E-Issue 07 –– AUH
Winter 2023-24

January 29th, 2024

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in Abu Dhabi/Dubai
  3. Cover Interview: Shaikha Al Ketbi on Darawan
  4. Rapport: Public Art in the Gulf and a Case Study of Manar Abu Dhabi
  5. Hashel Al Lamki’s Survey Exhibition Maqam Reflects on a Decade of Practice in Abu Dhabi
  6. “You Can’t Stand on a Movement”: Michelangelo Pistoletto Interviews Benton Interviewing Pistoletto

Winter/Spring 2024

About ––

    What We Do
    Editorial Board

Interviews ––

    Selected Archive

Open Call ––

    E-08 Seoul

Newsletter ––

Chronological Archive ––

    Selected Archive

Artist Interview November 18th, 2016
AUH Raed Yassin in Abu Dhabi

Editorial March 1st, 2018
AUH Abu Dhabi Is The New Calabasas

Exhibition Listing May 22nd, 2018
DXB Christopher Benton: If We Don't Reclaim Our History, The Sand Will

Artist Interview June 15th, 2018
TYO An Interview with BIEN, a Rising Japanese Artist

Artist Interview July 17th, 2018
TYO Rintaro Fuse on Selfies and Cave Painting

Artist Interview August 28th, 2018
BER Slavs and Tatars: “Pulling a Thread to Undo The Sweater”

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
NYC Shirin Neshat In Conversation with Sophie Arni and Ev Zverev

Artist Interview September 1st, 2018
PAR Hottest Spices: Michèle Lamy

E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB
Summer 2020

August 1st, 2020

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

Fall/Winter 2020-21

Artist Interview August 23rd, 2020
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism

Artist Interview August 24th, 2020
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space

Artist Interview August 26th, 2020
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations

Market Interview August 28th, 2020
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting

Exhibition September 1st, 2020
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi

Market Interview September 4th, 2020
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’

Artist Interview September 7th, 2020
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear

Artist Interview September 10th, 2020
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia

Curator Interview September 14th, 2020
UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community

Exhibition Review September 24th, 2020
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

Artist Interview September 27th, 2020
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh

Market Interview October 14th, 2021
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers

Exhibition Review October 19th, 2020
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?

Exhibition October 22nd, 2020
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ

Exhibition Review October 22nd, 2020
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE

Book Review October 28th, 2020
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus

Exhibition Review November 13th, 2020
Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre

Exhibition Review November 16th, 2021
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye

Exhibition Review November 19th, 2020
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020

Exhibition Review November 21st, 2020
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue

Exhibition Review
November 23rd, 2020

AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421

Exhibition Review December 9th, 2020
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer

Curator Interview January 25th, 2021
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists

Exhibition Review February 21st, 2021
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists  

🎙️GAD Talk Series –– Season 1 2020

November 1st, 2020
1. What is Global Art Daily? 2015 to Now

November 16th, 2020
2. Where is Global Art Daily? An Open Coversation on Migration as Art Practitioners

November 29th, 2020
3. When the Youth Takes Over: Reflecting on the 2020 Jameel Arts Centre Youth Takeover

December 20th, 2020
4. Young Curators in Tokyo: The Making of The 5th Floor

January 27th, 2021
5. How To Create Digital Networks in The Art World?

E-Issue 02 –– NYC
Spring 2021

February 21st, 2021

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

Spring/Summer 2021

Exhibition Review March 3rd, 2021
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

Exhibition Review March 7th, 2021
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421

Curator Interview March 21st, 2021
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition March 28th, 2021
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks

Exhibition Review April 1st, 2021
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows

Exhibition Review April 5th, 2021
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes

Exhibition April 16th, 2021
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy

Artist Interview April 26th, 2021
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto

Exhibition Review April 27th, 2021
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel

Artist Interview April 28th, 2021
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited

Exhibition May 9th, 2021
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London

Artist Interview May 11th, 2021
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity

Curator Interview May 20th, 2021
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre

Market Interview May 26th, 2021
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age

Exhibition June 11th, 2021
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor

Exhibiton Review June 20th, 2021
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421

Artist Interview June 30th, 2021
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka

Exhibition Review August 9th, 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections

E-Issue 03 ––TYO
Fall 2021

October 1st, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

Fall/Winter 2021-22

Market Interview October 6th, 2021
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance

Exhibition October 7th, 2021
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity

Curator Interview October 15th, 2021
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation

Exhibition Review October 16th, 2021
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421

Exhibition Review February 11th, 2022

Artist Interview February 26th, 2022
TYO Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project

Artist Interview March 10th, 2022
DXB Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022

Exhibition March 11th, 2022
DXB Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022

Exhibition Review March 14th, 2022
DXB Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?

E-Issue 04 –– IST
Spring 2022

March 15th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

Spring/Summer 2022

Curator Interview March 21st, 2022

Market Interview March 28th, 2022
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

Exhibition April 23rd, 2022
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall

Exhibition May 6th, 2022
Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”

Artist Interview May 13th, 2022
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Artist Interview June 13th, 2022
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation

Exhibition June 21st, 2022
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis

Exhibition June 27th, 2022
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks

Curator Interview July 9th, 2022
IST Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS

E-Issue 05 –– VCE
Fall 2022

September 5th, 2022

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

Fall/Winter 2022-23

Market Interview June 28th, 2022
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe

Exhibition November 11th, 2022
“Atami Blues” Brings Together UAE-Based and Japanese Artists in HOTEL ACAO ANNEX

Exhibition December 2nd, 2022
TYO Wetland Lab Proposes Sustainable Cement Alternative in Tokyo

Artist Interview December 9th, 2022
DXB Navjot Altaf Unpacks Eco-Feminism and Post-Pandemic Reality at Ishara Art Foundation

Artist Interview January 8th, 2023
TYO Shu Yonezawa and the Art of Animation

Artist Interview January 19th, 2023
NYC Reflecting on Her Southwestern Chinese Bai Roots, Peishan Huang Captures Human Traces on Objects and Spaces

Exhibition Review February 9th, 2023
DXB Augustine Paredes Builds His Paradise Home at Gulf Photo Plus

Artist Interview February 22nd, 2023
DXB Persia Beheshti Shares Thoughts on Virtual Worlds and the State of Video Art in Dubai Ahead of Her Screening at Bayt Al Mamzar

E-Issue 06 –– DXB/SHJ
Spring 2023

April 12th, 2023

  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Jumairy
  4. Rapport: Art Dubai 2023
  5. Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 15
  6. Is Time Just an Illusion? A Review of "Notations on Time" at Ishara Art Foundation
  7. Saif Mhaisen and His Community at Bayt AlMamzar

DXB Christopher Joshua Benton to Debut Mubeen, City as Archive at The Third Line Shop in Collaboration with Global Art Daily

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Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models

By Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board

Published on March 28, 2022


        There are few instances in human history where a collective vision has materialized in such a robust and dynamic way as in Dubai. The city has become over the course of this quarter-century a byword for futurism, but also a place where visions of tomorrow can be experienced today. With the recent opening of the Museum of the Future in Dubai’s iconic financial center (DIFC), a brainchild of the Dubai Future Foundation and architect Shaun Killa, of Killa Design, the museum opened on February 22, 2022 with a permanent exhibition “human technology and creative thinking.” Located next to Emirates Towers, a landmark of Dubai’s skyscrapers horizon and historic tower completed in 1999, the Museum of Future stands as a visual representation of a larger phenomenon: the focus on constructing Dubai as an aggregation-city, one where masterpiece architectural prowesses meets masterplans, with an eternal push towards a better future. 

“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it.”

- HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

1. Museum of the Future model by 3dr Models. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

To understand Dubai’s global impact on 21st-century architecture, it is important to note the regional context from which this city has emerged. Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates at large, have played a crucial role in injecting economic drive and a sense of futurism in the whole Middle East since the 1980s, but especially since the 2000s. Many leading architects and urban developers from the Levant, Egypt, and the Gulf, have flocked to the UAE to realize their utmost dream: constructing a city that would showcase Arab identity with truly international visibility. As a microcosm of futuristic architecture, Dubai emerged as a hub for the best-and-tallest towers. The Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and Palm Jumeirah might resonate globally as images of Dubai, but their visual impact can be said to represent much of the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East at-large in the minds of many tourists worldwide. This feeling of hope, drive, and endless possibilities is best exemplified by the quote of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, prominently featured at the entrance of the Museum of the Future: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it.” This same quote is indeed sculpted in Arabic calligraphy on the facade of the Museum of the Future, a majestic vision that can be best appreciated at night. This building is indeed another example of anchoring Dubai’s futuristic vision in the tradition of the Arabic language –  a monument to celebrate the successes of this region for the world to see.

We sat down with Founder and CEO of 3dr Models, Dani Antoun Bterrani. Mr. Bterrani is at the head of the largest model-making company in the world since 3dr Models’ merger with China-based company RJ Models. With a studio and offices located in Al Quoz, Mr. Bterrani oversees the construction of models that are used at all stages of Dubai’s architectural processes: from initial ideas to client pitches, to public reveals, and sales centers exhibitions. With a client base that spans the biggest names of Dubai’s real-estate developers and a team of 650 model-making technicians worldwide, Mr. Bterrani has seen the city develop under a microscope since 1989, the year he founded 3dr Models. We had the opportunity to ask him about his vision of Dubai’s architecture, the relationship between model-making and architecture, and the favorite model project he has ever worked on.

2. Portrait of Dani Antoun Bterrani, CEO of 3dr Models. Courtesy of 3dr Models.

Dubai is truly a heaven for architects.

- Dani Antoun Bterrani, CEO of 3dr Models

Global Art Daily: As CEO of 3dr Models, what does it mean to be surrounded by the images of the future? What does it do? How do models help us project ourselves into a space that doesn’t exist yet?

Dani Antoun Bterrani: One of the best architects in the world, Norman Foster, spoke about model-makers. “You have to start your vision as an architect at the model shop,” he said in one of his talks. Only when you build a model can you have an entire, 360-vision of the building’s superstructure and its relationship to its immediate environment.

As a model-maker, the beauty of our job is that we see what is in the pipeline for tomorrow. We know about major projects before they are built. I cannot disclose a lot, but I can say that what you have seen so far of Dubai is only 10% of what this city has in mind.

I cannot disclose a lot, but I can say that what you have seen so far of Dubai is only 10% of what this city has in mind.

The slowdown in real-estate development might be felt by some people, but this is part of the city’s long-term vision. The buildings they have planned require better construction technology. Take Zaha Hadid for example, the technology was not there when she first started to draw her signature curved architecture. But now, it is. Our architects and city planners are waiting for the technology to appear, but the ideas are already there.

I personally feel that, compared to other cities of the MENA region, Dubai is 20 years ahead of everyone else. Other cities will need another 20 years to reach what Dubai’s skyline looks like today.

3. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

Other cities [in the MENA region] will need another 20 years to reach what Dubai’s skyline looks like today.

GAD: 3dr Models constructed the model for the Museum of the Future. Do you think this building is a true reflection of Dubai’s story?

D.A.B.: What Dubai has offered cannot be compared to any other city in the world. Dubai’s architectural boom emerged because [this city’s leadership] only hired the best of the best. The instruction from the rulers has always been simple: “don’t interfere.” This is what made the city look like what it is today: monumental, majestic, chic, and globally acclaimed. When architects wanted to build iconic buildings, the rulers did not interfere. They let them create. That sense of total trust freed their minds to create truly special structures.

The instruction from the rulers has always been simple: “don’t interfere.”

As a model-maker, I tend to work with the same famous architects who have multiple projects in different parts of the world. They all agree that their projects look much better in Dubai than anywhere else. In other cities, where authorities might interfere, turning them more into draftsmen, hired to execute a vision, rather the true artist-architects that they are. Dubai is an architectural playground. This has never happened in the history of the world. Dubai is truly a heaven for architects.

4. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

As a model-maker, I tend to work with the same famous architects who have multiple projects in different parts of the world. They all agree that their projects look much better in Dubai than anywhere else.

GAD: After client presentations, are 3dr Models exhibited or stored in warehouse facilities? Do you find it important to keep the 3D models, and would you ever consider making an exhibition of your models’ collection?

D.A.B.: We have three warehouses, full of storage facilities for models. They are all air-conditioned, numbered, and categorized for each client. The normal lifespan of a model depends on whether they are made for His Highness or for our real estate developers' clients. If a model is rejected at the stage of idealization, its life cycle ends. But if it is approved, it later goes to our clients’ sale centers for usually for 2 years – until they sell the project. After that, they tend to store the models.

Here at our offices, we tend to keep sentimental models. Zaha Hadid’s beautiful projects for example – many memories emerge from looking at a model.

5. Top: The Opus by Omniyat, designed by Zaha Hadid. Model by 3dr Models. Image courtesy of 3dr Models. Bottom: Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympics stadium, model by 3DR Models. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

GAD: What is not shown in a model? More specifically, what can a model not account for? How do you manage these limitations and constraints, and how does the model develop over the course of a project’s life from initial idea to launch?

D.A.B.: I always set myself new challenges and new goals to produce the best models. I tend to push limits. I was the first one to light up cars and buildings for example. I got that inspiration from looking out the window of an airplane, cruising down Dubai at night.

To people to say that digital renders are nicer to look at than 3D models, I strive to prove them wrong. Thanks to an incredible focus on detail, including interiors of buildings, decorations, figurines, and cars, models are often more pleasant to look at than digital rendering. For me, lighting is the most important aspect. You can make something look incredibly powerful thanks to dramatic lighting. I see it as a domino effect.

To people to say that digital renders are nicer to look at than 3D models, I strive to prove them wrong.

Normally, people look at an upcoming project from a bird’s eye view perspective. But we wanted to go down to the street level. When the building is at completion, you don’t look at it from the top-down. You experience it from the bottom up. Because we place our models at eye’s level and sometimes enlarge the scale from 1-500 to 1-300, we offer architects another way to experience their plans and drawings.

6. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

GAD: What was your favorite project you ever worked on?

D.A.B.: Personally, I would have to say Hatta [exclave of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, high in the Hajar Mountains and south of Dubai]. What is coming up in Hatta is something really, really interesting. We built a huge model for it.

In Dubai, we lacked this concept of the countryside. Usually, where I come from, next to a large city is the countryside, where people might go to on weekends and enjoy a slower pace of life, surrounded by farms, lakes, and greenery. Hatta gave us the countryside. It was envisioned and designed to be a getaway from Dubai’s busy bustle. It truly is a unique project, that will add real value to our lifestyles.

What is coming up in Hatta is something really, really interesting. We built a huge model for it.

I also have to mention the Museum of the Future, which we have worked on from the very start. We started at the pre-concept stage 7 years ago. It is a blessing to see it come to life today.

Dubai Harbor is a very unique project as well. What you see is only a fraction of what the entire project will end up looking like.

Finally, JBR [Jumeirah Beach Residence, a 1.7 kilometres long, 2 square kilometres waterfront community and residential development containing 40 towers]. I remember JBR when it used to be a parking lot. His Highness directly went there and said we could not make a parking lot right on the beach. This had to be developed, it is a prime location. They came to us to make the model.

7. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

Learn more about 3dr Models here
Follow 3dr Models on Instagram

3dr Models, established in 1989 by Lebanese national Dani Antoun Bterrani, specializes in all kinds of miniature models (Architectural, Mechanical, Marine and Industrial models) as well as transportation, modification and storage. 3dr Models currently have 18% of the world’s model making market, with over 400 professional model makers and a production of over 40 models per month. The company has set foot on more than 30 countries and over 70 cities in almost every region of the world including Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. Some of the big projects 3dr Models designed are models for Hong Kong & Beijing Airport, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, One World Trade Center Tower in New York City, and Egypt's plans for a new capital city.

Learn more about Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board here
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This article was supported by 3dr Models.

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