Jameel Faisal with the plants grown by him Image Credit: XPRESS/Arshad Ali

Dubai: The creations of people with special needs will be displayed at a fair at Dubai Garden Centre on Shaikh Zayed Road this Saturday.

A CSR initiative of the landscaping firm Desert Group, the Enable Market Fair is aimed at recognising the works of special needs artists and giving them a platform to showcase their talent.

“Keeping in line with Dubai’s Strategy for Expo 2020 we want to bring people with mental and physical disabilities into the mainstream,” explained Desert Group’s general manager Reem Al Ghaith

“At the fair you will see special needs students selling paintings, jewellery and other art and craft products. They have also been involved in organising the event and pricing the products. We want to teach basic entrepreneurial skills to special needs students so they can learn to be independent.”

Emirati teen Jameel Faisal, 18, who is autistic and a student at Senses, a special needs centre, will be displaying indoor plants that he has grown at the centre. His surpervisor Nermila said Faisal’s enthusiasm for creative activities is to be seen to be believed. “He has been growing indoor plants and herbs at the centre and never tires of tending to them,” said Nermila.

Art of the matter

Vijyeta Nilesh Kumar, 34, a student at the SNF Development Centre will be selling paintings, candles, book marks and photo-frames.

“She is a slow learner but is a keen artist. She loves colours and painting keeps her engaged through the day. Vijyeta’s involvement in art and craft has helped improve her hand and eye coordination,” said her supervisor Devaangi. “From making art products to putting a price tag on them to learning how to market and sell, the fair promises to be a whole new experience for Vijyeta,” she added.

Ibrahim Ali of Desert Group said: “We want to take the efforts of students to the next level. Every day students visit various centres and learn new skills so we came up with the idea of hosting an Enable Market Fair. We want them to understand that their creations could be put to good use. It is not about making money. Instead it’s about teaching them some basic marketing skills. The event will also help people realise the potential of people with different abilities

Ali’s student Salah Essa Akqassab will be showing off his green fingers at the fair. “He is also a good artist and has taken to painting very well. He will be displaying his indoor plants and paintings on terrariums. When Salah joined our group, he was quite an aggressive boy. Through the years painting has sobered his personality.”

Where: Dubai Garden Centre, Shaikh Zayed Road

When: February 18, 10am-8pm