This year Cartier celebrated Ramadan with an exclusive Majlis concept that brought its community in the UAE together over the Holy Month.
Manama, a Majlis concept created in collaboration with renowned Emirati Architects and Urbanists, Ahmed and Rashid Bin Shabib was installed at iconic locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, the installation was hosted at the iconic Al Khazzan Park, while Abu Dhabi’s iteration took place at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the heart of the emirate’s cultural hub on Saadiyat Island.
Al Manama is the Arabic word meaning “a place to rest and sleep”. This modern take on the concept pays tribute to Cartier’s long-standing relationship with the UAE, dating back to Jacques Cartier’s first visit in 1912. This special tie has strengthened over the years and influenced the Maison’s creative design and stylistic development.
“I remember the first time I encountered the term Manama was through my grandmother, who mentioned that during her day living in Shindigha the only way to survive the harsh summer is to sleep in an elevated structure that was considered a central pavilion within the courtyard of the house called Al-Manamah. This structure, although historic today, has very little remanence. It is through these small architectural, artefactual interventions that shape much of the vernacular of the city’s identity,” said Rashid Bin Shabib.
“At Cartier, we treasure the sense of community and togetherness and take pride in celebrating key moments of local relevance. It is our way of expressing our gratitude to this inspiring region and the enduring relationships we have built here,” explained Caroline Dumont Frotiee, Managing Director of Cartier UAE.
“This year, we really wanted to develop a unique, creative yet locally relevant and meaningful concept. This is how the idea of a reimagined Majlis, through Al Manama, came to life. Having worked with the Bin Shabib Brothers for several years, they were an obvious partner for us to jointly bring this to life,” she added.
Guests to both Majlis spaces were presented with a retrospective of presentation of Cartier’s journey in the region through a series of archival videos. When entering the courtyard they found a display of local and traditional crafts, including a 12 meter long Misbah, created in collaboration with Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council.
“Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is an embodiment of resilience — of both the UAE’s local craftswomen and the crafts they practice. We are delighted to see the result of yet another successful artistic collaboration with our longstanding partner, Cartier, manifested in the awe-inspiring decoration of the space with original craft creations of female artisans working with Irthi,” said Reem BinKaram, Director of NAMA Women Advancement (NAMA). “Our mission at the Council is to empower women practicing national crafts whilst preserving our cultural heritage by adding new, exciting dimensions to it through alliances with likeminded entities such as Cartier, who appreciate artisanship and are keenly dedicated to finding new ways to sustain their traditions and the planet.”
Cartier’s Ramadan film “Togetherness is a Jewel” was also on display as guests joined this cultural experience.