Fueled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s ambitious vision for Dubai 2040, which focuses on enhancing people’s happiness and quality of life, Mirage has dug deep into the past to look at the origins of this incredible UAE society, and decided to design and build an installation inspired by the ancient city of Mleiha and its excavated remain.

The installation's main objective was to illuminate the recent findings of the extraordinary architecture of the three-thousand-year-old city; Mleiha, with its communal hall or Majlis, its irrigation system better known as the Falaj and its fort, designed to protect it from its aggressors.

The architecture of the ancient city of Mleiha is the introduction to the understanding of its role in the world at that time, and the understanding of its people and their habits, their language, rituals, trade and commerce and their role in the art scene of that time.

For Dubai Design Week 2021, Mirage aspired to position itself centre stage to expose the incredible story of one of the oldest societies known to the region, born in the heart of the UAE with traces of human existence dating back a hundred thirty thousand years. What better way to tell that story than through the use of an innovative design merging technology, science and art all together?

Mirage’s avant-garde technology and innovative products are the ideal medium for this exercise. Each piece of natural material borrowed from the earth is used empathetically in a design with total respect of nature, in a 99% recyclable installation, to perpetuate one the most beautiful stories of the region revealed by the remains excavated at Mleiha.

This year, the United Arab Emirates celebrates harmony, compassion, and balance through design. The intense focus on sustainable urban development reinforces Dubai as an ever-flourishing destination that considers the overall well-being of its residents and visitors for now and the next 20 years to come. The Mleiha installation was impressive, playful and multi-faceted. The large sculpture displayed many dynamic layers which encourage engagement and dialogue with its audience. With this installation, we recognized the greater significance of the delicate relationships of art, design and the human spirit. The community vision, the nod to history and the empathetic nature of Dubai 2040 bring people together to create compassionate conversations and witness faces light up with heartfelt joy.