Don’t assume it’s solely about Art Week – there are plenty more art-focused events across the UAE to keep you occupied and inspired over the next 12 months.
Middle East Film and Comic Con 2014
April 3-5, Dubai World Trade Centre
The region’s only consumer event on cult entertainment and popular culture continues to grow year-on-year. MEFCC is an opportunity for fans to meet celebrities and artists, watch exclusive previews, purchase limited-edition merchandise and take part in competitions.
Gulf Film Festival
April 9-15, Dubai
Now in its seventh year, this non-profit cultural event aims to celebrate and recognise the best of Arab cinema from the Gulf countries. With several competitions open to submissions, the festival attracts both professional and rising talents, aiming to transform and expand the opportunities for regional filmmakers, while at the same time creating a forum for Arab filmmakers to develop alliances with major production studios worldwide.
May 6-8, Dubai World Trade Centre
Aimed at anyone interested in photography, video and creative imaging, this annual seminar event attracts visitors from all across the Gulf region, the Middle East and, increasingly, Africa and West Asia.
Dubai International Dance Festival
September 22-28, Dubai
This multi-arts event is now in its seventh incarnation and attracts dance companies, classical dance academies, youth orchestras, bands and music ensembles from around the region and beyond. Expect performances, live entertainment, workshops, themed dance parties, dance competitions, international guest DJs and more.
International Symposium on Electronic Art
October 30-November 8, Zayed University, Dubai
This academic arts and technology event brings together some of the world’s most creative minds for discussions and creative productions pertaining to interactive, electronic and digital media and art. Visitors can also expect video screenings and live performances.
Abu Dhabi Art
November 5-8, Saadiyat Cultural District
Much more than just an art fair, Abu Dhabi Art is a unique platform for modern and contemporary art and design as well as a carefully curated public programme. 2014 sees the sixth edition of Abu Dhabi Art, which is set to present an exciting mix of art, talks and performances that will bring together top galleries, artists, cultural icons and collectors from across the globe.
Dubai International Film Festival
The festival is an influential platform for Arab filmmakers and international talent, having established itself as a major annual event since its inception in 2004. It continues to serve as a premier showcase for Arab cinema, contributing to the development and growth of the regional industry, while also screening films from across the globe.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
The region’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, the Festival of Literature continues to attract book lovers from the region and beyond and hosts local and international authors in a bid to promote reading and writing through debates, readings, workshops as well as lots of children’s events.
Hosted by the galleries in DIFC and Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz, these monthly Art Nights are a great opportunity to take in new exhibitions, meet the galleries’ artists and mingle with like-minded art lovers.