Your guide to SIKKA art fair

Regional artistic talent showcased at 11-day event


We take a closer look at what to expect when the showcase for Emirati artistic talent returns.

Between Saturday March 15 and Tuesday March 25, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai will host an art event that focuses on local Emirati and Dubai-based artistic talent. Founded by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority in 2011, the festival initially acted as a showcase for visual art but the event has now diversified to include music, film and performance art pieces. Highlights include outdoor film screenings, live musical performances and numerous workshops and educational activities.

The curators this year have been confirmed as founder of Al Quoz’s FN Designs and artist in her own right, Her Highness Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum. Her co-curator will be Japanese architect Kayoko Iemura. The women will be joined by Japanese art expert Yusaka Imamura. Here’s our pick of the highlights.

What: Shadow Puppets Workshop
When: Saturday March 15, 4pm-10pm
Where: House 12, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Hosted by the Dubai-based collection The Animation Chamber, this course will teach you how to create shadow puppets and stage performances on a small theatre.

What: The Cassette Tape Project
When: March 15-25, 10am-10pm
Where: Tashkeel, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Dubai photographer and the blogger behind, Hind Mezainer’s fascinating exhibition is an exploration of Dubai through cassette tapes. The artist has kept the Western music of her youth in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, as well as the regional tapes, on which local music is still distributed. Visitors will also have the opportunity to listen to tapes of their choice to see what they sound like. The exhibition also includes a room of short films themed around cassette recordings as well a selection of Hind’s photography of the UAE.

What: Talk by Kayoko Iemura
When: Friday March 21, 4.30pm-6.30pm
Where: House 19, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
The Japanese architect and curator of SIKKA will be holding a special talk on nurturing and supporting emerging artists.

What: Comic Book Style Drawing Workshop
When: Friday March 21, 6pm-7.30pm
Where: House 19, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Self-taught Indonesian illustrator and Dubai-resident Rayden Kusumo will be leading a workshop on how to draw in a comic book style.

What: Photowalk
When: Friday March 21, 6pm-7.30pm
Where: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and Dubai Creek
Professionals from the Emirates Photographers Forum, an online platform for promoting Emirati photography, will be offering a tour of Al Fahidi, the Creek and the Spice Souk, enabling you to get the most out of your snaps. The course will also include coaching on the art of street photography. More information can be found at

What: Fashion Illustration for Beginners Workshop
When: Saturday March 22, 4.30pm-6.30pm
Where: House 19, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Scottish-born Dubai resident Sara Japanwalla will be teaching the basics of fashion illustration, from painting technique and tips to how to how to realistically represent material.
To see examples of Sara’s work, visit

What: Mobile Escapades Workshop
When: Sunday March 23, 2pm-4pm
Where: House 19, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
The American professor in New Media and Dubai’s Zayed University will be heading a collaborative project, where you can take your smartphone to make videos and photos of random objects around Al Fahidi. The results will be amalgamated into a piece of video art, which has a focus on the use of experimental sound.
For more information, visit

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