Down to Earth

Down to Earth is a new annual event celebrating all things green with Dubai’s growing community of gardeners, green-fingered enthusiasts, the eco-conscious and sustainability-aware. Taking place on December 12, 2020, Down to Earth is a first-of-its-kind day-long event featuring an accessible range of entertaining, educational activities for all ages.

Carefully curated and free to all, Down to Earth takes place outdoors in the Jameel Arts Centre gardens and Sculpture Park, and includes:

Workshops, demos and information stalls for children, teens and adults and covering topics such as garden-growing, potting, composting, flower arranging, forest-making and more.

A curated green bazaar featuring everything one needs to grow, nurture and accessorise a broad variety of indoor and outdoor gardens, plus related eco-conscious and sustainability-aware gifts and products.

Talks and guided tours: botanist- and curator-led guided tours of the Jameel Arts Centre’s desert and artist’s gardens, plus talks by regional specialists and expert hobbyists on sustainability, self-sufficiency, gardening and more.

Food vendors for light bites and refreshments as well as designated picnic areas across the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park.

Plus: giveaways, games and storytelling experiences for children and adults that are open and free for all.

Jameel Arts Centre offers thanks to its partners: Big Farm Brothers, Dubai Holding, Dubai Municipality, Emirates Bio Farm, Emirates Soil Museum, Goumbook, Lemon Tree Trust, Mangroves 4 Mankind, Meet the Locals and the Ministry of Climate Change & Environment.

Pre-registration is required as slots will be reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis. Down to Earth is a free event open to all with limited capacity. Book your two-hour Down to Earth slot here and present your registration confirmation upon your arrival. Limited-capacity workshops require separate registration. See full schedule below:

EARLY BIRDS 10am-12pm

Adult workshop: From Naturescape to Tablescape, 10:00-11:15am, Project Space|Find inspiration with Anoud Alzaben using fruits, vegetables and shrubbery to design your next seasonal tablescape to combine natural elements with artistry. FULLY BOOKED. 

Live reading, 10:30-11:00am, Amphitheatre| Join the Emirates Soil Museum and Water Alliance UAE for the launch and live reading of their illustrated book, Cory’s Adventures: the Mystery of the Disappearing Soil, featuring its young authors. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 5+)

Desert garden tour (English), 10:30-11:00am, Lobby | Stroll through the Jameel’s 7 desert courtyard gardens with a specialist from The Sia Garden. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 10+)

Children’s workshop: Sketch your own forest, 10:30-11:30am, Creekside Colonnade |Inspired by Sunoj D and Namrata Neog’s Artist Garden, kids will learn to sketch their own forest and animals. Limited capacity. WAITLIST ONLY. 

CACTI 12-2pm

Artist’s Garden Tour (English), 12:00-12:30pm, Lobby |Join Nadine Elkhoury, of the Art Jameel curatorial team, in exploring the unique history of the UAE’s plant ecology and nutritional habits through this year’s garden commission, Desert is a Forest. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 10+)

Children’s workshop: Create a postcard!, 12:30-1:30pm, Creekside Colonnade|Inspired by the Jameel’s gardens, children will use crayons to create colourful impressions of leaves on postcards they can dedicate to loved ones. Limited capacity. WAITLIST ONLY. (Ages 6-13)

Children’s workshop: Make your own painting with soil and spices!, 12:30-1:30pm, Project Space|Drop in to create your very own canvas with sand, soil and spices with the Emirates Soil Museum. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Ages 6-13)

Desert garden tour (English), 1:00-1:30pm, Lobby | Stroll through the Jameel’s 7 desert courtyard gardens with a specialist from The Sia Garden. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 10+)

Small Talk: Organic Farming in the UAE with Yazen Al Kodmani, 1:30-1:45pm, Amphitheatre| Take a closer look at what it takes to run the UAE’s largest private organic farm, Emirates Bio Farm. Drop-ins welcome. 

SUNFLOWERS 2-4pm

Small Talk: Mangrove Conservation with Ahlam Bolooki, 2:00-2:15pm, Amphitheatre| The co-founder of Mangroves 4 Mankind and Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature shares how we can combat climate change by conserving and restoring mangrove ecosystems in every possible coastal city around the world. Drop-ins welcome.

Artist’s Garden Tour (Arabic), 2:00-2:30pm, Lobby |Join Nadine Elkhoury, of the Art Jameel curatorial team, in exploring the unique history of the UAE’s plant ecology and nutritional habits through this year’s garden commission, Desert is a Forest. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 10+)

Small Talk: The significance of the Ghaf Tree with Tatiana Antonelli Abella, 2:30-2:45pm, Amphitheatre, The founder and managing director of Goumbook explains the importance of indigenous plants such as ghaf trees and aims to raise awareness to inspire you to make a change. Drop-ins welcome.

Children’s Treasure Hunt, 2:30-3:30pm, Lobby | Exploration meets education with this fun adventure that challenges children by presenting them with four riddles to solve together and find the hidden treasure! Limited capacity. FULLY BOOKED. (Ages 6-13)

Adult workshop: From Naturescape to Tablescape, 2:30-3:45pm, Project Space|Find inspiration with Anoud Alzaben using fruits, vegetables and shrubbery to design your next seasonal tablescape to combine natural elements with artistry. FULLY BOOKED. 

Performance: Once Upon a Garden, 3:30-4:00pm, Roof Terrace  Get transported through time and space as storyteller and actress Paola Balbi from The Storytelling Company enchants you with folktales and legends for all ages.  Limited capacity, almost full. Register here. (Age 5+)

Adult Workshop: Garden Sketch, 3:30-5:30pm, Lobby |Meet fellow creatives and put pen to paper to observe your surroundings and sketch the Jameel’s gardens and Park, share your work and engage in a critique session with  Dubai’s chapter of Urban Sketchers.  Limited capacity. Register here. (Age 15+)

Children’s Treasure Hunt, 3:30-4:30pm, Lobby | Exploration meets education with this fun adventure that challenges children by presenting them with four riddles to solve together and find the hidden treasure! Limited capacity. FULLY BOOKED. (Ages 6-13)

Critique Session: Garden Sketch, 5:30-6:00pm, Gallery 9 |Pop in to observe sketchers sharing feedback after their drawing sessions in the Jameel’s gardens. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (All ages)

HUMMINGBIRDS 4-6pm

Artist’s Garden Tour (English), 4:00-4:30pm, Lobby |Join Nadine Elkhoury, of the Art Jameel curatorial team, in exploring the unique history of the UAE’s plant ecology and nutritional habits through this year’s garden commission, Desert is a Forest. Limited capacity. Drop-ins welcome. (Age 10+)

Adult Workshop: Gardening for beginners, 4:00-5:00pm, Creekside Colonnade|Learn the ABCs of plants, roots and seeds in this beginner-friendly workshop led by Mohamed Aissaoui, the founder and CEO of Dubai’s ambitiously sustainable My Farm Dubai. Limited capacity. WAITLIST ONLY. (Age 16+)

Grow & Tell, 4:00-6:00pm, Amphitheatre|Eight of the greenest thumbs from across the UAE showcase their stories through a series of 5-7 minute presentations about their passion and how their home gardens came to be. Drop-ins welcome. (All ages) 

Performance: Once Upon a Garden, 4:30-5:00pm, Roof Terrace|Get transported through time and space as storyteller and actress Paola Balbi from The Storytelling Company enchants you with folktales and legends for all ages.  Limited capacity, almost full. Register here. (Age 5+)

Adult Workshop: Intro to Ikebana, 4:30-5:45pm, Project Space|Take a deep dive into the rich Japanese art of flower arranging with certified instructor Harue Oki as she guides you through the creation of your own arrangement. Fee: AED 275. Limited capacity. Register here.

Performance: Once Upon a Garden, 5:30-6:00pm, Roof Terrace|Get transported through time and space as storyteller and actress Paola Balbi from The Storytelling Company enchants you with folktales and legends for all ages.  Limited capacity, almost full. Register here. (Age 5+)

EVERGREENS (ALL DAY)

Green Bazaar, Shop for everything one needs to grow, nurture and accessorise a broad variety of indoor and outdoor gardens, plus related eco-conscious and sustainability-aware gifts and products

Gardener to Gardener Seed Appeal, Welcome Desk | Donate your seed packets to Lemon Tree Trust who will distribute them to refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan and help them sustain themselves through the pandemic. Edibles, annuals, biennials or perennials are welcome, as are pollinator plants. (All ages)

Bring your own picnic, Sculpture Park|Enjoy the lovely weather and views in designated physically distanced eating areas (All ages)

Jaddaf Community Garden, Creekside Colonnade|Join us as we launch a participatory project that invites local residents to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs and to connect around creating a shared sense of community alongside the creek in Jaddaf. (All ages)

Jameel Arts Centre exhibitions | See Artist’s Rooms by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Taysir Batniji and Larissa Sansour; installation by Lubna Chowdhary; Library Circles: Maryam Al Dabbagh; Artist’s Garden by Sunoj D and Namrata Neog and the UAE Designer Exhibition in collaboration with Dubai Design Week

Jameel Library | Besides a growing multimedia library collection featuring everything from books to artists’ files in English and Arabic, the Jameel Library has a dedicated display of publications for Down to Earth (All ages)

 

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