• LOCATION 16 | On the road to Etihad: From street art to sweet treats

    Julien Malland's Emirati boy and girl

    Stop for a minute here and look behind you, at the corner of the building to your left. Can you see the mural of a boy peering in through a window? What about the girl next to him? These are both by French street artist Julien Malland, and were commissioned as part of the city-wide project called Dubai Street Museum.

    Look closely at what the children in the mural are wearing. The boy is wearing a kandora, the men’s outfit I just mentioned.

    The young girl in the mural is wearing a type of clothing you may not have seen yet. It’s called the jalebiya, and it’s a thin, colourful dress popular amongst women from the UAE and the Gulf more broadly. When you see Emirati women in public, they’ll probably be wearing a long black abaya, but at home or during special celebrations, like Ramadan, they wear the jalebiya.

    Can you see the influence of India in the colours used, and the embroidery?

    Okay, let's carry on walking now.

    Until 2011, 2nd of December Street was actually called Al Diyafah Street. Al Diyafah means “hospitality” in Arabic, and the fact that this used to be the name of one of Dubai’s arterial roads gives you some sense of how central hospitality is to Emirati culture. If you’ve ever been welcomed into an Emirati household you’ll know what I mean!

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