The next time someone questions Dubai’s cultural clout, redirect them to this page. And if you too have been misguided into thinking only architecture emerges from our golden dunes and not art, think again. Dubai’s art scene has well and truly blossomed in the last decade with events like Art Dubai, Dubai Design Week and venues such as Alserkal Avenue and The Courtyard showcasing homegrown galleries and artists who are making a name regionally and internationally. As a result, there’s always an exciting art display in Dubai to immerse yourself in. Whether you like traditional art, and digital installations or prefer mixed media and sculptures, there’s something for everyone at these exhibitions in Dubai.
1. From Monet to Kandinsky at TODA
The Theatre of Digital Art creates some exceptional 360-degree experiences that make art so much more accessible. Until the end of December 2023, you can catch this immersive art exhibition featuring live music by Soren Lyng Hansen, a Dubai-based cellist. The vibrance of Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract art or Monet’s hypnotic impressionis lilies will explode around you in rhythm to Soren’s rendition of music by Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Nils Frahm, and the Irish-Norwegian band Secret Garden.
Tickets start from AED 150 per person; find details here
2. Poetry to Politics, Jameel Arts Centre
This resplendent arts waterfront hub in Al Jaddaf hosts has teamed up with London’s esteemed V&A museum to create the Jameel Prize – a leading arts award that recognsies contemporary art inspired by Islamic tradition. Every year, the dedicated Jameel Prize exhibition features the works of winning artists and is a highlight of exhibitions in Dubai.
2023’s edition – the sixth of this award – is titled from Poetry to Politics and is currently on display at the Jameel Arts Centre. The exhibit first debuted at the V&A, followed by pitstops in Chile and Argentina. The works of 8 finalists of the prize are displayed – Golnar Adili, Hadeyeh Badri, Kallol Datta, Farah Fayyad, Ajlan Gharem (winner), Sofia Karim, Jana Traboulsi and Bushra Waqas Khan.
Until January 2024; from 6pm-8pm daily
3. Ways of Seeing by Jamal Tayara-Baroudy, FN Designs
FN Designs in Alserkal Avenue’s Warehouse 26 is the ground for one of UAE-based Lebanese artist Jamal Tayara-Baroudy’ solo exhibitions in Dubai. An alumni of art incubator Tashkeel’s Critical Practice Programme 2022, Tayara-Baroudy’s ‘Ways of Seeing’ exhibit sheds light on how vital of a natural sustainable resource plants are. The multidisciplinary artist and graphic designer used parts of the giant milkweed plant, from pods and fibres to stalks and leaves to create this composition.
Until December 8; find more details here
4. The Master of Surrelaism: Salvador Dali, Firetti Contemporary
Another Alserkal gallery, Firetti Contemporary Warehouse 29, is the setting of surrealist artist Salvador Dali’s trippy surrealist works. While the Spanish artist and his menjou moustache are no longer in the world, the impact of his bizarre mind-altering visuals and art that questioned our perception of reality still echoes through the ages. This particular exhibition lifts the veil on the iconic artist’s bronze sculptures including ‘Space Elephant’, ‘Woman of Time’, ‘Profile of Time’ ‘Dalinian Dancer’ featuring his signature motif of the melting clock.
Until December 20; find more details here
5. Melting Point by Julian Charrière, Project Space
With one of the defining event of our times, COP28, unfolding in Expo City, there isn’t a more fitting time than now to check out this climate-crisis-centric exhibition in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. A collaboration between the non-profit Art of Change 21 and French-Swiss artist Julian Charrière, Melting Point is part of Art of Change’s “Art at COP28” programming. This video exhibit will screen two of Charrière’s cinematic works — Towards No Earthly Pole (2019) and Pure Waste (2021) – and take viewers on a journey through the glaciers and ice of the Arctic regions and the loss of these regions and the threat global warming poses to them.
Until January 6 at Warehouse 50; find details here
6. Works on Paper, Fann A Porter
This contemporary art gallery in Jumeirah 2 is hosting an exhibition featuring the works on paper of eight different artists. Each of them uses different materials such as oil, ink, charcoal, and mixed media on paper canvases to explore a variety of themes, from birds and abstract geometry to bursts of vivid colour and portraiture. Aditionally, the artists also experiment with different types of paper such as cotton-paper and Japanese paper to investigate the effect it has on the final artwork.
Until January 5; find more details here
7. Only Life, Myriad Places: Sudarshan Shetty, Ishara Art Foundation
This first solo exhibition of Shetty, a Mumbai-based conceptual artist, is a compilation of videos, multi-media installations and sculptures. One Life, Myriad Places pays tribute to music, literature and storytelling devices used in South Asian tradition. Furthermore, it also creates visual scenarios that blur the lines between reality, dreams and memories. It’s up to the spectator to guess if the stories are depictions of someone’s dreams or if they’re the inner dreams of the characters in the film.
Until December 9; find more details here
8. Catarina by Miguel Rodrigues, AWC Gallery
DIFC’s annual open-air sculpture park is a favourite amongst the city’s art enthusiasts. However, until the seasonal outdoor exhibits return for its next edition, there’s plenty to hold your attention with the financial district’s many art galleries. Portuguese sculptor Miguel Rodrigues’ new exhibitions in Dubai of hyper baroque sculptures titled Catrina is being showcased at the AWC Gallery. Inspired by the stucco works of the 18th-century Italian artist João Grossi, the pieces in Catarina feature similar elements of white stucco and being heavily gilded.
Until January 31, 2024; find more details here