Best art events in Dubai

Art, literature, painting, calligraphy and more culture in Dubai

Wednesday 6

Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature 2013
This annual event continues until Saturday March 9, featuring a line-up of renowned local and international authors. Tickets can be bought online via the EAIFL website or in person at Kinokuniya at The Dubai Mall until Saturday March 9 and at Dar Al Adaab in Bastakiya during the week. The festival also runs membership scheme Festival Friends, which offers discounts on tickets and more.
Dhs40-400. March 5-9. Various locations,

Flash Back on Photography
An exhibition featuring the work of renowned photojournalists including Sebastião Salgado, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Willy Ronis, as well as their contemporaries. The images on show depict nature, world events, still life and culture.
Until March 11. Pro Art Gallery, Palm Strip Mall, Beach Road, Jumeirah (04 345 0900).

From Past to Present
This solo exhibition features recent works by Iranian artist Salar Ahmadian. His text-based paintings show the artist as more than just a calligrapher.
Until March 12. Etemad Gallery, Unit 12, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1 (04 346 8649).

Local artists use contemporary media and conceptual approaches to explore the role of the body and self-censorship in contemporary art from the Gulf. Curated by Dubai-based Italian artist Cristiana de Marchi, the show includes work by Hassan Sharif, Mohammed Kazem and Tarek Al Ghusein, and poses questions about artistic freedom.
Until April 10. Ductac, Level 2, Mall of the Emirates (04 341 4777).

Thursday 7

A Taste of Travel
This exhibition features a collection of travel photographs from the archives of international travel guide publisher Lonely Planet, plus the winners of an amateur photography competition in which members of the UAE public submitted photographs themed around one of four categories: nature, architecture, landscape and people.
Until March 7. Radisson Royal Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road (04 308 0000).

A collaboration with the United Nations World Food Programme, this exhibition aims to raise awareness of starvation in the region. It features artworks by emerging and established Middle Eastern artists across various mediums.
Until March 7. The Farjam Collection, Gate Village 4, DIFC (04 323 0303).

New York abstract artist Peter Halley presents ‘Doorway and Conduit’, which focuses on the architecture of the Kaaba, a cuboid building in Mecca, the most sacred site in Islam.
Until March 15. Mottahedan Projects, Al Joud Centre, Al Quoz 1 (04 380 5525).

Letters of Gold
Omani calligrapher Saleh Al Shukairi presents a solo exhibition of Arabic calligraphy, created through new painting techniques inspired by his global travels. Al Shukairi is a member of the Omani Society of Fine Arts, where he is one of the founders of the Calligraphy Club and the Youth Studio.
Until March 9. The Ara Gallery, Burj Plaza, Downtown Dubai (04 454 2784).

Friday 8

An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar/Contraband
This solo exhibition by American artist Taryn Simon features a selection of two bodies of work, and examines the hidden elements that contribute to modern American culture. The artist gained access to a nuclear waste plant in the US, the art collection of the CIA and the cage of mentally retarded tiger Kenny, who is disabled due to selective inbreeding.
Until May 6. The Pavilion, Downtown Dubai (04 447 7026).

There Will Be Light
Want to know what the world’s most luxurious lamp looks like? A unique upcycled giant lamp finished with 40,000 Swarovski crystals is on display this evening. The one-night-only event is a warm-up to Art Week and explores the rare lighting fixtures in history, accompanied with deep background beats in this industrial-chic Al Quoz space.
Please RSVP to 7pm. J+A Gallery. Behind Al Shafar Investment Building, beside 4 Walls Art Gallery and RAW Coffee, Al Quoz 1 (055 395 0495).

Saturday 9

Thejamjar pop-up studio at The Archive
Head to this chilled space every second Saturday of the month and paint away the week’s gripes in Safa Park. Al Quoz studio thejamjar is offering one-hour painting packages starting from Dhs60 for a 30x30cm canvas.
Until May 11. The Archive, Safa Park (04 341 7303).

Women in Art VIII
This exhibition aims to promote female artists living in the UAE. Ten women from seven different countries within Dubai’s art community display their works at the gallery.
Until March 11. Courtyard Gallery, Street 6, Al Quoz 3 (04 347 9090).

Sunday 10

Artinhouse with Ivan Valerio
The Dubai-based Belgian fashion designer and photographer fuses traditional and modern images of mosques using a pop-art technique. The images examine the mosques at night, bathed in the magical glow of ambient light.
Until March 30. The Gallery, Mövenpick Hotel & Apartments Bur Dubai (04 336 6000).

The Istanbul Portfolio
A collaboration between Opera Gallery and Turkish initiative ON Istanbul, this show features emerging and established Turkish artists including Ali Alisir, Sencer Vardarman, Hayal Incedogan, Olcay Kus and Kemal Seyhan.
Until March 14. Opera Gallery, DIFC (04 323 0909).

Monday 11

Automatic Assembly Actions
A solo exhibition of works by Stuttgart-based Iranian video installation artist Anahita Razmi, covering themes such as art history, politics and cultural spheres.
Until March 14. Carbon 12, Unit D37, Alserkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (04 340 6016).

The Incredible Benefits of Journaling and Blogging
Dubai-based Lebanese writer Kathy Shalhoub, author of Life as a Leb-neh Lover, talks about the benefits of keeping a journal and writing in general, and how it can lead to a more fulfilling, healthier life – and, in her case, a published book.
Free. 7pm. Until March 11. The Archive, Safa Park, Gate 5,

Tuesday 12

Artists including Anish Kapoor, Walid Siti, Imran Channa, Debjani Bhardwaj and Mohsen Ahmadvand celebrate the underrated medium of paper and explore their own connection to it in this colourful exhibition.
Until March 13. XVA Gallery, Gate Village Building 7, DIFC (04 358 5117).

The Dara Chronicles
Emirati artist Maisoon Al Saleh presents a solo exhibition of artworks ranging from digital paintings to mixed-media. The artworks explore stories told to her as a child by her grandfather, as well as documented accounts about the Dubai-based MV Dara passenger liner explosion on April 8 1961 in the Persian Gulf, in which 238 people died. 7pm opening tonight.
Until May 31. The Ara Gallery, Downtown Dubai (04 454 2784).

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