What’s On has details of the first Handmade Festival in Dubai, organised by Deus Arabia. Featuring Howlin’ Rooster, Toil & Tinker and more.

Pictures: d3
Distinguished bikers
 Farmers’ markets

Gather up all the distinguished gentleman riders, handpick the trendiest niche retailers in the city and send them all to hip venue Capital D Studios in Al Quoz – this is the first ever Handmade Festival in Dubai, and arguably the most hipster weekend of the year.

Running on Saturday June 6 from 1pm to 6pm at Deus Arabia HQ, the cool bike specialists are hosting Dubai’s first Handmade Festival, presenting the best of Dubai’s alternative artisan producers of all things bespoke, creative and customised. From guitar building, personalising screen printing, hand-crafted leather goods, beach bags, bike building and beard cutting, every vendor promises to have something cool to offer shoppers on the day.

‘The original Deus (“day-us”) in Sydney didn’t just set out only to sell custom [bike] parts and hand-built motorcycles, but to celebrate a culture of creativity,’ says Deus Arabia’s managing partner Ayaad Damouni. ‘Our Handmade Festival will showcase Dubai’s independent, creative and home-grown producers who create quality bespoke items that are relevant to the Deus concept and its followers.’


‘We have spent over three months carefully selecting participants, ensuring each is relevant to Deus, ensuring they understand our ethos with an emphasis on contemporary, practical and considered products that blend style and functionality perfectly. At this time we have chosen all vendors, though we still have a few up our sleeve to announce this week as the event approaches.’

Here’s a look at the vendor list so far:

Howlin’ Rooster guitars and such

If you haven’t heard of the handmade instruments made by Basil Azizoghly, the brains behind Howlin’ Rooster, you need to hand in your hipster badge. Taking old cigar boxes and turning them into guitars started off as a hobby for Basil but is now gathering quite the following within the region. Prices start at a reasonable Dhs400 depending on how complex the instrument is. Add one to your wish list immediately. Better still, come down and jam.

Howlin' Rooster

Toil & Tinker

This independent stationer was started by Paul Green and they set up home in the Dubai Garden Centre earlier last year. The creative Toil & Tinker whiz kids can design everything from invites to menus, as well as printing whatever your heart desires (their motto is ‘We print stuff – just about anything!’). Font fans, kerning aficionados and design nerds (in the best possible way) wont want to miss the fully interactive live screen printing set up at the Handmade Festival this weekend.

toil and tinker


Life’s a beach; at least that’s what the owners of Omasi think anyway. And what’s life at the beach without stylish yet practical beach accessories? Specialising in towels, bags and embroidery, all of the Omasi products are handmade in Dubai and can be personalised for you.

Surat Journals

Surat Journals are classic pieces of contemporary practicality, all packaged up as a handmade and bespoke companion to accompany your travels. At the Handmade festival, Kenneth Ephraim Surat will be showing you how he makes these beautiful journals so be sure to stop by and learn from the master.


Seakiss Surf Bikinis

Dubai resident Rachael Sherriff is on a mission to change the face of surf clothing in the UAE. Seakiss is a swimwear range designed for surfing. It’s functional yet fashion-driven, but ultimately it’s created to stay in place on your body while you’re surfing. Perfect for women who are active in water-sports. Each piece is inspired by a tropical place Rachael has surfed in: The Maldives, Mexico, California, Costa Rica and Bali.



MadeByNative creates stunning hand-crafted leather goods, using the best tried and tested methods, with natural vegetable tanned Italian leathers. Get a first hand look at exactly how they make these truly beautiful pieces this Saturday.


Craft by Two

If you love being the proud owner of truly unique home décor, look no further. Craft by Two, started by Luisa and Saeid Momtahan create gorgeous handmade rustic pieces for your home, all of which are one off products. So if individuality is your thing, make sure you don’t miss these two.

Craft by two

My Little Mantra Jewellery

This independently run company started by self proclaimed Dubai gypsy Candace Martins sells delightful handmade products such as mala beads and dream catchers to promote the ever trendy, feel good bohemian style.  Seekers of spirituality, this one’s for you.


AutoMoto X

Automoto X caters to every petrolhead’s desires, offering customization and modification for all parts of your car or motorcycle. Whether it’s a fresh new body kit, or a hot new sound system, the passionate guys behind Automoto X know how to get it done.

AKIN Barber & Shop

The ultimate in hipster grooming, AKIN offers hair cuts, beard trims and straight razor shaves. Fellas, come to the Handmade Festival hairy.


June 6
Capital D Studio, 45 6b street, Dubai, Sat 1pm to 6pm.  facebook.com/deusarabia