What’s On has a handy Art Dubai preview. The festival runs March 18 to 21 at Madinat Jumeirah and is the biggest event for art in Dubai.

Street Nights
JLT graf project
 Graffiti artists
– PICS: Art Night 2014

The ninth edition of Art Dubai returns to Madinat Jumeirah from March 18 to 21, with a record line-up of 500 artists and more than 90 galleries from 40 countries. Wear your trainers and stroll the exhibition halls to view works of art, and hobnob with the people who made them.

Art Dubai director Antonia Carver reveals her highlights for 2015

Whether you are a serious collector or simply an enthusiast, a visit to the Contemporary exhibition halls will bring you face to face with 71 galleries from 35 countries. Encounter striking installations to inspire your next #ArtSelfie, as well as some of the world’s most established galleries, which return year after year, reflecting the truly global nature of Art Dubai. Be sure to take the time to explore newcomer galleries from cities just beginning to trend artistically, such as Yay Gallery (Baku, Azerbaijan), Sanatorium (Istanbul, Turkey), Albareh Art Gallery (Manama, Bahrain), and Temnikova & Kasela (Tallinn, Estonia).

Art Dubai - Contemporary art preview

It’s challenging to fully appreciate contemporary art without first understanding its roots. Now in its second year at Art Dubai, this section draws attention to influential modern masters from the 20th century from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. Each of the 14 selected galleries will be showcasing the practice of one or two artists. Look out for Lebanese painter Shafic Abboud’s abstracts, which are cherished as a poetic ode to colour and are not to be missed at Agial Art Gallery (Beirut, Lebanon).

Art Dubai - Modern art preview

This group exhibition at Art Dubai brings a curated focus to a different region of the world each year. 2015 highlights contemporary art from Latin America and the unexpected interconnections between this region and the Middle East. Visit an intriguing art salon presenting work across many mediums including live performance art.

Art Dubai - Marker art preview

These commissioned projects by 11 artists are to remind visitors of the interactive and sometimes playful nature of art. Work will be installed around the fair’s grounds. The sky’s the limit – last year a project by Nadia Ayari was displayed in the bathrooms. Head to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to visit #33, the A.i.R Dubai residency house, where the results of six artists’ three-month residency can be explored. Seek out Emirati artists Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim – who sources his materials from UAE soil – and local blogger and photographer Hind Mezaina.

Art Dubai - Projects art preview

Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Dhs50 one-day pass, Dhs80 three-day pass, under-18s free. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. artdubai.ae


What are you proudest to reveal this year? It would have to be the way we are balancing the fair, serving as a global meeting point for galleries and artists from 40 countries.

What advice would you have for young collectors hoping to enter the art market with a first acquisition at Art Dubai? First of all, don’t be afraid. At a fair like Art Dubai not only is there a huge diversity of art at many different price levels, but there is also the highest concentration of people to help you. Visitors can sign up to join Wael Hattar, a local curator, who will be leading gallery tours exploring work that is specifically aimed at young collectors.

How do you think the fair and Dubai’s art scene in general will continue to expand in the next few years? The fair grows each year in terms of the number of galleries and programmes, but also in the number of visitors. In Dubai, the commercial galleries have grown quickly, and educational and community initiatives are on the rise. I think that the expansion of Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz and the opening of the new Dubai Design District will be hugely influential.

Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Dhs50 one-day pass, Dhs80 three-day pass, under-18s free. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. artdubai.ae


1. Sharjah Biennial 12: ‘The past, the present, the possible’
The boundary-pushing Sharjah Art Foundation will show work by 50 artists from 25 countries. Admission is free.

March 5 to June 5

Shajah Art Foundation

2. Alserkal Avenue Galleries Night
UAE galleries open some of the strongest shows of the season in this former marble factory turned welcoming arts district. Pull on your skinny jeans and be there.

March 16, 6pm to 9pm

Alserkal Avenue

3. Art Nights at Gate Village, DIFC
Take in gallery openings, live art installations and indie music, with plenty of gourmet munchies to boot. You might just find the perfect work of art to fill that blank wall over your couch.

March 16, 7pm to 10pm

Art Nights DIFC

4. Hop on the bus, Gus
Be one of the cool kids and ride at the back of The Art Bus, a moving gallery designed by local artists in collaboration with the Art In The City initiative. Friendly guides will lead you on one of several routes as you hop on and off the bus to take in a fantastic variety of galleries around town . The ride costs Dhs50.

Tel: (04) 3417303. artinthecity.com

The Art Bus. Art Dubai

Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai, Dhs50 one-day pass, Dhs80 three-day pass, under-18s free. Taxi: Madinat Jumeirah. artdubai.ae