The winner of the competition will be announced in due course. Photo: Sulthan Khan

“Our whole theme focuses on being elegant and simple because our story is simple and beautiful.”

“We have many ideas,” said one team leader Khaled Al Jallaf, chairman of the UAE Calligraphy Association.

“We want to settle on a phrase, and based on that the team will design the logo.”

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid, chair of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, was also at the workshop.

“Each team will hand over a logo but I advise you to write down all of the ideas you get, you never know where the creativity will emerge,” she said.

The teams had until Monday afternoon to present their final designs, after which judges will decide the winner. The winning image will be announced in due course.

Updated: November 18, 2019 05:34 PM

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