Art fairs in Dubai

MOCAfest, Quoz Arts Festival, Art Fair Dubai, ISEA and more places to get creative

This month, the city transforms into a hub of festivities for the region’s art lovers to enjoy.

With festivals such as Art Dubai attracting international artists and prominent galleries, the city has become a hub for the region’s contemporary art scene. Adding to the roster of artistic events, four art festivals – Marketplace of Creative Arts (MOCAfest), Art Fair, Quoz Arts Festival and The 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art – will take place between Tuesday October 28 and Saturday November 8.


The seventh edition of MOCAfest, the arts and culture festival of the World Islamic Economic Forum, will be held from Tuesday October 28 to Thursday 30 at Madinat Jumeirah. As a prelude to the event, MOCAfellows, the three-day artist residency programme for 15 selected emerging talents will be held from Friday October 24 to Sunday 26. It will include a roundtable called ‘What I am Looking for in a Professional Artist’, featuring a curator, booker, funder and agent, to explain how they choose who they work with and what they expect.

The opening day will see the commencement of live installation Geometric Connections Art Mural by Iona Fournier-Tombs, film festivals, panel discussions and a formal opening performance by international artists.

The festival aims to achieve its tagline, ‘Bridging Business to the Arts’, by bringing together the creative and business world, providing them with an opportunity to learn from one another.

Featuring calligraphy, photography, graphic design, fashion, live installations, film, music, poetry, visual arts exhibitions and workshops, MOCAfest puts the spotlight on arts and culture of the Gulf. It will feature masterclasses on film and documentary in the Muslim world as well as panel discussions on fashion. Other events include MOCA Translations, an interplay of music and poetry recitation. The final day will feature the completion of the live installation.
Register online. October 28 to 30. Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim,

Quoz Arts Festival

Established in 2012, Quoz Arts Festival has become a much-anticipated event on Dubai’s cultural calendar. The festival aims to nurture home-grown talent and gives visitors the chance to discover the local arts scene and engage with gallerists, artists and creatives.

Now in its third edition, it will take place on Saturday November 8 across Al Quoz. It will include live art and public murals by local artists, workshops, film screenings and live music performances across 45 spaces. In the afternoon, Alserkal Avenue’s galleries will open their doors to visitors, inviting them to explore the contemporary art scene. Guided tours, one-on-one meetings with artists and talks will give people the chance to learn more about the galleries and their programmes. The festival will also see the launch of A5, a concept store in the gallery A4 Space, which will carry hand-made fashion and objet d’art created by emerging local and international designers.

Visitors can make use of a free, festival-wide shuttle service that will take them to all participating spaces.
Free. 10am-10pm. Saturday November 8. Al Quoz,

Art Fair Dubai

Art Fair Dubai aims to act as a bridge between artists, galleries and the local art-buying community with the motto ‘Aspire Art, Access Art, Acquire Art’. Founded by Manisha Chhabra and Puja Jagasia, the festival brings together an eclectic mix of emerging as well as established artists to showcase their works. The three-day art fair will take place from Friday October 31 to Sunday November 2 at The Address Dubai Mall, hosting more than 30 international galleries and independent artists displaying original paintings, prints, sculptures and photography. Visitors will get the opportunity to speak to the artists about their works. Participating galleries include Alif Art Gallery and Mussawir Art Gallery. Local artists exhibiting include Devi Seetharam and Faiza Shaikh.
Free. 10am-10pm. Open to the public November 1-2. The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai,

The 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art (ISEA) is the major annual nomadic international academic gathering of artists and scientists in the field of the electronic and emergent arts. It has been held on four continents and more than 20 cities worldwide since 1988. This year, hosted by Zayed University, the fair will take place from Thursday October 30 to Saturday November 8 across the UAE. Taking place in the Middle East for the first time, the theme ‘Location’ weaves local traditions and history into the global context of new media science, art, and technology. It consists of an academic conference accompanied by art events including exhibitions, concerts and other performances.

Exhibitions will showcase more than 100 artworks that thrive on technology and innovation. It will also feature interactive installations that involve robotics, multimedia projections in outdoor spaces, sculptures, videos, photographs, and many other art forms utilising the latest developments in technical equipment, science, and mechanics.

The keynote presentation will be given by kinetic artist Theo Jansen.
Register online. October 30 to November 8. Various locations across Dubai, visit for more information.

Downtown Design

Organised by the team behind Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai – two of the region’s most successful annual fairs – Downtown Design, the international trade fair, showcases everything from furniture to lighting, textiles to new technologies. Visitors can enjoy a curated selection of original pieces as well as experiential installations that integrate heritage with technology-driven innovations. The programme will include talks, workshops and interactive spaces that will offer enthusiasts an opportunity to interact with the world’s design leaders.
Dhs50. October 28 to 31. The Venue, Downtown Dubai (04 384 2008).

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