Assuming the position as a leading global art fair, and the place to be to learn about young new artists, lesser-known galleries, and emerging social trends, Art Dubai, at its core, is a discovery fair. It is an assembly point where art practitioners, collectors and curators alike convene. It is a platform for cross-cultural dialogue, housing galleries from East to West. Its host city’s geographic positioning lends the fair a central location both in the region and around the world.
Beyond the fair, Art Dubai holds not-for-profit and educational programs, amongst which The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program and the Art Dubai Fellowship programme are a few. The programmes include presentations, workshops, publications and exploration tours with the long-term aim of urging young people to participate and excel in creative fields. The fair not only exhibits social trends, it also sets them, creating a wave big enough for everyone to ride. While Art Dubai is the preeminent destination for those looking to explore the best visual art practices emanating from the MENASA, it is a cultural machine aiming to shape and shift public discourse on art and social trends both regionally and internationally.
This year, Art Dubai is at its earnest. Exhibiting 93 galleries from a record 43 countries, in addition to a breadth of programming making this edition the most globally diverse to date, mirroring the ethos of its host city. Across its two halls, Modern and Contemporary, tightly curated solo, duo or multi-artist presentations are featured, including an extensive interactive programme with performance-based commissions for the first time, and opportunities for gastronomic experiences in The Room, public art around the city, workshops catered to children in the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, and the Global Art Forum, focusing wholly on the trade of goods and ideas that shape and reshape the world Titled Trading Places, all set alongside the unique waterways of Madinat Jumeirah.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, Art Dubai’s 11th edition runs from 15-18 March at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.
Ruba Al-Sweel is an a-political Arab who often finds herself in political protests on her way back from school. When she is not busy being apolitical, she is a student at Sciences Po, Paris. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, and her apolitical podcast Broads Who Brain.