Kamelia Zaal

Held in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital every year since 1913, Chelsea Flower Show has become the world’s most prestigious flower show and is the most respected recognition of horticultural and garden design. The show which has become a national institution in the UK sees the best garden designers in the world showcase their gardens to more than 155,000 visitors including the British Royal family, and celebrities and VIPs from across the globe.

Al Barari and The Beauty of Islam

The Al Barari community was designed with the Zaal family's Arabic heritage in mind from its renowned beautiful gardens to the Islamic-inspired architecture fused with contemporary design.

In the same way The Beauty of Islam show garden, also reflects the family's Arab heritage and culture.

Al Barari's participation was to continue the legacy of His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late president and founding father of the UAE, who believed in protecting the environment for generations to come. Al Barari is at the forefront of developing sustainable, environmental communities. It is a sanctuary, a desert oasis set in the desert, as is The Beauty of Islam.

Al Barari garden at Chelsea Flower Show

The Beauty of Islam garden in detail

Kamelia Bin Zaal's debut garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show was awarded a prestigious Silver Gilt Medal. Dedicated to His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the garden told the story of the spread of Islam and the growth of the Arab empire through trade over the centuries. The ancient Spice Route of the Arabic empire was evoked through the melange of scents and colours. Fig and pomegranate trees punctuated with bewitching intensity, while a haze of scents emanating from the ginger, rosemary and cardamom plants, represented the rich diversity of horticulture bin Zaal chose for her debut.

"The gates of the Garden of Eden will open up to them," are the words from the Holy Qu'ran, Surah Sad: Verse 50, carved into the white marble water wall that majestically overlooked Al Barari's The Beauty of Islam garden. The text was seen in traditional Islamic Thuluth calligraphy, originally painted by Emirati calligraphist Hamda Abdulla Al Hashmi. The focal point of the garden was a magnificent stainless steel sculpture that sat in the water feature and read, 'Ullah'.

Faux mother of pearl, which symbolised the heritage of the UAE and the use of this precious material across Arab countries, appeared in water features and in the details of the eight-point star structures called 'khatims' in Islam. The khatim is widely used in Islamic art and represents the seal of the prophets.

Al Barari garden at Chelsea Flower Show

A cantilevered stainless steel domed shade structure featuring a traditional Arabic Mashrabiya pattern, represented the play on shade and light conventionally found in Islamic gardens, known characteristically as serene places of refuge.

Four striking Islamic archways rendered in metallic grey, formed the passages through which visitors were transported to each area of the multi-layered oasis. Flowing water combined the bespoke areas of The Beauty of Islam in a gentle movement playing on sound and light.