• LOCATION 25 | On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats

    Islamic Calligraphy / Calligraffiti

    Turn around for a moment here and look back. Can you see an intricate mural in white against the blue of the building? Look closely, and you'll notice that the white lines are actually Arabic calligraphy.

    The artwork – which is by Inkman, a street artist from Tunisia – took around a week to create, and is a quote from a poem by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the current ruler of Dubai. It translates as: “A positive spirit resides in our soul / it demands our attention and plays a strong role”.

    Okay, let’s carry on walking now.

    Combinations like this, of traditional Arabic calligraphy and the aesthetics of modern street art, are called calligraffiti.

    The style began in the 1950s, but became ubiquitous during the early 2010s when artists like eL Seed and Yazan Halwani’s work became popular. The style has been criticised by some because it rejects the formalities of traditional Arabic calligraphy, but lots of other people recognise the beauty of an art form that brings different traditions and cultures together.

    Okay, cross over the small slip road just ahead.

On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats