Part of complete coverage on
Dubai gets trippy with Festival of Lights
March 28, 2014 -- Updated 0404 GMT (1204 HKT)
French composer and stage director Damien Fontaine projected a work of cinematic theater, in which two characters go in search of lost treasure, onto Dubai's Souk Al Bahar for the city's inaugural Festival of Lights.
Prince of Light
The Water Dragon
The World According to Piet
Hop on, hop off
- This week Dubai hosted its inaugural Festival of Lights
- Many of Dubai's most famous structures have been turned into art installations
- French city of Lyon has a similar event and helped Dubai create theirs
(CNN) -- Dubai's most impressive buildings are looking a little psychedelic this week.
In the Dubai Mall atrium, a chandelier made from steel cables dangles from the ceiling, emitting the type of strobe lighting more readily associated with disco balls. Illuminated beams pour out from the pinnacle of the Burj Khalifa, making the world's tallest building resemble a giant lighthouse.
In Burj Lake, home of the Dubai Fountain -- the world's largest water feature -- a hyper-realistic 3D hologram of a whale frolics in above the water. The Souk al Bahar -- a grand, Arabian-style bazaar -- has been transformed into a Disney-esque 3D cinematic feat;
French stage director and composer Damien Fontaine has used video mapping and LED projectors to create a visual narrative in which two characters go in search of hidden treasure.
This collection of more than 30 installations is part of Dubai's inaugural Festival of Lights, a 10-day event modeled on the version hosted every December in Lyon, France. In fact, the city of Lyon co-sponsored the event, along with Emaar Properties, the Dubai developers responsible for many of Dubai' most ambitious projects.
"We aimed to mark an extraordinary celebration of artistic creativity and light installations on a scale never experienced before in the region," said an Emaar spokesperson.
In addition to borrowing the concept, Emaar has also tapped the talent pool of artists, designers and architects that each year turn Lyon into an electric playground. Participants include Moroccan-born fashion designer JC/DC (aka, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac), who once designed a teddy bear coat for Madonna and French lingerie designer Chantal Thomass.
"The City of Lyon has set a global benchmark in festive lighting and it was an ideal fit to partner with them to bring the world's finest lighting concepts to Dubai," says Emaar's spokesperson.
The Lyon festival started out as a religious tradition, but has since evolved to become one of the most impressive entries on the global arts calendar. Set over four days, artists have been known to project flames onto churches, create animations to crawl up buildings, and graft holograms onto mist. The event attracts millions of visitors every year. While Emaar has yet to release any numbers, they noted the festival was "well received."
Part of complete coverage on
August 14, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
Iran is pumping billions of dollars into a scheme to save a lake. What's so important about it?
August 8, 2014 -- Updated 0218 GMT (1018 HKT)
A volatile Middle East has changed the tenor of Ramadan programming in Egypt. Now, no topic is too taboo.
July 29, 2014 -- Updated 0253 GMT (1053 HKT)
Dubai has got some big animal attractions in its mega malls. But not everyone is wild about the idea.
July 28, 2014 -- Updated 0314 GMT (1114 HKT)
Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Prize-winning author, is neither afraid to confront the human condition nor the state his country is in.
July 24, 2014 -- Updated 0257 GMT (1057 HKT)
The smell of traditional dishes served during Ramadan fill the house of Iman, a Lebanese mother of four.
July 15, 2014 -- Updated 1122 GMT (1922 HKT)
Unmanned aerial vehicles aren't generally thought of as technology that improves lives; the UAE wants to change that.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0149 GMT (0949 HKT)
How an Iranian musician took ancient Persian poetry to the top of the U.S. charts.
July 2, 2014 -- Updated 0736 GMT (1536 HKT)
How will the elevators work in the world's tallest building?
June 26, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
When Saher Shaikh first moved to Dubai, the rights of the city's labor population was the furthest thing from her mind.
June 19, 2014 -- Updated 1000 GMT (1800 HKT)
It's not quite greening the desert, but an ambitious plan for an underground park could transform Abu Dhabi.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1106 GMT (1906 HKT)
CNN's Ben Wedeman explores ancient footpaths in the wilds of the West Bank.
June 5, 2014 -- Updated 1051 GMT (1851 HKT)
Inside the Middle East meets photographer Garo Nalbandian who has captured life in Jerusalem's Old City for more than half a century.
June 9, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
The Middle East's is home to some of the world's most endangered animals.
Today's five most popular stories