Amid the drab warehouses in Dubai’s industrial Al Quoz area, a vibrant art studio stands out with an open invitation to visitors to come in and meet some outstanding homegrown artists.
A riot of colour and thumping music greets those who walk in to Mawaheb, where striking canvasses are displayed on the walls of a high-ceilinged space with large windows and long, sloping rafters.
It has been almost a year since the popular studio reopened in February in its new location in central Dubai.
The decade-old studio caters for people with disabilities aged 18 and above and had its original home in the city’s historic Bastaikya area.
Mawaheb, which is Arabic for talent, shut down during the coronavirus pandemic for more than a year from October 2020.
The much-loved studio is keen to reconnect with the larger UAE community, engage with people who want to meet artists with special needs, view and purchase their work.
The artists have a range of conditions from Down syndrome and autism to developmental disabilities.
Paint to music
Mawaheb’s current batch of 20 artists seems likely to grow. Many were part of the original group that has benefited from life skills courses taught alongside the art classes.
Verano Field, 29, from the UK, confidently chats with visitors about her abstract art propped against the wall.
“I did it on my own. I did it by myself with music, with my feet,” she said.
“I did the blue and pink one and mixed it up.”
Source: The National News