49 Emirati artists begin work on UAE logo

Forty-nine artists yesterday began their mission to design the UAE Nation Brand logo that will represent the country and share its success story with the world, with the logo aimed at reflecting the UAE’s values and showcasing its journey towards emerging as a global model for hope, ambitions, openness and possibilities.

The workshop is in response to the invitation by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. They had earlier launched the national project, calling the 49 artists to design a logo for the UAE Nation Brand that would strengthen the country’s global presence and represent its success story in a creative framework.

Through the workshop, the artists focused on reflecting the seven key values of giving, openness, innovation, tolerance, credibility, social cohesion, and a futuristic vision.

H.H. Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said, "It is with a great sense of national pride that we see these 49 talented persons from across the seven emirates convening today in response to the call from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to collectively create a new national brand identity for the UAE."

‏"This rich gathering of homegrown talent is inspiring to witness, a representation of the UAE’s creative industries working together to collectively create a unified national brand identity that will depict our story to the world and represent our journey as a nation, our achievements and our ambition," she added.

In his address, Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said the mission of the artists is "national and historic".

"It is not easy to summarise everything the UAE represents and stands for in just one logo or symbol," he said, calling for teams of artists to join hands and come up with innovative ideas to create a creative and unique logo that tells the UAE’s authentic story.

Al Gergawi affirmed that the UAE goes beyond a traditional development journey. "The UAE is a great humanitarian idea that transcends cultures, ethnicities and religions, a land of opportunities, a platform for making dreams come true, and an incubator for human creativity, and a hub for talent across the world."

The seven teams worked to design a visual identity of the UAE Nation Brand that reflects six main elements that tell the UAE’s exceptional and inspiring story as a melting pot, future driver, land of talent, a beacon of hope, global trade centre and heritage platform. Through the workshop, artists, designers, sculptors, authors and researchers gathered in teams and brainstormed creative multi-faceted designs.

The Inspiring 49 came together in seven groups titled Al Sedra, Al Nakhla, Al Saqr, Al Boom, Al Ghaf, Al Barjeel and Al Dana to brainstorm and discuss innovative designs in a day-long workshop, and presented 14 general concepts and outlines.

Azza Al Qubaisi, a jewellery designer who leads the Al Sedra group, said, "Inviting such a large number of artists to create a logo for the country presents a historic and unprecedented opportunity anywhere in the world."

Working with Al Qubaisi are Aljoud Lootah, Sara Al Raisi, Rashid Eissa Al Kashf, Nada Taryam, Ahmed Al Mahri and Walid Al Shehhi.

Abdul Qader Al Rais, artist and leader of the Al Dana group, said, "We have never had such a large gathering of innovative Emiratis with diverse expertise in one place. Today, artists and painters are working together with architects, sculptors, authors and researchers to achieve this national mission."

The Al Dana group includes Ashwaq Abdullah, Anwar Antar Al Marzouqi, Fatima Ali Al Memari, Aiysha Al Hamrani, Saeed Abdullah Al Eter and Khalifa Rashid Bulsali.

Mattar bin Lahej, artist and sculptor who leads the Al Nakhla group, said, "It is a workshop that demonstrates the country’s faith in its youth. We are lucky to be chosen to contribute to designing the logo that will represent our country."

The Al Nakhla group includes Firas Bardan, Abdullah Albuqaish, Abdulaziz Alsaeedi, Maha Al Henawi, Shaikha Al Mesmari, and Fatima Ali Al Shamsi.

Obaid Suroor, artist and leader of the Al Saqr group, said, "The initiative illustrates the country’s faith and confidence in its youth, especially since the team brings together diverse talent, expertise and backgrounds."

Working with Suroor are Ahmed Abdulrahman Bukhash, Ali Abdullah Al Mansouri, Aisha Al Hammadi, Alia Al Shamsi, Fatima Al Dhanhani and Jawaher Al Qiwani.

Khalid Ali Al Jallaf, sculptor and leader of the Al Boom group, said, "The workshop unites talent that sees the UAE from different perceptions and expresses their visions and imagination in different ways. These diverse perceptions will come together to represent the UAE in the best way it deserves as a successful, inspiring story."

The Al Boom group includes Kholoud Sharafi, Sara Khalfan Al Muhairi, Ahmed Al Kaabi, Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, Shaikha Mahboub and Mouza Al Hammadi.

Dr Abdulaziz Al Musallem, author, researcher and leader of the Al Ghaf group, said such a gathering will produce a fruitful result that will represent the UAE in the best way.

The Al Ghaf group includes Dubai Abulhoul, Hamdan Al Shamsi, Hamad Al Shamsi, Jasim Al Shehhi, Fatima Al Ghelani and Khalid Al Ali.

Noura Al Nouman, author and leader of the Al Barjeel group, said the workshop presents an essential opportunity for artists to express their love for the country.

Working with Al Nouman in the Al Barjeel group are Reem Abdullah Al Ghaith, Mouza Al Qimzi, Dr. Mohammed Al Hamoudi, Jamal Jabroush Al Suwaidi, Humaid Liwad and Ibrahim Mohammed Al Ali.

The 'Inspiring 49' revealed Emirati artists unite in workshop to design the UAE Nation Brand logo

The team of 49 artists will gather on Monday in the largest-of-its-kind innovative workshop to brainstorm and design the UAE Nation Brand logo to reflect the country’s unique identity and establish a positive image in the global consciousness.

The "Inspiring 49" workshop comes in response to the invitation of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, who have earlier launched the national project, calling on artists to design a logo that highlights the elements that sets the UAE apart and shares the country’s exceptional success story with the world.

Executive councils across the country selected seven artists from each emirate to form the "Inspiring 49" team of Emirati design experts, authors, researchers, painters, calligraphers, sculptors, and graphic designers. Divided into seven groups of seven, each group combining an artist of each emirate, the team will brainstorm and share ideas of the UAE’s visual identity and discuss their associations of the country to come up with designs that best represent the UAE.

Artists will work in seven groups titled Al Dana, Al Saqr, Al Nakhla, Al Sedra, Al Boom, Al Ghaf and Al Barjeel.

The workshop’s brainstorming sessions and discussions will address ways to design a national logo that tells the UAE’s inspiring story of constant development and promote its global presence. The final designs will then be presented and discussed based on the authenticity and creativity of images in telling the country’s story. The national logo will be used across all sectors to represent the UAE’s achievements in different fields as a land of opportunities, a beacon of hope, and a nation of the future.

Multitalented national team The national team comprises 49 artists across different innovative fields to design a multi-faceted logo that best represents the UAE.

Topping the list is the award-winning Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais, whose 50 years of art experience combines his inspiration with local landscapes and Arabic calligraphy.

Holder of a Bachelor’s Degree in Sharia Law from United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain since 1982, Al Rais held 36 solo exhibitions in Sharjah, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Kuwait, Prague, Beirut, Washington and Germany.

He also exhibited his work in the UAE and overseas, representing the country across major art events in Casablanca, Kuwait, Riyadh, London, Madrid, Geneva, Vienna, Seoul, Bologna, Paris and Athens. Considered one of the most influential artists in the Emirati art world, Al Rais bagged many prestigious international awards throughout his artistic journey.

The "Inspiring 49" also includes prominent Emirati artist and sculptor Mattar Bin Lahej who founded Marsam Mattar in 1992 to contribute to enriching the art scene in the UAE through supporting artists and new talents. Bin Lahej has been known for his distinctive signature to paintings and bold approach to sculptures through his use of different modern techniques.

Obaid Suroor, founder of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, has also joined the national team of artists to design the national logo. The renowned artist, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cairo University since 1979, heads the Society’s studio in Ras Al Khaimah. He held 16 solo exhibitions and seven mixed media shows and actively participated in the Society’s exhibition programme in the UAE and abroad.

The list also includes Khaled Ali Al Jallaf, artist, calligrapher, researcher in Islamic art and history and quality consultant with more than 40 years of experience in the art field.

Youngest artist The youngest team member is Dubai Belhoul Alfalasi, author, photographer, artist and painter. Alfalasi was the youngest Emirati novelist to participate in the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in 2012 with her book Galagolia, the first Emirati fantasy novel in English. The member of the Emirates Youth Council has received local and regional awards for her work in youth advocacy, literature and journalist.

The team also includes Azza Al Qubaisi, jewelry artist and sculptor; Noura Al Noman, author; Aljoud Lootah, multidisciplinary designer; Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Al Hammoudi, poet and author; Mouza Abdullah Al Qamzi, architect; Firas Saeed Bardan, design expert; Sara Khalfan Al Muhairi, studio photographer; Ali Abdullah Al Mansouri, author; Khulood Sharfi, graphic designer; Ahmed Abdullah Bukhash, architect; Reem Abdullah Al Ghaith, graphic designer; Abdullah Albuqaish, photographer; Nada Ahmed Taryam, architect; Anwar Antar Al Marzouqi, graphic designer; Aisha Abdulaziz Al Hammadi, graphic designer; Aysha Al Hamrani, graphic designer; Jamal Habroush Al Suwaidi, artist whose works can be found in numerous private and public collections including the Olympic Museum in Switzerland, the National Art Museum of China, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Other members include Hamad Saif Al Shamsi, poet, media personality and Emirati heritage expert; Ahmed Al Kaabi, photographer; Abdulaziz Alsaeedi, author and graphic designer; Alia Al Shamsi, architect; Ahmed Al Muhairi, calligrapher and graphic designer; Jassem Hassan Abdullah Al Shehhi, graphic designer; Dr. Fatima Ali Al Mumari, author, member of the Board of Trustees of Emirates Writers Union and president of the union’s Ras Al Khaimah branch; Mohammed Hassan Ahmed, screenwriter; Maha Mohammed Al Hanawi, photographer; Walid Abdullah Ali Al Shehhi, cinematographer; Humaid Liwad, artist; Sheikha Al Masmari, author and media personality; Fatima Al Dhanhani, calligrapher and artist; Saeed Abdullah, architect; Sheikh Mahboub, artist; Fatima Al Ghulaini, graphic designer; Sara Al Raisi, graphic designer; Ibrahim Mohammed Al Ali, graphic designer; Rashid Eissa Al Kashf, poet; Fatima Ali Al Shamsi, architect; Mouza Khamis Al Hammadi, painter; Khalifa Rashid Bulsali, graphic designer; Jawaher Ayoub Al Qiwani, artist; Khalid Al Ali, calligrapher; Ahmed Al Mehri, calligrapher and graphic designer; Hamdan Al Shamsi, graphic designer; and Dr. Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al Musallam, author and researcher.

The UAE Nation Brand The UAE Nation Brand aims to share the country’s inspiring story of overcoming challenges to achieve continuous success and development with the rest of the world. The visual identity of the UAE nation brand will reflect the UAE’s values, uniqueness and individuality as a source of inspiration to people across the world.

The UAE nation brand also aims to cement the country’s status on the global map as an effective and influential country capable of driving positive change that serves humanity and improves lives. It is set to affirm the UAE’s distinctive national identity that forms part of the Arab and Gulf region and shares common grounds with the global community.

The new national brand will celebrate and share the UAE’s exceptional development experience of constant learning, growth and progress, enabling societies to benefit from its successful model and experience. It will promote the country’s rapid progress as an incubator of innovation and boundless capabilities, and an entrepreneurship hub and exporter.

The UAE brand will highlight the culture of "possibilities" adopted as an integrated work system in the UAE and promote the country’s quest to ensure social welfare in a productive and innovation-driven society.

It will shed light on the political, economic, historical, geographical, humanitarian, cultural and value-driven elements that form the core of the UAE experience and shape the country’s unique identity. The brand aims to build and solidify the national pride within the UAE society through establishing social unity over the representation of the authentic Emirati identity and personality, turning individuals across all walks of life into world ambassadors of the UAE experience.

Importance of Nation Branding The visual identity of a nation’s brand, just like the case in businesses and corporations, reflects a nation’s unique values and elements that sets it apart.

The nation’s visual image or logo can be used across all sectors and events to represent and promote a country’s economic, historical, geographical, humanitarian and cultural elements to the rest of the world.

Countries across the world have rolled out innovative branding campaigns and projects including Singapore’s "Passion Made Possible" campaign, Australia’s Kangaroo symbol, Canada’s distinctive maple leaf, New Zealand’s silver fern and UK’s "Great Britain" campaign. These campaigns helped promote global image and represent identity of countries to the world, creating better awareness and, ultimately, better understanding of a nation.

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