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Everything that went down at House of Vans Dubai

nss magazine was at the first Vans pop-up in the Arab Emirates

Everything that went down at House of Vans Dubai nss magazine was at the first Vans pop-up in the Arab Emirates

As soon as you land in Dubai you realize that you will spend your time there looking up, with the eyes turned to those endless skyscrapers. And that's exactly in one of these futuristic buildings that Vans has decided to host an event to remember, the first House Of Vans in the United Arab Emirates. 
nss magazine flew to Dubai to experience this great event. 

House Of Vans was established as an oasis of absolute creativity, where one can go to skate, to take part in workshops, to have a drink and to listen to good music. There are two permanent House Of Vans locations, in Chicago and London, the latter in a kind of hidden basement, where not so long ago Foo Fighters showed up under a false name, ending up performing on stage in front of a crowd of incredulous fans. The aim of this special House Of Vans was to take the Vans world and aesthetic into an apparently distant reality, which turned out to be much closer than expected. 

 

Day 1 

At the 43rd, 44th and 45th floors of the Central Park Tower in the heart of Dubai Financial District this past weekend saw the opening of House Of Vans. 

Beyond the elevator doors, you found yourself immediately immersed in the unmistakable Vans world. On the left there was the shop, where one could buy the most iconic sneakers of the brand, along with a customization station, a kind of little version of the custom lab, with the further possibility to customize the T-shirts as well. 

Walking along the corridor, spaced out with big windows that revealed the entire city below, you would meet a small room where you could become a model. A small photo studio was in fact created, where one could be shot while wearing Vans designs accessorized with classic items of the Arab world, like estemeed veils and cloths. 

A few steps away there was the main attraction of the event, a small skate park with ramps and everything, enriched by a 360° view on Dubai. Despite what someone might think, Dubai can boast a lively skate scene, with an increasing number of young boys and girls who get passionate about this sport. At House Of Vans everyone was welcome to show up with the deck to practice in complete freedom, there weren't only teenagers who wanted to improve their tricks, but also children and kids with their parents. 

On the other side of the room there were instead the stage and the bar. Upstairs you could relax in a kind of lounge area, with big black and white checkered cushions. At the 45° floor of the building the smoking area was actually an incredible rooftop from which you could admire the skyline and the architecture of Dubai, and even the mansion of the Sultan. 

Thursday night was a kind of preview event and a warm welcome into the Vans world, it felt like a party with some old friends, in the best way possible. The atmosphere was relaxed, friendly, you could enjoy each other's company easily, and between a trick and the other, local bands would perform, before leaving the stage to a techno music DJ set. 

 

Day 2

The second day at House Of Vans the atmosphere was even better. 

From the first hours of the afternoon, many boys and girls arrived with their skate to practice tricks in every angle of the building, running around from the skate park to the hallway towards the shop area, making even the unsuspected Vans shop assistant bring out his skate, showing a technique worth of a former pro skater like him. 

At around 7 pm the real party began, with drinks and waffles with Nutella. The stage saw the live performances of different emerging rappers from Dubai, all with a crowd of loyal fans in the front row, and even a few skaters were brave enough to jump on stage to improvise a few rhymes. From the rapper who would sang about his ex girlfriend, to the one who dedicated a song to his now detained friend, the crowd was in awe of the live performances. 

After a very alcoholic dinner and a couple of broken fingers, the Vans official skate team made its entrance, and the incredible technique of its members was immediately clear. The speed at which they would skate in the park, jumping, crossing, was quite impressive. To entertain the visitors and to show as well as possible the abilities of these skaters, Vans planned a little game: someone would announce a trick with a megaphone and the skaters had three attempts to do it, and if they were successful they would receive a couple of Dirham bills, to be catched while still on the skate. A bit of healthy competition made the game even better, and the crowd enjoyed the performance of both pro and amateur skaters. 

The night ended with the performance of one of Dubai hottest rappers, Freek, who sent the passionate crowd in attendance wild. As night fell, the atmospher got even cooler and sparked off. 

 

It took Vans two years of work to give life to House Of Vans in Dubai, but according to both the attendees and the organizers, the event lived up to the expectations. In the innovative and futuristic frame of the pearl of the Arab Emirates, Vans was true to itself, managing to unite and blend two apparently distant worlds.