By G*Nice for Friday www.gulfnews.com
I almost loathe to share with you my new secret place in Dubai for fear of y’all stampeding it, resulting in yours truly not being able to get a table anymore!
But in the spirit of passing good news along and spreading the love, and the fact that no doubt the good news is circulating like juicy gossip, my new oasis in the desert is The Pavilion Downtown Dubai.
The most surprising realisation when I first pulled up my chair on the terrace outside the impressive ultra-modern building is that this used to be the sales centre for the whole DownTown development way back in the day. I remember the mad scramble to write numerous cheques to try to buy into this vision when it was all diagrams and balsa wood models.
Despite the cooling down of the property market, I must say that when you sit here and look at the modern metropolis that is now a stunning reality, it is nothing short of amazing. The building itself would be my ultimate dream apartment if money were no object… and if I did call this place home, I feel sure I would take on the persona of a sophisticated and not-so-evil- Bond villain. I can imagine myself sitting in a revolving egg-chair in a smoking jacket, cradling Cookie the French Bulldog in my lap, while gazing out at the Burj Khalifa spire, dreaming of my G*Nice masterplan to make the world love hip-hop, boxing and generally to end all wars and just love each other!
Snapping back to reality – this wonderful complex is actually an art gallery and a social hotspot. I tend to gravitate to these art spaces wherever I find them in cities across the globe because they are a source of endless inspiration. I am no art connoisseur, but anything that is hanging on a wall for me to look at, even if I don’t have a clue what it’s meant to be, somehow just makes me think.
And anything that inspires random thought has got to be good, right? It reminds me of one of my visits to the Tate Modern in London, when I was wandering around looking at installations of giant chairs and furry cups, scratching my head, in search of a meaning. I came across a white fire extinguisher hanging on the wall and spent some minutes observing it from all angles, pondering what it might be saying. I then came to the conclusion that it was probably just a fire extinguisher for putting out fires! To cover my embarrassment when the penny finally dropped, I turned on my heel and left that room kinda sharpish.
My column is basically that, come to think about it. Words on a page that say something but on the other hand… nothing. I am the equivalent of an abstract portrait painter who can’t draw hands or fingers! It strikes me that the lack of an “art culture” is one of the criticisms some people level at Dubai but this place working in tandem with the other more established galleries in town will sow the seeds of a movement that will inspire the scene to flourish.