In Dubai, carpet worth $2.2 million, Kashmiri craft steal limelight

Dubai, Jan 16 (IANS) Imagine a carpet with a colour palette of 173 colours and 1 kg of gold! Priced at a whopping $2.2 million, this marvel from Iran is a key attraction at an ongoing Carpet and Art Oasis here as part of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) 2016, where carpets from Kashmir and Agra have caught the eye of visitors.

The exhibit, which also showcases works from Pakistan, Afghanistan and China, is one of the longest-running attractions of the annual extravaganza DSF. There’s a treasure trove of exquisite handmade silk and woollen carpets at the shopping gala, where tourists and visitors from around the globe come to get the best deals and have a one-of-a-kind experience in terms of entertainment too.

Amir Ghanbarinia of Iran’s brand Heritage Carpet, which proudly flaunted the $2.2 million carpet, told this visiting IANS correspondent: “It is made of 1 kg of gold along with 173 different colours. The carpet took seven years to be made with eight people working daily for eight hours.”

However, this one-of-a-kind carpet, that one would think multiple times before walking on, is not for sale.

The second costliest carpet at the exhibition is from Kashmir’s Asia Pearl Carpet Trading L.L.C. It’s worth Rs.15.3 lakh (approximately $22,570).

“Foreigners love carpets made in India and this is the reason why after Iran, the carpet made in Kashmir is the costliest one here. Also, the international customers are in love with gold and stone-embedded carpets made in Agra,” said a representative of the brand, adding that the Indian government must support its carpet traders.

“If the Indian government can promote brands like us to participate in international carpet exhibitions, then why are they not doing something for us in our own country? If they will give us a subsidy in rates and spaces for stalls, then we can be number one as a carpet industry one day.

“I am saying this because the colour of silk carpets made in Kashmir never fades away,” the spokesperson said.

Interestingly, some carpets from India adorn the floors of the Burj Al Arab, the only seven-star property here.

Meanwhile, Carpet and Art Oasis, happening at the World Trade Center here, is attracting a lot of Indian customers. It was, in fact, surprising to see a carpet with a photograph of Bollywood actress and former Miss World Aishwarya Rai Bachchan! One really wondered who would walk on a carpet with a face, that’s considered by many as among the most beautiful in the world.

DSF 2016, which is adding more charm to the luxury shopping experience and lively nightlife scene that Dubai is known for, will conclude on February 1.

(Nivedita’s visit to the UAE is at the invitation of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. She can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)

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