Often known for its glitzy and glamorous lifestyle, Dubai also has something special for art lovers. This relatively unknown area of Dubai is a paradise for artists from all over the world.
Alserkal Avenue was an industrial warehouse district that has been transformed into a creative arts hub with more than 70 contemporary art galleries, visual and performing arts organizations, designers, and creative-led businesses. entrepreneurs in its 5,00,000 square foot land and 90 warehouses, providing an essential platform for the development of creative industries in the region. Founded in 2007 by Emirati businessman and patron Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, it refurbished an old marble factory. Alserkal is known for its cutting edge artistic productions and unique approach and inspires its culturally rich innovative spaces. As you enter Alserkal Avenue, you will find many excellent art galleries, cafes, musicians and creative spaces that will make you vibrate with creative thoughts.
A few spaces in Alserkal that will bring out the curious artist in you include the Ayyam Gallery, one of the first spaces to open to support Syrian artists whose work showcases their history, craftsmanship and approach to art. ‘contemporary art. The curators are renowned in the art world and have featured artists such as eL Seed, Sama Alshaibi, Rula Halawani and many more.
Created by Malini Gulrajani, the 1×1 art gallery specializes in modern Indian and contemporary art. They often collaborate with local and international galleries and art fairs with independent curators and arts organizations. The first international contemporary art gallery on Alserkal Avenue is the Leila Heller Gallery. Contemporary artists from the Middle East and Asia present their work here. The 14,000 square foot space is the largest gallery in the United Arab Emirates. Some renowned artists featured are Abdul Qader Al Rais, Reza Derakshani, Ghada Amer and Rachel Lee Hovnanian among others.
Founded by Smita Prabhakar, Ishara Art Foundation is an NGO that focuses on contemporary art from South Asian regions like India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. Volte Art Projects (formerly Volte Gallery) works with famous contemporary artists and collectives such as Francesco Clemente, Wim Delvoye, Ranbir Kaleka, William Kentridge, Sheba Chhachhi, Nalini Malani, SMACK, James Turrell and Mario Klingemann.
Founded by Tushar Jiwarajka in 2009, it brings the best of international progressive art and design to the Middle East. Besides art, there are attractive spaces in Alserkal that you must explore. KAVE: The story of Things, an upcycling café, aims to raise awareness of environmental protection by using zero plastic. Their cutlery and crockery are either recycled or recovered after use. They also organize many workshops open to registrations.