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Arts & Culture

The best art galleries in Dubai

Mon, August 24, 2020

Discover rising stars and journey through the region's creative landscape at these inspiring galleries.

Discover rising stars and journey through the region's creative landscape at these inspiring galleries.

1

XVA Gallery

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Tucked away in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, XVA Gallery focuses on contemporary artists from across the Arab world and the Indian subcontinent. In its courtyard, emerging and established names share a space on rustic walls, and the gallery is as charming as the pieces on show. Its architecture reflects Emirati heritage from the mid-19th century and the collections display a range of disciplines, from paintings and sculptures to installations and photography. It neighbours a hotel and cafe, combining the best of art and Arabian hospitality.

2

The Third Line

Put your finger on the pulse of the regional art scene at The Third Line in the industrial neighbourhood of Al Quoz. Since 2005, it has spearheaded the careers of contemporary artists from across the region. Iraq's Hayv Kahraman, Lebanese photographer Fouad Elkoury and Kuwaiti visual artist Tarek Al-Ghoussein are but some figures who found a platform at this warehouse. Modest, airy and focusing exclusively on the art within, the gallery is perfect for connoisseurs looking to refresh their knowledge on noteworthy figures in the Arab world.

3

Jameel Arts Centre

Located on the Jaddaf Waterfront, along the Dubai Creek, Jameel Arts Centre exhibits contemporary art alongside a packed schedule of community workshops and events. Explore three floors of gallery space displaying works from the Arab world and South Asia, a research library and eight gardens, including one dedicated just to commissioned projects. Vibrant art lives within the centre's minimalist architecture, while the outdoor Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park shines a spotlight on site-specific creations.

4

The Empty Quarter

A fan of photography? This hidden gem in Dubai International Financial District (DIFC) should be your top pick. Co-founded by Saudi Arabian Princess Reem Al Faisal and Emirati entrepreneur Safa Al Hamed, The Empty Quarter is one of a handful of galleries in the UAE that's dedicated solely to fine photography. It features the works of legends such as Steve McCurry, Marc Riboud and Al Moutasim Al Maskery, as well as a roster of promising international artists. Exhibitions here are always fresh and inspiring, and allow enthusiasts access to a breathtaking variety of subjects through the camera's lens.

5

Miraj Islamic Art Centre

For anyone interested in Islamic culture and art, the Miraj Islamic Art Centre is a necessary stop. From ornate artefacts to calligraphic sculptures and paintings, this institution showcases rare works displaying the breadth of Arab artistry. See illustrations that embody the spirit of faith, telling stories of Laila-Majnu, the Arabian Romeo and Juliet, and adventures of Alexander the Great. Expressive carpets and tapestry depicting century-old techniques are on display, as are fabrics embedded with precious stones and metals.

6

Elmarsa Gallery

Originally from Tunisia's coastal town of La Marsa, Elmarsa promotes modern and contemporary North African art and is one of the many remarkable galleries that make up Dubai's industrial creative hub, Alserkal Avenue. It is as much a platform for viewing as it is for facilitating dialogue across the Arab world's social, artistic and cultural spheres. Expect to see works by Algerian icons Baya Mahieddine and Abdelkader Guermaz, and Tunisia's Aly Ben Salem, alongside colourful pieces depicting folk art traditions and innovative techniques.

7

Fann À Porter

Located in The Workshop – a grassroots concept store and creative space housed in a two-storey villa in Jumeirah – the Fann À Porter gallery is an inspiring stop. Showcasing an array of works by international and regional artists alongside a busy schedule of exhibitions, non-profit events, auctions and community programmes, there's always something abuzz at this gallery. They also have expert art consultants who can help expand your personal collection. Afterwards, explore low-key and local vibes at the cafe, home decor store, interior design studio and library – all in the same space.

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