Arte (Artisans Of The Emirates) Soukh is a monthly Arts and Craft fair first organized in 2005. Created by two expats living in Dubai this has become the ideal platform for talented, creative individuals and groups within the Emirates to sell their creations.
Currently with approximately 1000 members from over 30 different nationalities, Arte has come a long way since their first exhibition with 30 artisans. It is held at least twice a month at their permanent location of The Times Square Mall atrium.
You can find clothes, jewelry, paintings, needlework, greeting cards to sweet and savory items amongst many other things. It can usually take a few hours just to take one round and explore what is available. The artisans are at their stalls promoting their craft. The food stalls usually have groups of ladies happy to let you sample their homemade brownies, pies, chutneys and cakes.
If you are looking for something more unique then search for Shirley Conlon, a beautician who sells her own range of homemade organic skincare, luxury handmade soy candles by LaVela, gemstones by Sparkle Fairy or chutneys by Lily Bakes.
Arte is socially active and currently supports a number of charities both locally in the UAE and internationally in Turkey, Nepal and Kenya. The Feline Friends raise money through a second hand bookstore and The Dhaka Project also has a long association with the Soukh.
Coming to the fair has slowly become a regular weekend family outing for many people in Dubai. It attracts both local and expat customers who come to spend the day browsing and shopping through the aisles of stalls. For a day of casual and fun retail therapy head over to Arte.
For more information, check out their website www.arte.ae
– Saira Malik
Image Credits: Saira Malik