Your guide to Alserkal Avenue
This Al Quoz arts district is always buzzing

From its beginnings as an industrial warehouse district to one of the Middle East’s hottest emerging creative hubs, Dubai's arts district Al Quoz has come a long way. Its central hub, Alserkal Avenue, offers edgy art events, endless pop-up concepts and cutting-edge galleries – read on to plan your visit.


The arts district with heart

The Alserkal Avenue has emerged as one of Dubai's most influential creative enclaves. What started out as a small block of warehouse spaces housing 20 art galleries has now morphed into a nearly 500,000 square feet urban hub fusing art, food, fashion and music with a comprehensive programme of cultural events like Art Dubai and Art Nights.

One of the main purposes of the district is to not only to start conversation around art in the region but to also create a similar vibe to that found in artistic neighbourhoods around the world, such as London's Shoreditch and Manhattan's Meatpacking District.

Bold public art commissioned by local street artists and designers sets the creative tone even as you approach the compound’s entrance; a massive art installation by Mary Ellen Carroll asks ‘When Will You Return?’ in giant lettering across the industrial-style exterior walls.

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Discover amazing local artists

Alserkal Avenue now hosts more than 40 concepts, including 20 permanent art spaces such as the multi-purpose Rem Koolhaas-designed Concrete project space by world-famous Dutch architects, OMA.

One of the first spaces to open when the hub was launched in 2007 was Syrian-owned Ayyam Gallery, renowned for its support of Syrian artists whose works tackle topics such as war and identity. On the other end of the spectrum, a private collection of European and American post-minimal works from the 60s through to the 90s can be viewed at Jean Paul Najar Foundation. Meanwhile, the Green Art Gallery is home to contemporary and emerging artists, from the Middle East, Turkey, South Asia and beyond. It actively launches artists in the region, contributing to making Dubai the cultural heartbeat of the region.

Other notable art spaces includes Salsali Private Museum, the region's first gallery for contemporary Middle Eastern art, and Carbon 12 Dubai, which rotates exhibitions of international artists and a high-energy calendar of upcoming art and culture events.

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Shopping spaces that fuel creativity

Art meets fashion and design at the Avenue. Check out Chi-KA for floaty kimono-style abayas or pick up a minimalist piece at Scandinavian design and lifestyle boutique, Ikon House. Visitors can also browse The FlipSide, Dubai’s first store dedicated to vinyl records, and deco custom-made jewellery workshop, The Jewel Teller.

Alserkal Avenue also houses a studio for ‘calligraphiti’ artist eL Seed, who has helped elevate Dubai's appreciation for street art. For more artistic finds, stop by Custot Gallery Dubai and browse one-of-a-kind pieces from around the world. Those searching for edgy statement furniture should head to The Odd Piece where items sourced from souks, antique quarters and exhibitions around the world are restored on site to their former glory.

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Hip cafes and cool dining concepts abound

Amidst the multitude of pop-up restaurants that set up base at Alserkal Avenue all through the year, A4 gallery offers a permanently connected cafe and creative work-space. Cold-pressed juice and health snack bar Wild & the Moon is also favourite with the district’s gallery-goers and health-aware hipsters, serving up raw, plant-based breakfast and lunch options alongside turmeric lattes and charcoal detox juices.

Also on the menu at Alserkal Avenue is Nightjar, which serves up customised espressos, super grain salads, and more alongside a regular music programme.

Meanwhile, chocoholics can get their fix (plus a box to take home) at Mirzam Chocolate Factory. The homegrown chocolate boutique invites those with a sweet tooth to experience the ins and outs of artisanal chocolate production in addition to taste-testing their luscious creations.

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Where To Find It

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