Fresh from hosting the Global Art Forum at Art Dubai and a discussion at the Sikka Art Fair in Bastakiya, journalist and gallery producer Simone Sebastian joins our Satellite Voices Dubai City Editor team alongside co-editor and fashion and beauty writer, Kate Hazell. This is our new cultural platform created by independent editors across the globe, exploring the creative cultural revolutions in these unique cities that deserve the world’s attention. Brought to you by Dazed and Swatch, the site supports the very best in fashion, music, art, film and photography from a local perspective, with global inspirations.
Dazed Digital: What’s your occupation?
Kate Hazell: I’m currently the senior fashion and beauty writer on Harpers Bazaar Arabia magazine.
Simone Sebastian: By day, I produce art and culture events in and around Dubai. By night, I listen (or dance) to music in dimly lit rooms.
DD: What inspires you about the area that you live and work in?
Kate Hazell: There seems to be no limit as to what’s possible in Dubai, it’s a very exciting city to live in. The landscape changes day to day as new buildings pop up and there’s definitely an optimistic and ambitious feel to the city. Anyone can become anything here; it really is the city of dreams.
Simone Sebastian: The coffee place that delivers my double shot latte every morning.
DD: What is your favourite hidden city spot and why?
Kate Hazell: I love the XVA Gallery in the Bastikiya, which is located in the old part of Dubai. It’s hidden among cool, sheltered walkways and features some of the most exciting regional artists. But the best part is that it feels a million miles away from the bustle of the city and is always calmingly quiet.
Simone Sebastian: Al Quoz is an industrial area in Dubai, but in recent years it has become the dusty home of most of the city's art galleries. Whenever I'm visiting a snooty, polished art space, I love to look over the wall, or through the back window to see what kind of unfinished space sits next door.
DD: What can you find in your city that you cant get anywhere else?
Kate Hazell: Banks, paying bills at the local water and electricity authority and even pharmacies have drive-through services. How convenient (or lazy, I can’t decide which!) is that?
Simone Sebastian: A Media City, an Internet City and a Knowledge Village - all within a few minutes each other. Also, indoor skiing, man-made islands, and a pretty tall building.
DD: How would you describe your personal style?
Kate Hazell: Although everyone assumes it’s boiling all year round here which calls for the coolest outfits possible, everywhere is air conditioned to the max so my work wear revolves around semi-warm clothing. As I was born and bred in London, I’m still very inspired by the street style there so I currently live in loafers, denim and blouses. I’d describe my style as masculine with a feminine, hippy touch.
Simone Sebastian: Manic.
DD: What’s next?
Simone Sebastian: I’m DJing at a friend’s art opening tonight, which should be funny because I don’t DJ.