Posted by: Waheeda Harris | December 3, 2013

Wandering Dubai in the sun…

Dubai - XVA Art Hotel

As I toured the Al Fahidi neighbourhood in Dubai, it was a sweltering late morning – the temperature was easily sitting at 34 or 36 Celsius, plus humidity. It was not the ideal time to be exploring this iconic city of the United Arab Emirates.

Like many others walking in this area, keeping to the shade was the key, and I walked close to the buildings to stay out of the direct sun. As I slowly walked by a doorway, I noticed these hands and feet, hanging among the layers of fabric, gently moving thanks to a nearby fan.

I had come upon the entrance to the XVA Art Hotel, a 10 room boutique property that was tucked into this neighbourhood, a former home of a well-to-do merchant that had been recently revamped by a designer, showcasing modern Middle Eastern art and offering a hidden spot within its courtyards to escape the busy streets.

Dubai - XVA Art Hotel entrance

Unlike many of its counterparts, this hotel was more like a typical Emirati home – the individually-designed rooms were surrounding two courtyards, and the art – sculpture, painting, ceramic, metalwork – was beautiful and could be functional. The stone floors were pristine, and the atmosphere was welcoming and very laid-back.

This spot was an anomaly in the whirl that is Dubai – a place that is big, bold, glitzy and eye-catching in its fixation on what’s new. But this little boite was a perfect spot for an afternoon tea, and to escape into a world of quiet conversation and contemplative moments.

Want to see what I found when I wandered in Dallas after dark? 

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  1. […] Do you want to see how I wandered to find art in Dubai?  […]


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