Miral has partnered with the Creative Media Authority’s Creative Lab and Aldar to host the Yas Design Contest, where students across the UAE were invited to showcase their creativity by submitting unique designs for a pop-up installation. The competition challenged creative university students to submit designs for environmentally-friendly public art installations to be built and installed on Yas Island. After a thorough evaluation process and public vote, the dynamic trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai; and Radwa Elkasas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy; have been revealed as the winners.

More than 26 entries were received from students across the UAE, with each submission fulfilling the key criteria including being a piece of public art, acting as a backdrop for photo taking, telling a story about the UAE and being partly or entirely made using environment friendly materials. In addition to the design submission, participants also shared a technical submission with a detailed write-up, sketch of their design, a visual mood board and a materials list.

Taghrid Alsaeed, Executive Director – Group Communications and Destination Marketing at Miral, and one of the judges on the panel, said: “We are proud to have collaborated with Aldar and Creative Lab for this remarkable competition, which not only engaged and empowered the younger community but also provided a platform for creative talent across the UAE. This is testament of our commitment to producing a positive impact on the communities and cultures we serve, a key pillar of our Miral brand.  Congratulations to the winners and all who participated. Your creativity, skill and hard work have truly shone through your designs, and we are thrilled to see the incredible talent and ingenuity displayed across all the submissions.”

After being reviewed by a panel of four esteemed judges from Miral, Aldar Properties, Creative Lab, as well as influencer Maitha Mohamed based on creativity, storytelling and concept design, as well as material planning; five submissions were shortlisted and taken to a public vote. These included Majeda Mohammed from University of Sharjah’s Fort To Future; Haia Ali from University of Sharjah’s The UAE Pearl; Radwa ElKassas from Sharjah Performing Arts Academy’s Evolving; Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar from Amity University Dubai’s Habat Al-Lulu; and Raghad Yehya and Itemat Sauria from Ajman University’s A Touch of Emirates.

The trio of Arfa Abdul Azeem, Shifa Asif, and Gopika Rethikumar and Radwa Elkasas were selected as the winners based on their submissions Habat Al-Lulu, inspired by UAE’s rich history of pearl diving; and Evolving, a photo booth with three panels depicting the nation’s past, present and future. The winners will be awarded an AED5,000 cash prize and see their designs built and placed in select spots on Yas Island for residents and tourists to enjoy a backdrop for photo taking.

Rashed Al Omaira, Chief Commercial Officer at Aldar Development, said: “As expected, the entries received for the Yas Design Contest were excellent - we were particularly impressed by the thinking behind the submissions as well as the quality of the creative proposals. There is no doubt that the UAE’s cultural and creative industries will continue to thrive given the passion our young people show for design, art and visual storytelling. We very much look forward to seeing the winning designs come to life on Yas Island, where thousands of residents and visitors will enjoy the installations.” 

Khalid Khouri, Director of Talent Development at Creative Media Authority, said: “We were overwhelmed to see so many creative and inspiring submissions for the Yas Design Competition – it’s great to see that we have such incredible talent in the UAE. Creative Lab was honoured to partner with Miral and Aldar properties on this amazing initiative which underline our mission to support the youth of Abu Dhabi to explore their creative potential. We’d like to congratulate the very worth winners and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow their creative talent in the future.” 

Miral continues to strive to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, as well as offering employment opportunities while attracting and developing young talent as part of Abu Dhabi’s drive to accelerate the culture and creative industries.