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Humans of urbanization

Hussain Al Mooswa, Dubai

DUBAI, AN EVOLVING CITY

Our mission at KONE is to improve the flow of urban life. To capture the essence of urbanization, we bring you stories of people from 17 cities. 32-year-old Hussain Al Mooswa returned to the global city of Dubai after having lived in Australia for eight years.

"I was born and raised in Dubai, and left for Australia at the age of 21 for eight years. But every year I visited home, I saw a new project spring up. The city was changing rapidly. At an exhibition I attended during my visit home one winter, a friend introduced me to an artist. When I told her ‘I am from Dubai but currently living abroad’, she commented, ‘What are you doing there? Come back, it’s all happening here.’ Her words resonated with me – I returned in 2013, and now I’m rediscovering Dubai. As an infographic artist and typology photographer, I decided to document the urban characteristics of Dubai over the next decade. My dream is to publish it as a book.

I love Dubai’s blend of Arabic culture with other cultures. The arty district of Al Quoz shaped up lately, and now there are a lot of art galleries and cultural events in the city. Shiny signage on streets and alleys intrigue me as a subject. While old shopping areas like Karama still exist, malls have become an intrinsic part of Dubai's success as a shopping destination. My personal favorite is Dubai mall. It houses international stores like Eataly and Kinokuniya. Since I end up going to the multiplexes more often now, I really miss going to the old standalone cinemas. One downside of multiple cultures is the diverse styles of driving, which has made driving in the city a nightmare, especially during peak hours. The financial crisis, a few years ago, hit this city very hard but Dubai has a certain ‘move on’ mentality, so it is now a thing of the past. I am constantly on the move too and I think it’s a way of life I share with this city.”

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