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Arts & Crafts in Dubai – ARTE

ARTE is the acronym for Artisans of the Emirates, an exhibition of mainly handmade or hand crafted items ranging from delicately spiced cookies, to rustic pottery, funky hand painted coasters and trays and much more besides. Dubai is a Mall city with a long list of recognizable internationally branded stores and cafes, but sometimes it’s nice to browse and buy things that are not available across the globe and have a handmade element to them, never more so than at Christmas time.

ARTE was started in 2005 (historic by Dubai standards!) to provide an umbrella of support to the small but growing arts and crafts community in Dubai. They started out with just a handful of stalls that have grown to 150 at their latest exhibition. On average they have at least 80 stalls per show. They weren’t always at their main site in Times Square, initially they were at Crowne Plaza, then the Al Ghazal Mall and now more permanently based at Times Square centre on Sheikh Zayed Road and Festival City. Arte has a licence that covers all the exhibitors so individual trade licences are not necessary.

The vendors are a mix of nationalities from all over Dubai, but all items exhibited have to have a hand crafted element about them, even if the whole item is not hand made. There is of course plenty of jewellery, I liked Hayet Zerelli’s oversized silver link chains dipped in gold, (click here to read more about gold dipping in Dubai) and Mimi and Clarissa’s retro Marilyn Monroe trays. Our Jack Russel Leila LOVED the Biscuit Barkery’s gourmet pet treats, and I had to stop doing a circuit that kept leading me past Suzanne, the Toffee Princess’s sample fudges and toffees. The Mad Potter is on my list to buy a glazed turquoise ceramic dish from for my coffee table and I love the idea of buying pretty containers and giving them to CakesNMore to fill with their tiny ornate cookies and giving as Christmas presents.

Luckily, some of my favourite exhibitors have generously agreed to give an ARTE Voucher for Subscribers on any purchases made at their December show, so give the malls a miss this Christmas and Go handmade at Arte instead. Arte’s mega Christmas show is on the 2nd of December at Festival City and on the 9th at Times Square Centre.

To avail your discount, ensure you have subscribed to and simply print out your voucher and show to the exhibitors displayed on the voucher. ARTE have set up another show for vendors who have something interesting and unusual to sell but isn’t hand made at The Open Market. Click here to get details on how you could go to these shows to buy or sell hand made or non hand made unusual and high quality merchandise.

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