But Dubai is not all glass and steel as I found during my little ramble through the old part of the city, a once ramshackle area slated for demolition till the Heritage Society stepped in. Al Bastakiya which is now known as the Al Fahidi neighbourhood is home to many an art gallery none more famous than the MAJLIS Gallery .
Started in 1989 by expatriate British artist Alison Collins who had rented one of the houses in the neighbourhood while she worked as an Interior designer.
Entering the sand coloured building, one would hardly imagine the magical world inside. Rooms off the central courtyard serve as galleries for various artists of international fame. There are intriguing vases flecked with gold from Australia, bronze trees of life in the courtyard which has a tree with hanging fish as a centre piece.
Purchasing art may not be everyone’s cup of tea but appreciating it is definitely something that we can all indulge in.
In the words of Alison herself,
“Every purchase will be a reminder of the day you bought it. Who you were with, what was happening in your life, the joy of adding it to your growing collection, deciding where to hang or place it, packing it carefully as your life changes only to welcome it as an old friend when you unpack it the other end and hang it with its other friends in a new location. Your art collection is not static, it is an organic part of what you are, as important as any other personal aspect of your life, totally adaptable to your growth and changes of circumstances. Who knows, as long as you follow the nutshell rule you might end up with a real investment tucked within your collection, but could you part with it and what would you replace it with? Now you are a potential art investor, all by trusting your instincts.”
So even if you can resist the temptation of not buying one of those irresistible art works, do go by the Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood and pop into the Majlis Gallery.
Saturday – Thursday : 10am – 6pm
Friday : Closed
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