The Lifestyle

An exclusive Dubai Art guide to 2018

Art Dubai

A complete art guide to Dubai - 7 highlights including art galleries, exhibitions, art events and more.

Words by Aneesha Rai in The Lifestyle · Mar 29th, 2018

Dubai is totally abuzz between March and April as we get to see the biggest names in design and art come up to the forefront and buzzing throughout the city.

1. Art Dubai

Art Dubai Modern Gallery
Image credits: Art Dubai

There's exhibits happening all over the city, and especially at Madinat Jumeirah from 21 to 24th March 2018. This year includes 105 galleries from 48 countries across its Contemporary, Modern and Residents Halls. The Residents Hall is a new entry this year, with art featured by international artists who made Dubai their home for a 4- residency to produce different works. The artists had the opportunity to engage with the local community, collaborate with one another, participate in various talks and conduct open studios. It's definitely one to check out. Art Dubai will also feature the 10th edition of the Abraaj group prize.

If you're a fan of interactive exhibits, make sure you make way for a makeshift green room called "Good Morning GCC", a constantly changing exhibit that recreates a live TV show, using daytime talk shows commonly featured on TV stations across the Arab world. 

Art Dubai's new partnership with the Misk Institute this year promises to stimulate more contemporary and modern art from the region, so watch this space. It extends beyond art; it includes documentation and celebration. 

2. Sikka

Sikka Art fair
Image credits: Dubai Culture

Located in the historical district of Bastakiya, Sikka is a revelation. On from the 17-26th March, Sikka offers a stark contrast between old Dubai and the contemporary artists and their works. It's a complete delight to attend and comes very highly recommended. It also holds several workshops for budding artists.

3. Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive
Image credits: Van Gogh Alive

Once the Art Dubai madness is over, you can take your time to visit this innovative exhibit called Van Gogh Alive till April 23rd. Learn about this famous artisit's life and be exposed to over 3,000 of his art works swivelling around, above and below you, combined with classical music. It's a unique spectacle that costs AED 70 per person. 

4. Al Serkal Avenue

This hipster central avenue has amazing galleries in old warehouses that have been repurposed to sell gorgeous pieces of art. You'll be privy to excellent workshops at Gulf Photo Plus, along with an exceptional gallery. If you're a cinema lover, then occasionally Cinema Akil also hosts movie nights here. Other interesting activities include painting at jamjar. Al Serkal Lates is an exciting event where all the art galleries and exhibitions stay open till 9pm. This year, it's on April 16th. 

5. Difc Art Nights

Perfect for the hoity-toity, DIFC's gallery nights makes this contemporary district look alive. It happened this year on March 19th and is nothing short of inspiring with over 4,000 people attending to support their favourite artists and art galleries. If you've missed it, some exhibits are still open to enjoy. This includes The Empty Quarter Fine Art Gallery that houses photos of Sheikh Zayed, Founder of the UAE by photographer Bruno Barbey. Some galleries worth checking out include Ayyam Gallery and Opera Gallery.

6. Tashkeel

Azza Al Qubaisi's Foundation of Love. Image credits by Tashkeel
Azza Al Qubaisi's Foundation of Love. Image credits by Tashkeel

Unbeknownst to most, Tashkeel is Dubai's ebbing heart of art. Celebrating a decade this year, they have an exhibition called '10 years later' commissioned by creatives who've helped shape the brand. 10 Years Later' will feature brand-new pieces by 16 leading artists and designers from the UAE and beyond, including: Afshan Daneshvar, Ammar Al Attar, Areej Kaoud, Azza Al Qubaisi, eL seed, Hamdan Buti Al Shamsi, Hind bin Demaithan, Maitha Demithan, Majid Al Yousif, Manal Al Dowayan, Mark Pilkington, myneandyours, Nasir Nasrullah, Ruben Sanchez, Wissam Shawkat and Zuleika Penniman.

Tashkeel also runs a series of exhibitions throughout the year for both adults and children.

10 Years Later runs from Tuesday, March 13th to Thursday, April 26th, 2018 at Tashkeel Gallery, Nad Al Sheba 1, Dubai.

7. World Art Dubai

This exhibition is perfect for those looking for affordable art. Happening at the World Trade Center between 16th and 21st April this year, World Art Dubai offers art in the range of $100 to $20,000. This year, the exhibit will also include wearable art, origami and photography to its usual abstract drawings, paintings, sculptural works and collaborative installations from UAE-based galleries.