What’s On visits Alserkal Avenue art area in Al Quoz Dubai to check on the expansion of the art galleries in Dubai, a key hub for art and culture in Dubai.

Anyone who has done a sun-parched circuit of Al Quoz galleries will know the art scene in Dubai is alive and well. Further proof of this is the expansion of Alserkal Avenue, a Dhs50 million project that will see this cluster of galleries double in size this year. Occupying the site of a demolished marble factory, the extension is due for completion in September, with the official opening expected next January.

Housing almost 40 creative organisations, the new development will broaden the current focus on contemporary art to design, architecture, fashion and media. In keeping with the spirit of the original Alserkal Avenue, the area will continue to nurture the home-grown art scene with artists’ studios and residency programmes. Outdoor event facilities will host everything from film screenings to concerts and community events, and independent cafés will allow you to make a day of it.

Alserkal Avenue as we know it emerged in 2007 under the auspices of the Alserkal family, property magnates honoured with Patron Of The Arts awards in 2012 and 2013 by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. At a time when building hotels was the order of the day, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal bucked the trend and converted a warren of Al Quoz warehouses into art galleries.

The district thrives today with 25 art spaces, two of which have taken part in the prestigious Art Basel festival.     “The new expansion is a natural response to the ever-growing art scene in Dubai that we should be proud of,” said Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal. “We serve as a hub in the region and that is a unique achievement.”

As the local art scene gains momentum, let’s hope the richness of Dubai is one day judged by more than a balance sheet.

Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, exit 43 off Sheikh Zayed Road. Galleries open Saturday to Thursday. alserkalavenue.ae