In Dubai, art gets accessible

June 28 - July 5, 2006
Gulf Weekly In Dubai, art gets accessible

Having reached the status of the city to live in in the Middle East, Dubai is evolving as a centre of alternative avenues of entertainment.

This is proven by mushrooming do-it-yourself art centres, whether ceramic art, paint-brush art or beads and stone art.
Says Hetal Pawani, founder of Jam Jar, a place where people can give vent to their creativity by putting paint and brush to canvas and take it home as a piece of art, “There was a gap in the market for centres and activities like ours where people could just come and relax.
“There are a lot of things to do in Dubai but they are mostly classes. There was a need for DIY concepts and outlets. We opened a year ago and the response has been amazing.”
She also says that the nationality mix in the city is helping the entertainment scene evolve, as expatriates are exposed to different art forms in their home countries hence take to it here quite quickly and comfortably. Jam Jar is planning branches across the GCC and India soon.
Rana Eid-Denis, founder and director of Café Ceramique, agrees: “The DIY experience is very rewarding, it appeals to people across all segments. Our idea occurred because we felt there was a gap in the market for family entertainment ie for parents to spend quality time with their kids and create things together,” she says. “We started in Abu Dhabi in January 2002 and in Dubai in July 2002 and the response has been overwhelming as people loved the concept from day one. We have requests from tourists from all over the world, especially Europe, who want to take this idea home.”
“We are going to open in Riyadh and Qatar this summer. We will gradually launch in phases in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. In the UAE we are opening up in Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah.”
Centres like Jam Jar and Café Ceramique appeal to kids, families and executives alike as they provide a ‘creative respite’ from normal modes of entertainment like shopping malls, restaurants and cinemas. With traffic jams becoming a norm, distances increasing everyday, time and busy lives not permitting to learn or do a lot of other things, DIY centres are a quick answer for edutainment.
Jam Jar caters to all age groups and arranges all kinds of parties and corporate sessions. Price for a three-hour session is Dh75 which includes a canvass, unlimited paint and tools, some refreshment and books for reference. It is also an art gallery which exhibits contemporary art from all over the world.
Café Ceramique is a trendy, artsy restaurant-cum-pottery painting centre and caters to people across all segments right from kids to students to corporate executives. It fits every budget and taste where ceramics range from Dh15 to Dh300 which one can take home.
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· Shveta Kumar

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