‘Thesiger’s experience and knowledge of the Arabian sands, its people, its tribal warfare and ancient history, its daily life and landscape, were unique – and will remain so, for the world he describes has since altered beyond recognition’ – quote from Arabian Sands… 

Long before glittering skyline shots dominated your Google image search, the UAE was a desert with Bedouins, camels and dhows – the simple life. One of the greatest travellers and explorers of the twentieth century, Sir Wilfred Thesiger has photographed and produced a huge collection of these such scenes. You may have spotted his photos at Al Ghubaiba Metro Station. But now, you can experience them in a whole new light at Art in Space – a gallery that bridges art and the digital world to create a unique immersive sensory experience.

Wilfred Thesiger

The Year of Wilfred Thesiger is a digital exhibition held over two days in May showcasing Sir Wilfred Thesiger’s striking black-and-white photographs. The images will be taking over the circular walls of Art in Space surrounding visitors showcasing tales of Thesiger’s Arabian journey. Paired with Arabian tunes and music, guests will truly teleport back in time to Thesiger’s world.

The exhibition will run for two days on Tuesday, May 14 (7pm onwards) and 15 (1pm to 9pm). It is free to attend on both days.

More about Sir Wilfred Thesiger

Wilfred Thesiger

Sir Wilfred Thesiger was born in 1910 at the British Legation in Addis Ababa. He was just 23 when he went on his first expedition to the country of the Danakil. His travels eventually led him to the Empty Quarter of Arabia and Oman after the Second World War.

Sir Wilfred Thesiger is most famous for his journeys in Arabia which he has eternalised through his photographs. During what Thesiger called his ‘five most memorable years’, he crossed the Empty Quarter twice (1946 to 1947 and 1947 to 1948) immortalising his journey through his photographs for years to come. He had accumulated over 5,000 images from his travels in Arabia, each strikingly powerful, showcasing a moving story of an idyllic past. 

Thesiger’s journeys won him the Founder’s Medal of the Royal Geographical Society, the Lawrence of Arabia Medal of the Royal Central Asian Society and the Burton Memorial Medal of the Royal Asiatic Society. His notable writing also earned him awards including the Heinemann Award and Fellowship of the Royal Society of Literature. He passed away in Surrey, England, in August 2003.

Want to read more about the life of Sir Wilfred Thesiger? You can purchase books on booksarabia.com

Art In Space

Art in Space

Located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Art in Space is one of the digital art spaces in the city.

The Art Room, where the exhibitions take place, is a multisensory immersive area which will stimulate the senses. Artists can create works of art here using video, audio, light effects and even aromas, fog and temperature.

You can stay up to date with the exhibitions at Art in Space here.

The Year of Wilfred Thesiger, Art in Space, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai, exhibition on May 14 (from 7pm) and 15 (from 1pm to 9pm), Tel: (0)4 458 0853. @artinspace.gallery

Images: Supplied by Motivate Media Group/Arabian Gallery