Meet the people

The people of the Emirates are the makers of its culture: The makers of the impossible and of big dreams. Those who have big dreams, avmbitions and who collaborate together in order to innovate.

  • Saud SalehRapper & Producer

    Founder and audio engineer of Levelz UAE – a group of video-focused artists from Ajman, Saud has been putting Ajman at the forefront of the music and art scene. Inspired by classic 90’s rappers like Tupac and Dr. Dre, he’s been making Arabic hip-hop since 2009, and is now distributing his music professionally in hopes of putting Ajman on the map.

  • Orit MohammedCoffee Maker

    Orit chose to show her passion through the infamous staple of her country, Ethiopia, by making coffee inspired by her childhood and bringing it to the Emirates. By opening Boon Coffee, Orit defied the struggles of being a Black female business owner facing international companies and chose to tell a story through her coffee - a story of passion, heritage, and tradition passed down from generation to generation. Her business also assigns a portion of their profits to help children in less fortunate communities attend school and get the education they deserve.

  • Hattem MattarPitmaster

    Hattem Mattar is the world’s first Arab pitmaster and is renowned for his Dubai-based third-culture smokehouse, The Mattar Farm. From smoked brisket and grilled desserts to underground lamb and whole smoked camel, Hattem and his menus have been featured at the UAE embassy in Washington DC as well as on CNN. With a strong belief in third-culture cuisine and the unifying language of fire and smoke, Hattem strongly believes in everyone’s ability to sit around a great meal and communicate.

  • Jaysus ZainSlammer

    Fusing poetry, spoken word and hip hop, Jaysus, originally from Sudan, has demonstrated the ability to split himself into multiple characters that are all intricately raw and beautiful. Currently based in Abu Dhabi, Jaysus is at the forefront of the spoken word movement in the country. Participating in several poetry slam competitions in the region, Jaysus was awarded Artist of the Year in 2016 and crowned Dubai Poetry Slam Champion twice.

  • Majd AlloushPrintmaker Artist

    Using his unique form of art to express himself, Majd’s work is situated within contemporary hybrid practice, at the intersection of traditional processes and innovative methodology. His creative practice challenges the notion of borders in concept, content, and medium, by exploring psychology, geopolitics, and social and environmental issues such as the ramifications of war and displacement. Majd strategically creates work wherein multiple interpretations are possible, requiring the viewer’s own worldview to inform the meaning.

  • Tarsila SchubertStreet Artist

    Tarsila is a Brazilian-born street artist that has dedicated her life to art. Her aim is to blend all the different inputs which we are confronted with every day in an apparently chaotic yet perfectly organized structure, while adopting strong colors that represent her personality and her traditions. Tarsila founded The Cave DXB, an independent space Located in Dubai Design District d3 that functions as an art studio, art gallery as well as an art consultancy.

  • Isobel AbulhoulFounder of the Emirati Literature Festival

    Isobel came to Dubai in 1968 and co-founded Magrudy’s, the iconic bookshop chain, in 1975. In 2008 Isobel founded and is Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the Middle East’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word. She’s also held significant positions such as CEO of the Emirates Literature Foundation, Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction Board, Secretary General of the Kalimat Foundation and Director of the Board for the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. Isobel has received the Outstanding Contribution Award at the TimeOut Kids Awards, the Femina Unstoppable Woman Award in 2015 as well as many other distinguished awards.

  • Areej Al HammadiFootballer

    From a young age, and growing up between boys, Areej found that on the football pitch it doesn't matter if you’re a boy or girl, if you’re short or tall, what matters is your skill. She honed her skills to the point of landing herself a midfielder position with the Emirates' Women’s National Football Team. Born in Sharjah, and living in Dubai, Areej has been managing a content team for Expo 2021. She holds a degree in visual communication, works a day job in design and art direction, but that didn’t stop her from following her burning passion for football.

  • Hollie MurphyBoxer / Trainer

    Holly is a personal trainer that guides individuals and small groups of people to achieve their fitness goals, and she has also established a special needs sports program named “Heroes of Hope”, where children and teens with special abilities get to explore sport in an inclusive environment. She has also managed to start the first inclusive sporting event in the UAE, The Infinity Games, with the aim of bringing communities and different people together from across the entire country regardless of nationality, background or ability. This event embodies the diverse spirit of this nation and Holly’s personal values.

  • Sky KurtzAgriculturer

    Sky is a serial-entrepreneur focused on agriculture technology solutions that help to tackle food security, water conservation, economic diversification and sustainability challenges. He co-founded Pure Harvest, a food security solution using advanced and sustainable agriculture technologies, which were built to maintain a controlled climate even in the harsh environment of the Middle East.