UAE Next

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Charlie Koolhaas

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states formed in 1971 by the then Trucial States after independence from Britain. Since then, it has grown from a quiet backwater to one of the Middle East‘s most important economic centres. Although each state – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al Qaiwain – maintains a large degree of independence, there is international heightened awareness that the UAE as a whole is a quickly growing economical, financial and cultural empire. The UAE is one of the most liberal countries in the Gulf, with other cultures and beliefs generally welcomed, this will undoubtedly help its quest to become the epi-centre for shaping 21stcentury culture.

Over the coming year, Charlie Koolhaas plans to continue her photographic journey to include all UAE seven states, which will ultimately seek toinform a global audience through imagery, dialogue and discussions as the next chaper; UAE Next.

Dubai Next is a documentary research and visual exploration of the City of Dubai, UAE through the physical realities that the vast mosaic of (sub)cultures creates; in an attempt to expose the complex realities of Dubai’s global situation.

 

In June 2008 Charlie Koolhaas designed, documented and exhibited in ‘Dubai Next’, an exhibition for Vitra Design Museum that opened concurrently with Art Basel 2008.,  Supported by The Dubai Art and Culture Authority and curated by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Since then Dubai, and particularly its flashy new architecture and its high profile development companies, has attracted a huge amount of attention and media scrutiny following the global economic crisis, which made it a symbol of the entire worlds crazed spending habits. Now in an amazing turnaround, Dubai appears to have bounced back to become a new symbol – this time of resilience and the end of the ‘crisis’.  In this current context I have updated my photographs and revisited Dubai and this new series of photographs has not been exhibited yet.

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