Where can I go to see some art and culture in Dubai? Everything I’ve seen so far is fancy hotels, malls and beaches.
Don’t worry, we’ve got something special lined up for you this week. There is a lot more art in Dubai than you may realise and one of the centres of the culture scene is Alserkal Avenue. It’s a collective of art galleries in Al Quoz with…
…Hold on, Al Quoz? Isn’t that the industrial part of Dubai? I thought it was all warehouses, car show rooms and bleak storage yards?
Well, it’s true there are lots of warehouses and it’s not as pretty as the cultural and heritage quarter down by the Creek, or as sleek and polished as the collection of galleries at DIFC. But in terms of the concentration of art galleries with regular exhibitions, you won’t find anywhere with stronger cultural credentials than this.
Just what I am looking for. But do you really expect me to wonder around Al Quoz knocking on warehouse doors and asking to see paintings?
Not necessary. Alserkal Avenue is a collection of more than 20 galleries and creative spaces spread across 250,000 sq ft of warehouse space and avenues. The galleries are all within walking distance of one another and have active exhibitions throughout the year.
Like a one-stop-shop for art?
I know you wanted to avoid the malls this week, but you can consider Alserkal Avenue to be an arty department store. There are lots of independent sections and it won’t all be to your taste, but you can browse until you find a favourite.
Sounds like just what I’m after. So, who is there?
Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, Gulf Photo Plus, Green Art Gallery and Grey Noise are just a few of the exhibitors to attract significant international and local artists to show their works.
What usually exhibits?
That’s like asking “what cuisine do Dubai restaurants sell?”. There are exhibitions in all genres of art. At any given time, there could be classic painting, calligraphy, photography, sculpture, street art, video installations and much more.
Only AT Alserkal Avenue
The neighbourhood’s beating heart is the A4 Space. This community work space has free wi-fi, an Appetite Café with good coffee and basic snacks, a library, screening room and a pop-up store. It is a place to come and discuss art with artists and other creatives and also has regular workshops, seminars and talks.