The official opening was attended by Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs, and Laila Mohammed Suhail, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, an agency of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and organisers of the Dubai Shopping Festival.
The Carpet and Art Oasis, which runs till February 2nd, has been organised by Dubai Customs every year since the launch of Dubai Shopping Festival in 1996. The event is gaining grandeur year after year, featuring a multitude of rare and exquisite carpets brought forth from the world’s most famous carpet handcrafting countries.
The inauguration ceremony of the Oasis witnessed the unveiling of a carpet portrait named “Thank You Khalifa”. The portrait is 8.5 meters tall and 3 meters wide, comprising 30 pictures of the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and some stunning monuments of the UAE. The nation’s map features in the middle of the carpet-portrait as an expression of love and loyalty to the UAE and its leadership. The move is in line with the �Thank You Khalifa’ initiative launched earlier by H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the anniversary of his accession as Ruler of Dubai.
The Carpet and Art Oasis has dedicated a special stand for the “Thank You Khalifa” initiative, launched by Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum as an expression of the UAE people’s appreciation, loyalty and love to the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The stand includes some aspects of the achievements made by Sheikh Khalifa as well as a visitors’ book. The new edition of Carpet and Art Oasis also features Naseej Al Walaa – “loyalty weaving” – Portrait, an initiative that was launched by Dubai Customs to allow Oasis visitors to knit a handmade carpet portrait of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to manifest their love to His Highness.
This year’s Oasis features collections of exquisite Persian silk rugs, handcrafted in renowned rug making regions in Iran like Qom, Tabriz and Esfahan, as well as the famous Afghan wool carpets; alongside the exotic cashmere carpets and other art items on display by exhibitors from Turkey, India, China, Turkmenistan and Pakistan.
The Oasis is being held this year under the theme “The Beauty of Spinning Art”, derived from the aesthetics of Arabic calligraphy and the fascinating way it blends with oriental carpets to create true pieces of art.
Dubai Customs is keen to take part in the annual DSF through organising the Carpet and Art Oasis. Displaying exquisite and rare carpets worldwide, the Oasis has become a widely anticipated fair for carpet traders and people interested in these wonderful handcrafts.
“Dubai Customs’ Carpet and Art Oasis is one of the most remarkable events regularly scheduled for Dubai Shopping Festival,” said Ahmed Butti Ahmed, Executive Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation, Director General of Dubai Customs, who noted that the DSF has helped position Dubai as the primary destination for tourists and visitors at this time of the year. “Dubai Customs is proud to organize the Carpet and Art Oasis that increasingly attracts larger crowds, giving Dubai Shopping Festival greater splendour as traders, rug lovers and visitors gather in to acquire some of the scarcest and most gorgeous handcrafted carpets,” he said.
Laila Mohammed Suhail, said: “Carpet Oasis has been a main event of Dubai Shopping Festival since its inception and includes all the elements that make it an attractive destination for DSF visitors, especially families who have the opportunity to immerse themselves in culture with its diverse range of unique and rare carpets from around the world. With the participation of many retailers every year, the Carpet Oasis has also supported the growth of the retail sector in Dubai”.
This year, the organizers have decided to increase the exhibition area by 30% – 6000 square meters – in a bid to position the Oasis as the biggest platform for handmade carpets worldwide. The new edition showcases more than 150,000 pieces, with a total market value worth Dh1 billion. The Carpet Oasis features a vast participation of more than 60 exhibitors, representing a rise of 20% compared to last year.
Since its inauguration 18 years ago, the number of visitors flocking to the Carpet Oasis has reached one million, with total sales valued at more than Dh1.6 billion. Over two million carpets have been exhibited thus far.
New products are on display for the first time, including carpets woven out of pure silk, which take over ten years to make. The Oasis also exposes some of the oldest carpets dating back to 150 years.