What’s On has stunning images of sand murals in Dubai painted by Filipino artist Nathaniel Alapide. 

Dubai canvas project
UAE from space

Meet Filipino artist Nathaniel Alapide. He designs incredible beach murals using a rake to etch designs onto the sand during the low tide.

Nathaniel Alapide

Using the beach as his enormous canvas and metal rakes as his brushes, Alapide creates large, eye-catching sand art featuring some of Dubai’s iconic landmarks. He also creates geometric, floral and marine patterns across the sand. Using his whole body to navigate his tools across the beach, Alapide is able to transform Dubai’s coastline into one of his giant paintings.

‘I am a self taught artist and I have been living in this beautiful city for over 10 years now,’ he tells What’s On. ‘When I was 8 years old, my father brought home an art book which contained works of artist’s like Picasso, Monet and Degas. I immediately got a paper and a pencil and started to copy the art works in it. From that moment I have never stopped creating.’

Nathaniel, who works as a marine specialist at the aquarium at Atlantis The Palm, can usually be found in the early mornings at kite beach in the shadows of the Burj Al Arab creating his stunning murals.

‘When I do my sand art my whole body is working together to create a single stroke on the sand and if I keep doing that for a couple of hours it becomes meditative for me; my mind becomes clear and it’s a great feeling.’

Here’s a few of Nathaniel’s greatest works so far… 

‘For this I did not use a sketch as reference for the design; I just went for it and did what I felt like doing. A couple who were on the beach taking their wedding photos asked if they could use it. I was delighted.’

sand murals Fish, Buildings, Bride

‘I am always experimenting and this is my attempt at creating an image of the Arabian horse. It took me an hour to make.’

sand murals Horse

‘This is a mural of the Atlantis Hotel where I work. It took me 30 minutes.’

sand murals Atlantis, The Palm

‘This was my first attempt to draw the skyline of Dubai and it took my almost three hours to create.’

sand murals Dubai Skyline

‘The fish that I am taking care of was the inspiration for this piece.’

sand murals Tribal Fish

‘I made this tree to honour my grandmother. Like a tree, she gave us shade when my brothers and sisters were growing up. It took me four hours to make.’

sand murals Tree

‘This was my attempt to  draw a portrait of  Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.’

sand murals Ruler of Dubai

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