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The Beauty of Trash: Dubai’s Breath of Fresh Air

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Banksy it isn’t! Still… I’m sure most of you living in Dubai have noticed the beautiful trashcans littered around the streets.

I don’t circulate much – my driving issues, remember? But I’ve seen them on Wasl Road, Jumeirah Beach Road and Sufouh for starters. The different flowers on the Dubai Municipality trashcans are a breath of fresh air. I found no reference to the project on the Municipality’s site. I emailed them with some questions but have had no reply yet.

There are many flowers depicted. I only caught the tulips, roses and hyacinths. The others are in places where it is more difficult to park the car.

One of the first things I noticed on arriving in Dubai six years ago was how spotless the city was. Because it is so clean, people are more reluctant to throw garbage in the streets, in shops, supermarkets or on mall floors. Unfortunately, recently I seen more people throwing out tissues and other things from their car windows, but I think if spotted by police, they would be fined.

Although not exactly “street art,” I find the trashcans part of beautifying the city, together with the planting schemes. Street Art is a very popular form of art that is spreading quickly all over the world — on buildings, sidewalks, street signs and trashcans. Street Art has become a global culture and even art museums and galleries are collecting the work of street artists. Some people deem it a crime and others think it is a very beautiful new form of culture. Art experts say the movement began in New York in the 1960s as graffiti.

I don’t know if the Dubai trashcans are painted or stenciled, who did them, how many there are, whether the project extends to other emirates… Many questions remain unanswered.Maybe the most valuable rubbish bins are Andy Warhol’s 1986 stitched photographs of “Trash Cans.”

If you have any more information about these bins, or other pictures, do share them. In the meantime, let’s continue to keep Dubai clean.

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