Saturday, May 9, 2009

Dubai's Giant Storyteller Statue

A recent design competition for an emblematic design for one of Dubai's parks was held and the winner was a proposal to build a giant statue/tower over the park of a hakawati (or "storyteller"). The hakawati statue would move his arms and head and tell stories ala the 1001 Nights and small speakers around the park would broadcast the stories. The statue would be large enough to have an elevator and people could go to the top and see Dubai.

Dubai is still pushing the "bold" limits. Thank you!

I've pasted the article below from:

Also more info at this blog:

visiondivision: al hakawati (the storyteller), dubai

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai
image courtesy visiondivision

the thyssenkrupp elevator award was a competition which asked architects to develop
an iconic tall emblem structure for zaabeel park in dubai.

for their proposal visiondivision designed a statue based around al hakawati - a storyteller, whose profession that goes way back in ancient arabic times and still is performed in the arabic world today. the statue will be a home of stories; a children’s library in its base and various spaces for performance and reading inside of the statue.

in every part of the park, small speakers will be set up so people can gather around them and listen to the statue when he recites stories; perhaps great legends from one thousand and one night, historical anecdotes from the city itself and future speculations, all this performed with an animated body language.

the statue
the walls in the base are stairs on the outside which leads to the platform where the storyteller begins to rise. windows punctuates various stairs for a bright indoor environment without any direct sunlight. the statue also has big rooms inside of it for reading,relaxing and other social activities. each big room has its own theme, be it a gold room, a crystal cavern, a green room or a room full of fish tanks, or the night views of dubai.


  1. I think that the statue should look like Rex Ingram's genie from the 1940 version of The Thief of Bagdad.

  2. Indeed... at the very least he should have some clothes on though?