Not everything about Dubai is glitz and glamour. In fact..there is a very real side to Dubai is far more interesting and valuable. Last Thursday morning I met up with fellow caricaturist, Danesh Mohuiddin and photographer,Kalil Pio and we hit the streets! Our mission, to draw the people of Dubai from street sweepers to business financiers and every type in between. And to spread some joy by giving away our caricatures. Our small way of countering the sad happenings on that day in Mumbai.
We made our start at Karama, the place for the best and worst in fake designer gear. We were soon surrounded by a group of trendy Iranian lads.
After an hour of fun drawing high hair and tight jeans we headed to Satwa.
At first glance slum-like but when you really look, full of unexpected treasures. We drew cobblers from Pakistan, barbers from Kerala and bread makers from Iran. Everyone treated us with smiles and recieved their caricatures with grace..and surprise! Then for a change of pace we went to DIFC..the finance district of Dubai next to Emirates Towers. As I expected, this was a harder nut to crack. Eventually we persuaded people that we wanted to draw them WITHOUT being paid and without any obligation on their part and to recieve the artwork for free! Quite a shocking idea to people mired in the global financial crisis.
The most fun was drawing some bored employees at a communications shop who had been stuck in groundhog day and loved having us beak the routine with a bit of fun.
Finally we arived at Jumeirah beach Residences. The new "Happening Place" for trendies, locals, yuppys, families and general walk wanderers. As it is still being constructed a good place for us. We bee-lined for the workers finishing off their day. Again, a crowd gathered and after drawing several weary but happy fellows in overalls and scarves, we called it a day. It was clear we could do nothi g but draw passing people at The Walk but that was just a bit too much like work by that time!
Our energy levels petered out by nine pm making it twelve hours of solid drawing. We decided that next week we would do it all again! This time taking in the fishing village, camel farm, labourers compounds and finishing htis time at the good old Barasti bar. We are determined to cover as big a demographic as Dubai has to offer..but I suspect , there is a LOT of drawing left to do!