Abdul Kadir Al-Rais is the best-known artist from the UAE. Simultaneously he paints in two very different styles. For his landscape and architectural scenes, his style is photorealistic, very keenly observed, with a delicate beige palette set off by flashes of blue. More recently he has also begun to paint abstract works and abstracted paintings involving the Arabic letterform, often with a much richer colouring of vivid reds, blues and yellows. What unites both is his signature of small floating squares, which appear even in the most realistic of his paintings.
Al-Rais's recent work has seen a shift towards greater luminosity and the palette has correspondingly become brighter and warmer. Against a backdrop of yellows and reds, his compositions comprise indivdual groups of letters or single words, from which light appears to emanate.