Buying a new Emaar property is more than a financial investment simply because acquiring a beautifully designed, high-quality property inspires optimism, beauty, and hope. Whether your new home is a villa, a townhouse, or a plush apartment in the heart of the city, you will realise that nothing pulls a room together like beautifully decorated walls and space, even the most elegant furniture and décor. After all, when you choose art for your home, it will ultimately become an integral part of your life, and it must reflect your style, character and personality.

Seeking advice on where to start and how to buy art in Dubai, we met Giuseppe Moscatello, renowned artist, cultural developer, founder of Evolve, and curator of Foundry, the celebrated art space in Downtown Dubai, to give us a bit of essential advice.

By: Souha Abbas

First, can you tell us more about yourself and your role with Foundry?

I studied art and design at the University of Art in Rome. I moved to the UAE in 2007 and co-founded two art entities in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, working with artists, designers and creative practitioners, museums and international art organizations. Being an artist myself, I bring a broad perspective and a deep understanding. I started working with Emaar in 2018 on the idea of establishing an art initiative in Downtown Dubai that would be of cultural value for the city and would eventually expand to other cities and possibly other countries. This is how Foundry was conceived to be a fresh take on art in the middle of Dubai. Our exhibition space is not your typical art gallery white cube; it is a concept where the artists have to interact with space and develop something specifically for every corner and niche.

In what way does Foundry standout among other art spaces in Dubai and the UAE?

Foundry’s space is quite different from any other gallery because it has several galleries that are all interconnected so that the visitor can move easily and follow a very transitional flow from one exhibition to another. Added to the fact that we can have our own exhibitions or host other galleries or projects.  Our first line of exhibition opened in December renowned artist Jeffar Al Khaledi, and Iranian artist Navid Azimi Sajjadi. We also hosted the Akka Project gallery, and that was our first collaboration with an external gallery, with an exhibition for Mozambican artist Goncalo Mabunda. In the last unit, we presented an exceptional private collection of old photos owned by Emirati designer and collector, Khalid Shafar, representing works by different Khaleeji photographers. This exhibition was our way to encourage art collectors from the community to show their collections to the public for the first time. It was also an ideal opportunity to promote khaleeji photographers. We also opened recently a new line of exhibitions with international artist Harif Guzman, Russian/Kazakh artist Adil Aubekerov, Rex; and from the emerging scene Enforce One, Karim Al Tamerji and Kapil Bhimekar.

What can you advise new Emaar property owners when it comes to finding the best art for their homes?

Art is very subjective, you can decide to buy aesthetically appealing art, or more conceptual, and both options can be found in the Emirates since it has a lot to offer in terms of artists and galleries from both local and international art scene. Even better, if you are connected with the locally based art community, you can interact with the artists, visit them in their workshops, and talk to them to understand better the philosophy behind their work and see if you feel aligned somehow with that philosophy. Visiting Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art will also help to identify the right artworks that can suit your needs.

In your opinion, what’s the best way to decorate a large space?

If you have a massive property with a lot of space to fill, you can diversify the artworks between paintings, sculptures and art installations. And because art, as I said, is subjective, it’s better to have a good understanding of your space, the ambience you want to achieve, and what you want to surround yourself with. That said, some experts and curators can help you with this; I have been doing this for many years. I believe that developers should start to work closely and in parallel with artists during the finishing and final fit out of certain properties where a special creative touch can add a huge value.

What’s your advice about buying art from emerging artists?

In Dubai, we have the opportunity to access a wide variety of art from many countries and cultures. Buying art shouldn’t be only about investing in expensive works by known artists. Many emerging artists have fascinating pieces that would make a fine addition to your collection. Some universally renowned art collectors, like François Pinault, for example, invests heavily in artwork created by emerging artists. His collection is featured in Venice’s Pinault Museum, which has become a hallmark in the city. Likewise, you can buy from emerging artists not only to encourage them but also because you can find pieces that you connect strongly with, and they can become an essential part of your household. The bonus here is the possibility of an increase in your investment if the artist becomes better known.

What are your views on the future of art in Dubai?

I think the art scene in Dubai will continue to witness a potential growth, especially now that the UAE has launched the Golden Residence Visa initiative, which has allowed many Dubai-based artists and creatives to consider staying in the city and call it their home. That’s a very positive message because it will make all those creatives feel more stable and productive and more confident in establishing their network firmly in the UAE. On the other hand, Emirati artists are maturing more and more, establishing themselves, and leaving a legacy to new generations.

A sanctuary of relaxation, your bedroom should be a refuge from the pressure of everyday life. Sure, you want your bedroom’s style to reflect your design preferences, but you also want to make sure it functions as the retreat you deserve. But when you have a 3-bedroom-apartment and above, you have the opportunity to diversify and think of different styles that can be tied up to the main theme of your interiors. Here are a few tips that will help you find your perfect designs:

– Black Chic

The black wall looks extremely luxurious contrasting against the floors and a color block wall (emerald or terracotta). This feature works best in ultra-modern apartments (think Downtown Dubai or Dubai Hills Estate high rise developments). When using black in a bedroom, make sure that there is plenty of contrast, space, and light to ensure the room doesn’t feel gloomy and closed in.

– Steel Grey

You might think of the grey colour as too industrial, but you’d be surprised how vibrant it would make your room look when coordinated with a lively colour like yellow, or red, or any contrasting colour. When combined with grey, any of these colours would create a contemporary feel with a futuristic twist that perfectly matches any modern furniture.

– Textures

Our Emaar architects are big on textures (floors, walls, doors and windows), making it easier for you to get more creative when decorating your property, from the paint on the wall to the furniture textiles and curtains. You can even add a mirrored wall for additional dimension and to reflect the natural daylight.

– Hospitality Haven:

No matter how welcoming your apartment is, a more “convivial” approach would turn your guest room into a real haven. Warm colours and a sitting area with a view would make your guests feel right at home.

– Young Vibes

Against common belief, neutral colours work best for a teenager or a kid’s room as they inspire relaxation and create a space to unwind. Besides, kids will most likely personalize it with their own colourful elements and belongings.

ARABIAN RANCHES IS ONE OF DUBAI’S MOST ESTABLISHED GATED COMMUNITIES, AND HAS A REPUTATION AS A HAVEN FOR PROFESSIONAL FAMILIES WHO WANT AN EXCEPTIONAL LIFESTYLE WITH ALL THE BENEFITS OF A PURPOSE-BUILT COMMUNITY. LET US TAKE YOU ON A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK.

At the Arabian Ranches Gated Community in Dubai, you’ll find desirable homes, perfectly maintained gardens and a warm, communal welcome. You’ll discover a community that lives together, plays together and enjoys some of the very best luxuries in the heart of Dubai. This oasis of tranquility is a unique location where absolutely no compromise has been made on the quality of the homes, the surroundings or the facilities.

The homes

Set in over 1,650 acres, the luxury properties range from smart, modern townhouses that take their architectural cue from traditional Arabic and Spanish themes. Every property is unique, built to the high specifications and is surrounded by beautifully designed gardens, giving each resident their own personal space. Inside generous living space is perfectly suited for families, while the balconies and private terraces overlook a championship golf course with stunning views.

Why choose a gated community?

Life in a gated community offers an elevated degree of privacy and protection for your family and your home. It also creates a unique and very intimate atmosphere, where everyone really gets to know their neighbour, whilst still enjoying their personal space. You’ll never feel isolated in a gated community – it’s a warm and welcoming environment where everyone works together to build a truly special location.

A true community feel

Within the confines of the community is its very own town centre with elegant retail outlets, premium quality restaurants and all the infrastructure families could want, including healthcare and schooling.

A haven for golf lovers

Arabian Ranch isn’t just a living community – it also offers one of the best golf courses in the Emirate. Arabian Ranches Golf Club has a challenging, 18-hole course designed by Ian Baker-Finch in association with Nicklaus Design. The course makes the most of the desert terrain, and the result is a tough but playable course that will stretch the abilities of seasoned golfers, and allow those new to the sport to learn their game at one of the most innovative and beautifully designed courses in the world.

The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, situated just next to the Arabian Ranches, offers a premium experience for horse lovers. This purpose-built establishment set in 68 acres of spectacular desert landscape holds top-level polo matches as well as equestrian events, showjumping and dressage. Ride outs take you into the heart of the desert for an unforgettable experience.

The Hacienda-style clubhouse is the epitome of luxury, offering banqueting facilities for personal or business use, making it a memorable location for a conference or wedding.

Cycle and run in peace

Criss-crossing Arabian Ranches is a network of cycle routes and pathways that are perfect for runners, joggers and those who simply want to take a little time out to relax. Communal open spaces and parkland gives the entire community somewhere to come together and enjoy being out in the fresh air, and there are plenty of social events and gatherings all year round to enhance that community spirit.

New developments

Arabian Ranches has proved to be so popular that new developments like Arabian Ranches II are being planned, presenting an ideal investment opportunity.

WHEN DESIGNING A NEW EMAAR DEVELOPMENT, WE THINK OF THE ‘BIG PICTURE’, THE OVERALL EFFECT, THE ‘WOW’ FACTOR. WHETHER IT WAS FOR ONE OF OUR SERVICED FURNISHED APARTMENTS OR A PROPERTY THAT NEW OWNERS WILL BE DECORATING ON THEIR OWN, WE SHARE FIVE INNOVATIVE WAYS TO MAKE USE OF CORNERS WITHOUT IMPACTING ON YOUR OVERALL DÉCOR.

A reader’s retreat

A corner sofa with plenty of plump cushions, a small side table and a stack of cleverly-designed shelves above with a reading light on the underside of the bottom shelf, and you’ve instantly turned a dull, boring corner into a gloriously snug bookworm’s retreat. If you love curling up with the latest bestseller (or if you’re a tech lover, an e-reader), then why not designate a quiet corner as your library away from the distractions of the TV?

A green oasis

Indoor plants can make a room feel more alive, more vibrant and improve your sense of well-being. As long as it’s not too dark, a corner can make a great place to create a small green oasis, even in a contemporary or minimalist design. Strong architectural plants or something a little more unusual such as a large cactus or a single elegant orchid, can transform an internal space.

A miniature art gallery

You don’t need a huge expanse of blank wall to display art. A corner can act as a show-stopping point to position a striking piece of art – art that stops the passer-by in their tracks. Corners are also ideal for three-dimensional art such as porcelain or small sculptures (and they also act as a haven for fragile pieces, offering solid protection on two sides!). Lighting is vital if you want to present fine art in a corner space, so be aware of how shadows are thrown from different angles to achieve the best result with the minimum amount of intrusive lighting to ensure the focus stays on the artwork.

A quirky conversation piece

A 1960s jukebox, a Victorian letterbox… quirky conversation pieces gravitate to corners. They’re unexpected, they’re cheeky, they’re fun, and they show your personality, your individuality and your lighter side.

They’re usually large, imposing pieces that would dominate the room if you positioned them in the centre of the living space. While this may be the effect you’re after, a corner space makes more practical sense, especially if your conversation piece is something that would end up breaking toes or tripping up guests if placed in the heart of your room!

Give it its own space – create the corner around the conversation piece, again using clever lighting and decorative wall art that draws attention to the main feature.

A practical storage area

Corners don’t need to be ‘wasted space’. A tallboy is a perfect corner piece, as are clean, no-fuss, minimalist shelves. If you want to use it as a coat storage area, then don’t go for boring, straight lines of hooks – space them randomly so that even when the coats have gone, the patterns and shapes created by the hooks add interest to an otherwise blank wall.

If you have a 3BR apartment, a townhouse, or a villa, you can increase each room’s storage. Make more space for your tasteful furniture and avoid interrupting the stunning views of our beautiful Emaar locations. Opt for subtly fitted closets, and storage enabled ottomans and bedroom benches.