Zaina Adhami

In the eye of Dubai

I am your guide in Dubai. I am interested in everything Middle Eastern, and brownbook (the UAE magazine I am editorial director for) gives me opportunities almost everywhere. Like my work, this tour forms a different approach to support the creative people in the UAE to thrive. People are becoming more aware of the importance of art and culture, giving the region a special taste.

Enlarge

Zaina Adhami - Zaina Adhami - Editorial Director brownbook magazine | photographer: Tinko Czetwertynski Zaina Adhami

With: Zaina Adhami

Come visit me at my work, brownbook offices. You will get a quick tour and introduction to the magazine that is dedicated to creating awareness for the growing talent that is available in the region. I can tell you all about photography, publishing and designs in UAE. And if you wish my friend, photographer and filmmaker Lamya Gargash can tell you even more about her profession. Her work deals mostly with concepts on identity and culture and serves as a great first introduction to all that Dubai has to offer.

Hide and seek
Go to The Shelter. The Shelter is founded and owned by Ahmed and Rashid bin Shabib; the two entrepreneurs and brothers who are also the driving force behind brownbook. The Shelter operates as the home base and working station for the most innovative talent in the region. Their main focus is cutting-edge contemporary design and publishing practices. Many events take place at The Shelter, including the ART Dubai VIP Lounge. Check out the program for this week!
One person who knows all about being on the forefront of things is Alia Al Shamsi. This young woman is the first professional female photographer in the United Arab Emirates.

Read between the lines
Wander around the city a little. Or go to The Third Line gallery to join the literary circle Kutub for a book discussion. Kutub meets once a month to discuss Middle Eastern authors published in both English and Arabic. They do this to support the fresh and diverse literature from the region and to inspire critical cross-cultural conversations. Everyone with a sharp and open mind is invited, but be sure to RSVP just so that there will be enough chairs and refreshments!

Something to remember
Head out to the Nad Al Sheba area. This is where Tashkeel is situated; a hub for fresh and experimental creative minds. Tashkeel offers workspaces to diverse artists of varied experience, and by creating a positive working atmosphere also stimulates them to work together and exchange ideas. But before entering that exciting place, you will get together with visual communicator Reem Al Ghaith. On her blog, Reem describes herself as “A guide to the art of my country, my land and my culture, which I reconstruct within my hands. In a photograph, in a booklet, in a spread, in a sculpture, and in words.”

Visit Traffic Gallery. This is the first design gallery in the Middle East that exhibits not only the works from well known designers from around the world, but also from the up-and-coming regional geniuses in the fields of interior, fashion, product and graphic design.

Bars to go to
Cigar Bar in Monarch Hotel
Trader Vic's in JBR
Bar Zar
Barasti Bar Nightlife

Going out
400 at Fairmont
360 at Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Boudoir at Dubai Marina

Food
La Parrilla at Argentinean restaurant, Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Salmontini at Mall of the Emirates
ET Sushi or Tokyo in Emirates Towers
mOre cafe
800 Pizza at Al Barsha

To be avoided
Mall of the Emirates
Jumeirah beach road
Burj Dubai
Gold Souq
Karama

Transportation tip
Taxis are not expensive in Dubai. But as an advice, rent a car. You will be free to go to places that taxi drivers don't know. Also, it's kind of hard to communicate with them.

Costs of a day in Dubai
600 AED

What you should know
Dubai is a surprising blend of old and new. It is a multicultural society that fosters co-existence. It is interesting to see different nationalities with their distinct costumes and lifestyle amidst the urban set-up. On Fridays you see Arabs going to parks for family barbecues, Emaratis are in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) cruising around. Don't miss taking their pictures in expensive cars, you will not see them any where around the world.

Enlarge

brownbook 2nd anniversary at Cuadro - brownbook celebrated its two year anniversary with a gold-printed limited edition including special exclusive illustrations and a trio of limited edition notebooks. This is in addition to an exclusive event that was held at Cuadro Fine Art Gallery , and invited select members of the cultural audiences of the UAE and advocates of the magazine to come and celebrate with the team on this special occasion. Zaina Adhami

Enlarge

brownbook opening for issue No.09 at Tashkeel - This event was held in Tashkeel , owned by Lateefa bint Maktoom. It was the celebration for brownbook issue No.09 which focused on the theme of 'Urban Art'. brownbook wanted to showcase the artists work along with their thoughts about art in the Middle East. People featured (Mohammed Fahmy 'AKA MoFa', Abjeez, Lamya Asudairi, Haif Kahraman, Jalal Abu Thina, and many more) along with the exhibition, brownbook introduced a store concept on the second floor at Tashkeel, where… Zaina Adhami

Enlarge

brownbook opening for issue No.09 at Tashkeel 02 - This event was held in Tashkeel , owned by Lateefa bint Maktoom. It was the celebration for brownbook issue No.09 which focused on the theme of 'Urban Art'. brownbook wanted to showcase the artists work along with their thoughts about art in the Middle East. People featured (Mohammed Fahmy 'AKA MoFa', Abjeez, Lamya Asudairi, Haif Kahraman, Jalal Abu Thina, and many more) along with the exhibition, brownbook introduced a store concept on the second floor at Tashkeel, where… Zaina Adhami

Enlarge

brownbook 2nd anniversary at Cuadro - Illustration by Caperone and Peperino (aka Cap and Pep) Zaina Adhami