The UAE’s art community has gone from strength to strength over the past few years, with a growing group of artists and creatives striving to bring the nation to the forefront of the global contemporary art scene.
Here in Dubai, the art scene remains largely concentrated upon just a couple of areas in the city. Don’t get us wrong, we love wandering around Alserkal Avenue and ducking into the galleries of DIFC, and we’re excited to see what d3 will bring once the array of studios there are all fully up and running.
But head away from these big, shiny hubs and there are plenty of intriguing art spaces that are well worth exploring as they do their bit to make the UAE a top art destination.
And you’ll find works in some unexpected places, too. From hotel lobbies to atmospheric exhibition spaces tucked away in Old Dubai, to pop-up shops that spring up sporadically across the city, these four spaces are the perfect way to get your art fix, wherever you are.
1971 Design Space
Take a day-trip up to Sharjah to see edgy contemporary art and design, plus, there’s also a design store and a jones the grocer, where you can stop to browse the gourmet deli and have lunch as you decide whether to make a purchase.
Open Sat-Thu 10am-10pm, Fri 4pm-10pm. Flag Island, near the flag pole, Sharjah, www.1971design.ae (06 528 4644).
Ahmedia art Gallery
This quiet gallery is housed in a beautiful restored mansion, nestled in Al-Ras Heritage area around the Creek and is dedicated to supporting emerging and established Middle Eastern contemporary artists.
Open daily 11am-9pm. Next to Al Ahmadiya School, Al Ras, www.artgalleryahmedia.com (04 225 0085).
The brand hosts pop-up shops across the city and sells intriguing prints online from a range of artists, including Arcadia Blank (pictured) whose thought-provoking images have been taken around Dubai. You’ll see the originals when walking through the city.
If you’re around Downtown, stop off at Rove to check out the quirky art dotted around the hotel – some of which was sourced by Capsule Arts. Plus you can stop off at The Daily for a coffee and a bite at the same time.
Rove Downtown, Al Sa’ada Street, Zabeel 2, www.rovehotels.com (800 7683).