Dubai: A first-ever flower festival is taking roots in Dubai.
On its first day on Thursday, the celebration of all things floral was already in full bloom, providing a panoramic view of the rarest flowers flown from around the world in the form of artistic displays.
Some of the world’s top floral artists and designers have descended on Dubai to compete for the best floral installation as part of the Dubai International Flower Festival (DIFF), organised by Al Lokrit International, which will run till February 24.
From tropical flowers coming all the way from Africa and Orchids popular in Kenya to roses of different types grown in countries like the UK, Ecuador and Japan, the exhibition, spread over 2,700 square feet at the Al Lokrit warehouse in Al Quoz, includes a variety that covers all tastes, said organisers.
Speaking to Gulf News at the opening, Manohar Gidwani, festival organiser and founder of Al Lokrit International, a flower industry major in the UAE, said the event, which is aimed at acknowledging the art of the best floral installation artists in the world, seeks to place Dubai on the world map of floral industry.
“We have taken this initiative in the last three years, but this time we have given it the name as a festival because it includes unique compositions of rare flowers, a floral competition at an international level and other activities,” he said.
A number of artistic floral displays can be seen at the venue, including chandeliers made out of flowers, bouquets and floral installations translating each competing artist’s vision of Dubai.
“We’ve got so much talent coming from Greece, France, Poland, Belgium and other countries, who have transformed normal displays into artistic creations. We also have a focus on roses this year, so you can see a big array of garden roses, English roses and the branded David Austin roses,” he said.
Among the nine participants in the competition are six international artists including world champion Alex Choi from South Korea. There are also three local talents including a floral artist each from Abu Dhabi and Dubai palaces, he noted.
Marios Vallianos, a renowned floral designer from Greece, who is also part of the jury, says international competitions like these set forth the latest trends in floristry.
“Flowers have a fashion like everything else just like clothing, for example, so new varieties, flowers, and species appear. In the competition, participants are trying to create unique and original ideas, working with live botanical materials. You can see amazing designs in the market in the next couple of years. Actually what we see now in designs at a flower shop event, or hotel, is something that somebody designed a few years ago in an international competition,” he said.
He added that the international designers will show their own aspect of new designs with flowers, focusing on their vision of Dubai as a first task and respect of the environment as the second task.
The panel of judges includes world-famous floral designer and author Tomas De Bruyne from Belgium, who has designed artistic displays at the show.
“The ultimate goal is to hunt for the best talents and showcase these different talents in Dubai,” said Gidwani.
A total prize money of $17,500 awaits the winners of the competition.
What: Dubai International Flower Festival
Where: Al Lokrit warehouse in Al Quoz
When: February 22-24