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  • Writer's pictureMajid Alhusseini

10 Emirati Creative Forces to Watch For This Year



As the UAE continues to establish itself as a global cultural hub, a new wave of Emirati creatives is making significant contributions across various fields, including art, fashion, music, and design. These visionary individuals are not only pushing boundaries within their respective industries but also gaining international recognition for their innovative work. From redefining traditional fashion to creating music that resonates globally, these 10 Emirati creatives are set to make a profound impact in 2024. Here’s a look at the talents you should be following closely this year.


EZOW



As the music and entertainment industries in the region boom, Emirati artist Ezow has emerged as a key figure aiming to represent Dubai on the global stage. Raised in Dubai and steeped in hip-hop culture, Ezow blends influences from past and present greats to create versatile sounds. His commitment to top-tier production and catchy lines has earned him a significant following, with over 800k Instagram followers. Supported by the Dubai-based label VVIP, Ezow’s debut EP, "Concrete Jungle," has generated substantial buzz, showcasing his ambition and unique style.


Yasmin Al Mulla



Yasmin Al Mulla, the creative force behind the fashion label YNM, is more than just a designer. She’s also a fitness enthusiast, a conscious foodie, and the owner of one of the most stunning Instagram accounts. Though initially focused on a career in international relations, Yasmin pivoted to fashion, honing her skills through short courses at the London College of Fashion. After the sudden death of her father, she launched YNM in 2014 with her sister Nesreen. The brand specializes in modest fashion, featuring high-necked kaftans, overlays, and dresses that emphasize conservative dressing.


Rawdha Thani



Rawdha Thani is the creative force behind the Emirati abaya brand Illi. She designs timeless pieces that feature her signature star and crescent moon embroideries. Her minimalistic and unique approach is redefining modern abayas, blending tradition with contemporary style.


Sumayyah Al Suwaidi



Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, an acclaimed Emirati artist and curator based in Abu Dhabi, is one of the most prominent figures in the Emirati art scene. Her impeccable work has earned her numerous awards, and she has exhibited her art globally. Notably, her pieces have been auctioned by Christie’s in the Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Art category and showcased by Sotheby’s Galleries in London.


Fatma Lootah




Fatma Lootah is a renowned artist and a key cultural ambassador for the UAE. Born and raised in Dubai, she studied at the Art Academy of Baghdad and later furthered her art education in Washington D.C. Though she has lived in Verona, Italy, since the 1980s, she frequently returns to Dubai, where she has her studio, House 35, in the Al Fahidi historical neighborhood. This studio was gifted to her by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2010.


Lootah’s career began with performance art, but she now focuses on abstract art and installations. She has exhibited in Italy, France, the UAE, Austria, Morocco, and the USA, including a notable display in Times Square, New York, as part of the Nasdaq Artist in Residence project. Her work has been featured in numerous prestigious magazines, including Marie Claire.


Madiyah Al-Sharqi



Madiyah Al-Sharqi, the daughter of Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sharqi, the ruler of Fujairah, launched her eponymous fashion label in 2012. Her designs have garnered international attention, being worn by prominent figures such as US-Colombian actress Sofia Vergara and American model Paris Jackson.


Almas




Emirati singer and rapper Almas is crafting tracks to inspire women. At just 21, she has already achieved significant milestones, including performing at Expo 2020. Recently, she became the ambassador for Spotify’s Equal Arabia program, a global initiative designed to amplify the work of women creators and encourage fans worldwide to discover their music.


Hessa Al Ajmani




Hessa Al Ajmani is an Emirati visual artist born in Abu Dhabi and based in Ajman. Her work is deeply influenced by her curiosity about human psychology and the natural world, focusing on subtle yet present elements in human interactions and daily life. Currently, she explores ceramics, imprinting native plants and wildflowers onto functional ceramicware to better understand the UAE's flora. In 2019, Al Ajmani founded Clay Corner Studio, Ajman's first public arts studio dedicated to ceramics and painting, where she manages and teaches regular ceramics classes.


Rami Farook




The Emirati artist Farook is a driving force behind Dubai’s burgeoning creative scene. An artist himself, he has nurtured talents across various fields, including fashion design, music, and culinary arts. His former public space, General 3am in Dubai Design District, served as a refuge for local artists. Now, his Dubai-based restaurant and gallery, Maisan 15, has become a hub for creatives to collaborate and showcase their work.


Waad and Sheyma Al Hammadi




Waad and Sheyma Al Hammadi are the founders of Gabi, a brand that seamlessly blends Emirati traditions with contemporary flair. Inspired by architect Van Der Rohe’s “less is more” principle, Gabi embraces minimalism and modesty, offering timeless elegance and distinctiveness in the fashion industry. The brand reinterprets Emirati women’s heritage with modern, oversized, and elegant designs, preserving customs and traditions while adapting to today's dynamic world.



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