Date set for new re­cruits

7 Days in Dubai - - SPECIAL REPORT - Shab­nam Bashiri. writes

os­sein Rez­vani is aim­ing to rev­o­lu­tionise the Per­sian rug in­dus­try by blend­ing tech­niques honed over thou­sands of years with modern tech­nol­ogy,

Born into an Ira­nian fam­ily in Ger­many, his busi­ness in­volves dig­i­tally de­sign­ing com­plex pat­terns then over­see­ing a team of Is­fa­han weavers who typ­i­cally spend seven months painstak­ingly work­ing to make the car­pets a re­al­ity.

7DAYS caught up with Rez­vani as he dis­played his lat­est col­lec­tion at the Iwan Mak­tabi gallery in Dubai Mall. Some of the col­lec­tion will also be on dis­play for sev­eral weeks at the Sal­sali Pri­vate Mu­seum in Al Quoz.

Rez­vani launched his brand in Dubai in 2009 with 19 car­pets and 25 weavers.

He now em­ploys more than 500 and pro­duces about 500 rugs ev­ery year.

He said: “We’ve taken the tra­di­tional Per­sian de­sign, and given it a con­tem­po­rary twist. You can still recog­nise that it’s Per­sian, it still has tra­di­tional el­e­ments,” said Rez­vani. “But there has to be in­no­va­tion in any field.”

He added: “Our car­pets are made with one mil­lion knots per sqm, so a two-by-three, six sqm car­pet is made by six mil­lion knots, by hand. That to me is re­ally unique, like a piece of art. “It’s fash­ion for floors.” De­spite the dig­i­tal de­sign, the later stages are com­plex and tra­di­tional, in­clud­ing the dye­ing process for the fab­ric.

Then, 2,000 man hours go into the cre­ation of a sole six sqm car­pet, with two weavers knot­ting by hand over seven months, work­ing up to five hours each day. Rez­vani said his break for tra­di­tional de­sign has not been with­out con­tro­versy in his in­dus­try.

He said: “Mainly ev­ery­one loves it. But you do have a few tra­di­tion­al­ists who say ‘lis­ten, this is not the way Per­sian car­pets should be made’.

“I faced those re­ac­tions in the be­gin­ning a lot, with tra­di­tional Per­sian purists who said ‘This is not the way to do it’.

“But now more and more are un­der­stand­ing the modern twist and also see­ing a need for in­no­va­tion.

“Times are chang­ing, shat­ter­ing this old way of think­ing and dogma, and peo­ple are grow­ing more open minded.

“The main fo­cus of any prod­uct is, if it has soul and his­tory, even if in­no­vated, it’s al­ways im­por­tant to keep its roots.”

Mo­hamed Mak­tabi, CEO of Iwan Mak­tabi, which re­tails the car­pets from Dhs48,000 for six sqm at Dubai Mall, said there re­mains huge de­mand for the items from UAE res­i­dents.

He said: “Car­pets are not just cov­ers for floors. Car­pets have an artis­tic value.” The UAE Na­tional Ser­vice and Re­serve Au­thor­ity has an­nounced it will be­gin train­ing the re­cruits of its sev­enth batch on Jan­uary 7. The au­thor­ity has urged cit­i­zens who have not yet com­pleted their reg­is­tra­tion or un­der­gone the med­i­cal check up, to con­tact their lo­cal re­cruit­ment cen­tre to com­plete the pro­ce­dures. Twelve months of na­tional ser­vice for Emi­rati men is com­pul­sory and must be car­ried out be­fore aged 30. It is vol­un­tary for women, but many have signed up in the past 18 months. It is also vol­un­tary for men aged 30-40. The pro­file of the UAE Armed Forces has risen sig­nif­i­cantly since troops and air­craft were sent to Ye­men to sup­port the ousted govern­ment against the Houthi rebel group.

DE­TAIL: Rez­vani in­spects ma­te­ri­als for his col­lec­tion

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