Into the world of knots, weaves with Carpet Oasis

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Carpet Oasis showcases over 150,000 pieces with market value of Dh1 billion

Coinciding with the launch of the Dubai Shopping Festival 2014, the 19th edition of the Carpet and Art Oasis began on Thursday. Organised by the Dubai Customs at Dubai Festival City, the exhibition will run till February 2, with the participation of more than 60 exhibitors, reflecting a rise of 20 per cent compared to last year.

The Carpet Oasis is open to visitors Saturdays to Thursdays from 10am to 10pm and Fridays from 4pm to 11pm.

“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 DSF has positioned Dubai as the primary destination for tourists and visitors at this time of the year. “Dubai Customs is proud to organise the Carpet and Art Oasis that increasingly attracts larger crowds, giving Dubai Shopping Festival greater splendour as traders, rug lovers and visitors gather to acquire some of the rarest and most gorgeous handcrafted carpets,” he said.

Organised by Dubai Customs every year since the launch of the Dubai Shopping Festival in 1996, the exhibition has been closely connected with the festival as one of its core activities. 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.

This year, the organisers have decided to increase the exhibition area by 30 per cent 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.

Families and tourists heading to the Dubai Festival City to be a part of the Carpet & Art Oasis between 4 and 10pm will have their names entered into a raffle draw for a chance to take home an exquisite handmade silk carpet. The draw will take place at 10pm.

Participating firms are displaying some of finest carpets, handcrafted in well-known rug making areas like Qom, Tabriz and Esfahan in Iran, as well as the most renowned wool carpet factories in Afghanistan; alongside the exotic cashmere carpets and other items on display by exhibitors from Turkey, India, China, Turkmenistan and Pakistan.

The new edition of Carpet and Art Oasis also features the completed Naseej Al Walaa — ‘loyalty weave’ — portrait, an initiative launched by Dubai Customs to knit a handmade carpet portrait of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Executed by the mothers visiting Carpet and Art Oasis, the initiative was held under the patronage of Shaikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of Shaikh Mohammed. A special hall has been dedicated to accommodating this piece of art. It contains a traditional loom used to make the carpet which is woven with silk and wool yarns. In addition, a space has been assigned for women contributing in making the portrait.

The woven portrait is regarded as a form of showing gratitude and recognition by mothers of the UAE to Shaikh Mohammed who has dedicated many valuable initiatives and contributions to women, and has shown constant interest in women’s social and domestic welfare as well as engagement in all fields of work. As a result, women in the UAE are now holding superior positions, besides enjoying all rights due to them under Islamic sharia and by international and local laws.

An exquisite piece of art, the Naseej Al Walaa portrait features numerous stitches and rich colours, as it has about one million and fifty thousand knots and over 120 natural colours spread over an area of nearly 4.5 square meters, with a height of 1.80 meters and a width of 1 metre. Made of 50 per cent pure silk and 50 per cent natural wool, the carpet was accomplished in cooperation with Heritage Carpets Company.

Since its inauguration 18 years ago, the number of visitors flocking to the Carpet Oasis has reached one million, with a total sales value of more than Dh1.6 billion. More than two million carpets have been exhibited so far.

New products are on display for the first time, including carpets woven out of pure silk, which take over 10 years to make. The Oasis also exposes some of the oldest carpets dating back to 150 years.

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