Network International encourages growing Emirati art scene

Published On : 31 October 2016

Network International, the leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa (MEA), today announced that it is offering its building façade as a unique platform for Emirati artists to showcase their talent.

Life sized reproductions of local artwork will be displayed on the colossal façade of the company’s headquarters in Al Barsha to highlight the creative portfolio of various Emirati artists. Najat Makki’s1 painting titled ‘Illuminant Figures’ is the first to be displayed in a series of many. The original painting is currently on display at Dubai’s Women’s Museum, the first of its kind in the Arab world that is recognised for representing the UAE’s history and heritage through art.

This unique initiative by a UAE-based company is a first for Dubai and will contribute to the UAE’s vibrant home-grown art scene. The company plans to collaborate with budding local artists and children with disabilities showcasing a new artwork on its building façade every three months. Network International will undertake all expenses related to photographing and reproducing the artwork and on occasion, will display the original piece in its office lobby to raise awareness on the artist.

Commenting on the initiative, Abdulla Qassem, Chairman of Network International said, “Integrating art into offices and public spaces not only offers impetus to local artists, but also creates wider access to art among the UAE community. As a UAE-based company, it is our honour and privilege to contribute to the UAE’s vibrant scene by supporting its local talent.”

Dr. Rafia Obaid Ghubash, founder of the Women’s Museum in Deira added, “The private sector plays a pivotal role in promoting the arts and I am delighted with Network International’s initiative in providing a public platform to local UAE artists and lending support to the Women’s Museum. The Museum was established to play tribute and showcase the UAE’s rich culture and history, especially the contributions of Emirati artists and we are pleased that this initiative will create increased awareness on the work of local artists.”

Network International is the largest acquirer in the UAE, and a leading payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, operating across 71 countries, servicing over 200 banks as clients and more than 70,000 merchants, following its recent acquisition of Emerging Markets Payments Holdings (EMPH). The company is jointly owned by Emirates NBD group and private equity firms, Warburg Pincus and General Atlantic. Network International recently revealed a brand new corporate identity and logo consolidating its status in the global payments industry.


1 Emirati artist Najat Makki is one of the foremost artists in the UAE. She is a member of a number of cultural and Fine Arts Institutions, including the Emirates Association for Fine Arts, the society of ’AIP’ for Fine Arts at UNESCO. In 1977, Makki was the first Emirati woman to be granted a government scholarship to study art abroad and she travelled to Cairo and obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in relief sculpture and metal. When she returned, she began working for the Ministry of Education conducting art workshops and teacher training and finally in 2000, she returned to Egypt to complete her doctorate in the philosophy of art.

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