As a cosmopolitan city, Dubai has always been the gateway between east and west, and it has now successfully established itself as a cultural centre for the global arts community. From emerging Emirati artists and pop-art icons to international fine art, experimental expressionists and street art, Dubai’s art scene is an eclectic melting pot of artistic style.
Dubai’s vibrant art scene is constantly developing with multiple spaces in dedicated arts districts: Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, Dubai Design District (D3) in Business Bay, DIFC Gate Village and Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Ever more exhibitions, pop-up events and arts festivals are happening across Dubai, such as Art Nights, Meet D3, Market of Everything and Area 01 as well as annual events such as Downtown Design during Design Week in D3 and the Sikka Art Fair in Al Fahidi as part of Art Week.
Dubai World Trade Centre
Dubai’s main hub for events, exhibitions, conventions and much more is Dubai World Trade Centre. With more than three million annual visitors, 50,000 exhibitors and around 185 countries represented, the huge exhibition centre has a packed exhibition calendar year-round.
Recently, Alserkal Avenue has emerged as one of Dubai’s most influential creative enclaves. What started out as a neglected warehouse district has transformed into a 500,000 sqft urban hub that merges art, food, fashion and music with cultural events like Art Dubai and Art Nights. The Avenue is home to more than 40 creative concepts, including 20 permanent art spaces, and 13 art galleries.
A creative hub with a gallery, theatre, café and boutiques, this eclectic art space hosts a variety of exhibitions and cultural activities, including performances at the charming 70-seat Courtyard Playhouse theatre. Be sure to catch one of the many rotating exhibitions that range from furniture, antiques, photographs and current media.
With an art gallery in Dubai International Financial Centre, Artsawa hosts innovative exhibitions, runs educational programmes and offers lectures. The aim of Artsawa is to promote contemporary art in the Middle East and North Africa.
Theatre of Digital Art
ToDA, in Souk Madinat Jumeirah, is a multi-sensory, multi-media immersive exhibition hub. It’s the first art initiative in Dubai to combine different formats of digital art including multimedia exhibitions, contemporary immersive installations, and art in virtual reality.
World Art Dubai
World Art Dubai is a huge, affordable art fair with thousands of art pieces from around the world. The yearly fair takes over the Dubai World Trade Centre for four days to showcase an international collection of over 2,000 artworks from renowned galleries as well as acclaimed and emerging artists from 25 countries. The best part is that all the art is for sale from USD 100 onwards.
Art Dubai, located in Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC), is a leading annual international art fair focused on contemporary and modern creations from around the world.
Looking for an artsy hotel?
XVA Gallery Art Hotel & Café is a boutique hotel with only 14 uniquely designed rooms tucked away in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. The area is also known for its award-winning restaurant and internationally acclaimed art gallery, specializing in contemporary works by artists from the Arab world, India and Iran.