Good Morning, Dubai!

I got introduced to a creative and meaningful art project by the London-based artist, IMPREINT and I decided to participate. His impressive project called, PORTRAITS has been running for 11 months to date, with collaborations from various people from different cities around the globe.

What is Portraits?

Portraits was born after Impreint painted 1000 balloons a few years ago, and while painting them, he believed that the paintings were like people : all different, imperfect, yet all beautiful.

IMPREINT 204 of 1000
He started Portaits in December of 2013 and involved the people in his art in a very uplifting way, unifying the people around the world with a simple concept.

A balloon. A person. A place. When all put together seemed different, imperfect, yet all beautiful! Being a Filipino expat in Dubai, I feel so honored, pleased and excited to participate and be part of such positive endeavor, to highlight and feature beauty in diversities and imperfections.

So one weekend morning, I went to Bastakiya, in Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, wearing a ghutra and holding a green balloon. With a smile, I politely asked an old European lady who was also touring the Old Dubai, to take my picture for Portraits.
impreint Good morning Dubai
DocGelo with his green balloon at Al Bastakiya, Dubai, United Arab Emirates!

Why green balloon?

Of all colors, I chose green because it symbolizes life, abundance in nature, healing, health, renewal, most of all, hope!

Being a medical professional and for someone who’s presently trying to thrive in a new place and create a fresh and better life, I think the green color of balloon represents me perfectly. I believe the same goes with Dubai as our beloved emirate continuously offers promising opportunities and greener pasteurs in the middle of previously arid and vast desert.

Why Al Bastakiya?

I could’ve chosen the more iconic and touristy places that Dubai is famous for. I could’ve brought my feet again to Burj Khalifa with the fantastic dancing Dubai Fountain, or perhaps, revisited the inviting shores in Jumeirah Open Beach to catch the spectacular sunrise view of Burj Al Arab. However, I opted to go back to Al Bastakiya, located in Bur Dubai, just along the Dubai Creek and a stone’s throw away from the Dubai Museum.

Since I arrived in Dubai last February 2014 and started working and began to creating a new life in Dubai, one of the earliest places I’ve discovered and fell in loved with was Al Bastakiya. It’s the historic district in Dubai established in 1890s, that supported 60 housing units, mostly built with wind towers that are characteristically Arabic architecture. Bastakiya for me, is a reminder of Dubai’s origin, and what the emirate has become after years of evolution, improvement and achievements. Such humble place is a gem amidst soaring skyscrapers and future-forward cosmopolitan lifestyles.

I usually go to Bastakiya on weekends or holidays, or whenever I get a chance to unwind and simply stroll aimlessly in its narrow alleys. I find it so therapeutic and a breather after a long week at work or whenever I get tired of wandering inside Dubai’s massive malls. Just being there and sipping my favorite tea, savoring my favorite bowl of salad and thinking of nothing but being in the place and in the moment, soothes my restless soul.


Welcoming my weekend morning in the cobbled stone-alleys with a purpose, and ending it with a power  brunch at my favorite tea house.
My Saturday brunch! Exotic chicken salad, Blooming Jasmine Tea and Arabic bread.


Know more about the artist, Impreint and his project, Portraits through his website : and view more portraits by following his facebook page on



4 thoughts on “Good Morning, Dubai!

  1. what a worthwhile project. i can sympathize with your love for the place. i too enjoy a city’s old town and always manage to find it when i travel. i can see how relaxing the atmosphere is and how other worldly it is, like you’ve been transported to the early years.

    happy holidays doc.

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