Five fabulous art events combine to make Dubai the centre of the art world every March
Every March, the contemporary art exhibition Art Dubai joins with SIKKA Art Fair, Design Days Dubai and Art Week to bring thousands of the world’s leading artists, designers, curators, gallery owners and art experts to the emirate to explore the latest in creativity and design innovation.
Design Days Dubai (14-17 March)
Back for its sixth edition in 2017, Design Days Dubai is moving to a brand new home - the Dubai Design District (d3), the exciting hub of creative industries in the region.
The leading fair in the region and South Asia dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture and design objects, Design Days Dubai has become known for bringing designers and galleries never presented before to an international audience, as well as promoting regional and local design talent.
Continuing its mission to be a gateway to design, Design Days Dubai will also present a public programme with workshops, talks and mentorship sessions along with site specific installations.
Art Dubai (15-18 March)
Art Dubai is the leading (and coolest) international art fair in the region. Now in its 11th year, Art Dubai presents a diverse curated line-up of more than 90 galleries from the UAE and the rest of the world in three strands: Contemporary, Modern and Marker, a very-hip exhibition focusing each year on a different theme or geography.
There are also a host of commissioned projects, film and radio programmes, residencies, educational initiatives and the Global Art Forum, for the (sometimes heated) discussion of recent trends and innovations in international art.
Over the past decade, Art Dubai has become recognised as a globalised meeting point for the art world, made all the more memorable by the evocative traditional Arabic surroundings of its home, the Madinat Jumeirah, complete with the central island which acts as the focal point and meeting place and even after exhibition party venue.
Art Week (13-18 March)
An initiative of Art Dubai Group, supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Dubai Design District (d3), Art Week features more than 350 events combining all of the above along with Art Nights at Gate Village (DIFC), Alserkal Avenue’s programmes and the Galleries Night, RCA Secret Dubai.
The integrated programme of exhibitions and initiatives firmly establishes Dubai as an essential meeting point on the global art map, with artists, galleries and cultural institutions continuing to build international audiences of intellectuals, professionals, collectors, patrons and enthusiasts. Art Week plays an important role in bringing together and showcasing all of Dubai’s always growing creative achievements and ambitions.
SIKKA Art Fair (5-21 March)
Named after the atmospheric sikkas (alleyways) of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood where it is based, SIKKA Art Fair is a make-your-own art adventure where you wander through the badgir (wind-catcher) houses of Old Dubai, which are turned into mini art galleries and installations for the course of the festival.
Each house hosts the work of emerging artistic talent from the UAE and GCC. Expect the unexpected through every doorway. You might encounter live painting, giant puppets, Arabic “calligraphiti”, 3D portraits or ground-breaking works of visual and performing arts, audio and video.
When you need a break, grab a seat in the main square and enjoy a rich diversity of musical performances, from Afro-Tarab to electronic to classical, beatbox to spoken word poetry, or check out a screening by Cinema Akil nearby.
Now in its seventh year SIKKA is the flagship cultural initiative of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, an integral part of Dubai Art Season, and best of all - free.
World Art Dubai (12-15 April)
The “affordable art fair with a difference” World Art Dubai was created to bring together regional and global artists and galleries from across Dubai’s international community with the simple goal of making contemporary art more accessible and affordable. World Art Dubai is a unique fusion of art, education and entertainment, reflecting the city’s growing prominence as a leading cultural and artistic hub.
From young and emerging artists to established names, World Art Dubai hosts a diverse collection of modern, contemporary and fine art work for every budget. At the second edition in 2016 more than 140 local, regional and international galleries and artists offered a wide variety of artworks across 4,000sqm of indoor exhibition space at the Dubai World Trade Centre, connecting global artists and galleries with a community of art collectors and fans from across the globe, with prices ranging from just US$100 to US$10,000.
Take a tour through the trendy art district Alserkal Avenue - the hippest neighbourhood in Dubai.