Art Galleries and Art Exhibitions in Dubai
There is a growing art scene in Dubai and the UAE with many exhibitions and works
displayed from artists based in Dubai and elsewhere in the Middle East,
in addition to works displayed from international artists. A few shops
in Dubai call themselves a gallery when they really are only a furniture
or picture frame shop. Nevertheless, some of them have some interesting
stuff to look at. Just wander around one of Dubai's
shopping centres and you'll find something. But that's hardly what
most people are looking for in an art gallery.
There are two 3½ areas of Dubai with a cluster of art galleries and recommended for a visit. The galleries highlighted in green are on the "must see" list (although to be fair, it's worth visiting all the galleries in the same group as they're so close to each other). A list of galleries and further details follow the two suggested areas.
- Bastakiya (or Bastakia) in Bur Dubai to visit the Majlis, XVA (moved to DIFC 25 January 2011), Eye Art Gallery, Ostra Art Gallery and maybe the Basta Art Cafe for a coffee - all within walking distance of each other and near the Dubai Museum. It's a pleasant walk around a historical and scenic part of Dubai amongst the Wind Towers.
- Al Quoz Industrial Area to visit B21 Gallery, The Courtyard (gallery, cafe and shops - and the spectacular "Petals"), The Third Line - all within walking distance of each other, and Meem Gallery a short, complicated, drive away. B21, TTL, and Meem are all similar in that they have a large single warehouse style room with periodic exhibitions. Al Quoz really is an industrial area so don't be put off when first venturing in to its cement dusted depths. It's not quite the Louvre (although Abu Dhabi is building one in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District) but persevere, and you'll find these refreshing artistic oases in the desert.
- Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) - the financial hub of Dubai (sort of), with several art galleries and shops in The Gate Village. Nice quiet place for a stroll in the weekends with several coffee shops and restaurants, but most of the galleries are closed on Fridays. The well-known XVA Gallery moved to DIFC in January 2011.
- ... or 3½ for now. Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa area might see a few art galleries opening up, but more commercial than Bastakia or Al Quoz. There are a few art shops in The Dubai Mall, and it's a pleasant area to walk around anyway. The Ara Gallery opens in April 2011.
Art Galleries and Shops in Dubai/UAE
- 4 Walls Art Gallery [gallery] www.4walls-dubai.com - art gallery in Al Quoz displaying Middle East and international modern art. Behind Gargash Motors, see location map, tel +971-4-3388892, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Opened 2007?
- Al Abbar Art Gallery Dubai [shop] www.alabbarart.com - two locations, Gulf Towers tel +971-4-3375537 and Jumeirah Beach Center tel +971-4-3449207 (the blue and glass shopping center on Jumeirah Beach Road). Sells oil paintings, lithographs, limited edition prints, and posters. Opening hours 0900-1300 and 1600-2100 in the Jumeirah Center and 0800-1300 and 1600-2000 in Gulf Towers.
Gallery - see The Ara Gallery.
- Art Sawa Gallery [gallery] - Al Quoz
- ArtSpace Dubai (Art Space Dubai) [gallery] www.artspace-dubai.com - 9th Floor, Fairmont Hotel, tel +971-4-3325523, Sheikh Zayed Road, email email@example.com. Open 1000-1400 & 1500-2100 Saturday to Thursday during Ramadan. Promotes art from national and international contemporary artists. Intend to offer exhibitions every 3 weeks.
- Ayyam Gallery [gallery], www.ayyamgallery.com,
Al Quoz near the other art galleries in Al Quoz. Syrian art.
Dubai opening 10am Sat 31 May 2008 (with live artists flown in from
around the world), tel +971-4-3236242.
There's a gallery also in Damascus, Syria.
- B21 Progressive Art Gallery [gallery] - opposite Spinneys warehouse,
Al Quoz 3, +971-4-3403965, firstname.lastname@example.org, no website.
- Bagash Art Gallery, www.bagashartgallery.com -
tel +971-4-3515311. Opened in early 2006
to showcase southeast Asian Art.
- Basta Art Cafe [cafe] - Bastikiya, tel +971-4-3626100
(or +971-4-3535071?), a few trinkets for sale. Another delightful restored
building with large shaded outdoor area to drink your tea. Open Sat-Thu
- Boutique 1 / Boutique1, www.boutique1.com - new shop at The Walk JBR, Dubai Marina, tel +971-4-3304555, email email@example.com, open 06 November 2008. Includes Boutique 1 Art Gallery, Boutique 1 Books, Boutique 1 Cafe, Boutique 1 Spa, Boutique 1 Living (men's and women's fashion), Boutique 1 Magazine. Manager Fadi Mogabgab, a Lebanese curator. New exhibitions each month of art including paintings, photography, sculpture, coffee (ok, maybe the coffee doesn't change). January 2009 - Joanna Andraos (artist in attendance), February 2009 Joan Miro & Alexander Calder, March 2009 Marwan Sahmarani (artist attending), April 2009 Akri Kuroda, May 2009 Andonov, June 2009 Michel Pelloille.
First Boutique 1 shop at the Boulevard (upper level), Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Boutique 1 fashion also for sale (discounted) at Dubai Outlet Mall in their shop "The Outlet"
- Christie's Dubai (well-known international art
auctioneers) sales office [art auctions] - office 7, 1st floor, building
2, Emaar Business Park, Sheikh Zayed Road,
PO Box 48800,
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, tel +971-4-3615323, fax +971-4-3615324,
open Sunday-Thursday, 1000-1800. Managing Director - Michael
Jeha. Opened office in April 2005 so all the rich people in Dubai could
give them their surplus cash.
- Creative Arab - see Meem Art Gallery information.
- Carbon 12 Gallery, www.carbon12dubai.com - art gallery in Marina View Towers ground floor, Dubai Marina, email firstname.lastname@example.org, tel +971-50-4644392.
- Design People [shop]
- Mazaya Centre, Sheikh Zayed Road web www.designpeopledubai.com, furniture
shop with paintings by Imad Bechara (Lebanon). Clever looking website.
- Dubai International Art Centre (DIAC) [gallery] - see Gallery 76.
- Emorarts - an online art gallery at www.emorarts.com, open 24/7 (of course), delivery by DHL.
Based in Dubai, established by
Ian Mercer and Ian Mulville.
- Etemad Dubai - opening date 14 March 2011 with an exhibition called "New Wave - British Art Today" (private viewing event on 13 March 2011 from 1900-2100, open to public from 14 March to 01 May 2011). Area 7,500 ft², location in Unit 12 in the Al Serkal Avenue area in Al Quoz (8th street). Etemad Dubai is part of the Etemad Gallery Middle East organisation, established in 2002 in Tehran, Iran, to promote and show contemporary Iranian artworks.
Website www.galleryetemad.com, email email@example.com.
- Eye Gallery [gallery], Bastakia, small pleasant
gallery with avant-garde exhibitions from resident artists in Dubai
, especially Iranian art.
Open 0900-2000 (1000-1900 during Ramadan). Tel +971-4-3534833, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Five Green [shop], www.fivegreen.com -
behind Aroma Garden Cafe, Oud Metha Road, Bur Dubai, tel +971-4-3364100.
Art, music, clothes and magazines for modern urban living.
- Flying Colors Art Gallery - Russian and other art. New gallery, shop in 2011? Location - Apex Atrium Bulding in Dubai Motor City (next to Spinneys). Contact details email: email@example.com, phone: +971-4-4534979, fax: +971-4-4534978, postal address: PO Box 454476, Dubai UAE, website www.flyingcolorsgallery.com.
- Four Seasons Ramesh Gallery [shop] - Bastakia tel
+971-4-3536881, fax +971-4-3536177, www.fourseasonsgallery.com (under
Oct 2006). A commercial establishment selling a wide range of teapots,
old photos and other vaguely arty looking objects, but not many paintings.
Branches also in Mall of the Emirates, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, and Heritage Village.
- Gallery 1 [shop] - Souk Madinat in Jumeirah and
Mall of the Emirates. Same place as Middle East Arts in Souk / Souq
Madinat. Sells photographs you can't make yourself but wish you could.
- Gallery 76 (Gallery76) [gallery] - in DIAC, tel +971-4-3444398,
opened January 2005. Opening hours Sat-Wed 0900-1700, Thu 0900-1600.
Showcasing contemporary art from national and international artists.
Location Villa 27, 75b St, Jumeirah 1 (near Mercato shopping mall).
- Glory Art Gallery [shop] - Boutique 25, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. Art products include Pearls and Rare Gems,
Russian and Chinese Imperial Porcelain,
Batic Fashion Clothing Collection, Metal Works,
Paintings and Sculptures. Tel +971-4-4068173, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.gloryartgallery.com.
- Godolphin Gallery [showcase] - Nadd / Nad Al Sheba
racetrack. It's not art in the normal sense of the word but worth a
visit to see the
won by horses from Godolphin Stables (that belong to the Maktoum family
- Dubai's ruling family). Open daily 0900-1700 and closes 2000 on race
nights (mornings only during
- Green Art Gallery
[gallery], www.gagallery.com (or blog at gagallery.wordpress.com) -
new location from 10 January 2011 is Unit 28, Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz (behind Spinneys warehouse, near The Courtyard), tel +971-4-3469305, fax +971-4-3469306, email email@example.com. Previous details were: Near Dubai Zoo between Jumeira Beach Road and Al Wasl Road, villa 23,
street 51, Jumeirah, tel +971-4-3449888, fax +3447449, PO Box 25711,
Dubai, UAE, email firstname.lastname@example.org, www.gagallery.com. Open
Sat-Thu 0930-1330 & 1630-2030.
During Ramadan, hours are 0930-1500. Middle Eastern art and collectibles.
- Guy Flichy Gallery [gallery] (not Guy Flichey Gallery) - www.guyflichygallery.com, Villa 40, Al Bastakiya, mobile tel +971-50-5415392, email email@example.com. Open late 2008?
- J+A Gallery  - (Jaroslawski and Augustini Gallery LLC),
displays Industrial Antiques and Contemporary German Art, also items from Central Europe. Open August 2012? Opening event 10 September 2012 starting 1830. Location and address: Al Quoz Industrial Area 1, Street 4a, Compound 5, Warehouse 15 (near Noor Islamic Bank metro station). Postal address PO Box 282952,
Dubai. Tel +971-4-3389773, fax +971-4-3392429, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.ja-gallery.com.
[gallery & small
near Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi roundabout, Bastikia (Bastakiya), Bur
Dubai, tel +971-4-3536233. Well known as it's been open for years (since
1970). Pleasant courtyard to sit in and drink your bottle of water
after walking around.
- Meem Gallery [gallery], www.creativearab.com -
Al Quoz, easy to find if you know how, in warehouse #1 between Marina
Furniture and Max Garage on Umm Suqeim
Rd (the one that goes from Al Khail Rd to the Burj Al Arab). Difficult
if coming from the other Al Quoz art galleries. Tel +971-4-3477883,
email@example.com. Looks closed if there's
no exhibition but if you appear lost, and someone's there, they
may let you in.
- Middle East Arts [shop] - in Souk Madinat in Jumeirah
- Umm Suqeim/Um Suqqeim. Tel +971-4-3686057, web www.middleeastarts.com.
Same place as Gallery 1.
- Miraj Islamic Art Centre - Jumeirah Beach road,
Jumeirah 3 (in the old University of Wollongong building), tel +971-4-3941084
- Mondo Arte [gallery] - The Galleria, second floor,
Mall of the Emirates, tel +971-4-3413001.
An eclectic collection of paintings from local and international artists.
- Original and Unique Art Gallery [gallery?] - Al
Wasl Road, tel +971-4-3948808, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
web www.onuart.com. Established in March 1999 for exhibiting European
and North American art. Art Institute added February 2005. Open 1000-2100
daily (maybe not Fri mornings though).
- Ostra Gallery [gallery] - Al Fahidi roundabout,
Bastakia, Bur Dubai, tel + 971-4-3539441, email email@example.com,
no website. Small gallery opened in Sep
2004, displays Arabic paintings and calligraphy.
Petals [shop] - a trinket
shop in The Courtyard which doesn't sound like much but really is worth
a visit if you're
in The Courtyard,
just to see what an astounding array of household goods it is possible
to buy - Edwardian, Victorian, Baroque, Younameit, etc. This is not
an understatement. Tel +971-4-3473003, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Picasso Gallery [shop] - Satwa, near the Iranian
Hospital, tel +971-4-3450996, email email@example.com. Picture
framing shop but they sell a few pictures and large clay pots.
- Port of Call Gallery [shop] - Oriental antiques, furniture, and art gallery for Orient Fine Art LLC Dubai, location 4th floor of the Al Attar Business Tower on Sheikh Zayed Road, established in Dubai October 2000, tel +971-4-3326006, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.portofcallgallery.com.
- ProArt Gallery (Pro Art Gallery) [gallery, shop] - Palm Strip Mall in Jumeirah 1 (opposite Jumeirah Mosque), and the new Sunset Mall in Jumeirah 3.
- Salsali Private Museum [art museum] - opening September 2011, displays of contemporary artwork owned by Ramin Salsali, an Iranian collector based in Dubai and Germany. Located on Al Serkal Avenue in Al Quoz near the other Al Quoz art galleries.
Contact details not supplied.
- Sahary Gate [tour operator] - walk in through what
appears to be a garage door into a welcoming restored courtyard with
tourist office, gallery, resident
room and coffee shop. During Ramadan they
have an Iftar Buffet on the roof with a cultural presentation for 180
dhs per person.
They also do seminars on UAE culture, tours of the UAE, and language courses.
Bastakia House No 14, tel +971-4-3535660, fax +971-4-3539747, www.saharygate.com,
- Salsali Private Museum (SPM) [art gallery] - museum of contemporary art in Al Quoz opened 13 November 2011. Private gallery owned by Iranian art collector Ramin Salsali. Displays artworks by Iranian, Middle Eastern and European artists including painting, photography, video art, sculpture, installation. Initial exhibition included works by Reza Derakhshani, Farideh Lashaii, Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, Amir-Hossein Zanjani, Halim Al Karim.
Location Al Quoz 1 (Sheikh Zayed Road exit 43), Road 8,
Al Serkal Avenue Complex, Unit 14. Postal address
PO Box 123234, Dubai, UAE. Tel +971-4-3809600, email email@example.com. Opening hours Sunday to Thursday 11:00-18:00, Saturday 13:00-17:00, Friday closed. Website www.salsalipm.com.
- Sharjah Art Museum, www.sdci.gov.ae -
Bait Al Serkal, Al Shuwaiheyn area, Sharjah, near the Old Souk/Bazaar
in the Arts Area of Sharjah. Tel +971-6-5688222, basement parking available.
Admission free, open 0900-1300 & 1700-2000 except Mon (closed) & Fri
(1700-2000 only). Wed afternoon for ladies only (young children ok).
Check hours on public
hours mornings only. Permanent collection belongs to the Ruler of Sharjah
- Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi. Regular exhibitions, lectures,
workshops etc. Established in 1995, moved to new building in 1997.
Visit it to realise Sharjah is not just about dodgy car parts and strict
dress codes. Dubai has nothing like this. At least, not yet.
- The Ara Gallery [shop/gallery] - Downtown Dubai, near the Burj Khalifa, opening date 21 April 2011. Area 3,000 sq ft, displays of Arab contemporary art. Founder is Moza Mohammed Al Abbar. Partnership with Habitat for Humanity to help raise funds for orphans and underprivileged children in Lesotho. Opening exhibition, "Through the Eyes of Africa's Children", will feature works from Saeed Khalifa, Saeed Al Madani, Khawla Al Marri, Maryam Al Qassimi, Maryam Al Sayegh, Alia Rashid Al Shamsi. Not related to a couple of other ARA Galleries in USA. Website www.thearagallery.ae, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Courtyard [gallery and shops], www.courtyard-uae.com -
Spinneys warehouse, Al Quoz 3, tel +971-4-3475050.
A collection of art galleries (well, one), artists, exhibitions, art
supplies, furniture, and a cafe/coffee shop. Pleasant place to visit.
Don't leave without having a look in "Petals".
- The Empty Quarter [art gallery], www.theemptyquarter.com - DIFC Gate Village, Building 02, PO Box 509997, Dubai. A new (in 2009) art gallery that has a focus on fine art photography.
- The Jam Jar [gallery, studio, and events], www.thejamjardubai.com (changed from www.jamjardubai.com) - a company that organises art related activities, for individual or corporate clients. They have a DIY art studio (with art supplies, coffee and music) and art gallery. They'll even come to you for an event. Tel +971-4-3417303, email email@example.com, location is street 17a in Al Quoz, behind the Modern Bakery and Dubai Garden Center near Mall of the Emirates (exit 39 on Sheikh Zayed Road). Open hours Monday to Thursday 10am - 9pm, Friday 2pm - 9pm, closed Sundays.
- The Mojo Gallery [gallery], www.themojogallery.com - Unit 33, Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1 (one block behind Times Square), tel +971-4-3236367. Opening date 03 November 2009 with an exhibition by Gail Catlin from South Africa running 04-25 November 2009. Mojo Gallery focuses on highlighting emerging international artists.
- The Red Gallery [gallery], www.theredgallery.net -
Villa 833b, Al Wasl Rd (Iranian Hospital Road), after Umm Suqeim
Spinneys heading in Jebel Ali direction. Tel +971-4-3955811, fax +971-4-395-5812,
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery specialising in contemporary Asian
fine art. Opened late 2006 / early 2007?
The Third Line
between The Courtyard and Spinneys warehouse, sign is a bit obscure,
3, tel +971-4-3411367, www.thethirdline.com. They've done a good
job of turning a warehouse into a gallery.
- Total Arts [gallery] - The Courtyard, near Spinneys
warehouse, Al Quoz 3, tel +971-4-3475050.
Opened 1996, specialising in Middle East influenced art and artists.
Owner Dariush Zandi.
- Total Design [studio] - The Courtyard, near Spinneys
warehouse, Al Quoz 3, tel +971-4-3475050.
Photographic studio also owned by Dariush Zandi.
- XVA [gallery], www.xvagallery.com -
behind the Majlis Gallery, near Dubai Museum, Bastakia,
Bur Dubai, tel +971-4-3535383, email email@example.com. Cafe and
guesthouse accommodation in a restored building, rooms are 700-800
dhs per night. Gallery open 0900-2100 Sat-Thu. Movie nights in splendid
courtyard retaurant on Wed nights from 8 pm when temperature is cool
enough (approx Nov-Mar), sometimes the director or producer will be
there to talk about the
movie. H2O dhow cruise also part of their offerings. Update: moved to DIFC from 25 January 2011.
Boutique hotel and cafe still operating in Bastakiya (website www.xvahotel.com)?
Art Galleries in Abu Dhabi
- Abu Dhabi Art Hub - opened 06 Nov 2012. A community area for artists from Abu Dhabi (and anywhere else), area 2,500 sq m on 3 floors. Facilities include complimentary space to host art activities and exhibitions, coffee shop, production and post-production facilities, 10 live and work units, large gallery area, media centre, workshop spaces, private art studios, offices for art related businesses. Activities planned include country specific art exhibitions, street art, art-related charity events, open house tours for school children, art in the desert program, photography exhibitions, workshops. Educational facilities include learning modules on history and evolution of art, live painting, film nights, children's art, school and university art. Located in Mussaffah Industrial Area, near corner of 7th St and 63rd St? Contact details: tel +971-2-6773111, fax +971-2-6771198. Website at www.adah.ae.
- Manarat Al Saadiyat in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District.
- Saadiyat Island - Guggenheim, Abu Dhabi Louvre, Sheikh Zayed National Museum (under construction
Art Galleries in Al Ain
- Al Qattara Arts Centre - open date 29 March 2011. Launched by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH). Focusing on showcasing Emirati artists. AQAC will also offer courses from May 2011 including arts and crafts, calligraphy, computing, music, photography, pottery. Located at the Al Qattara Fort in the Al Qatara Oasis area. Telephone +971-3-7118200, email firstname.lastname@example.org. First events and exhibitions are:
- WOMAD music, art, and dance festival from 30 March 2011 to 06 April 2011
- "Four Decades" Emirati art exhibition from 29 March 2011 to 29 April 2011.
Art Galleries in Sharjah
Art Exhibitions, Fairs and Auctions
- Abu Dhabi Art - first exhibition 19-22 November 2009 at Emirates Palace Hotel, with the support of TDIC and ADACH. Expected to be an annual exhibition showcasing international art and art galleries, especially Arab and Middle Eastern art. Sounds a bit like an Abu Dhabi version of Art Dubai.
- Art Dubai - art exhibition at the Madinat Jumeirah from 18-21 March 2009
- Art Antiques Design Dubai - art, furniture, book displays from international art galleries and dealers, from 18-22 February 2009
- Art Paris Abu Dhabi - Annual art exhibition at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi (first one in 2007), with art from .... well, we'll let you have a wild guess at that. Dates are 17-21 November 2008.
- Contemparabia - a seven-day tour from 15-21 March 2009 to museums and art fairs in Doha, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah
- Creek Art Fair - art galleries in Bastakiya expand and show more art at the same time as the Art Dubai fair (renamed as Al Bastakiya Art Fair according to news report 24 January 2009?). Dates 15-22 March 2009
- Gulf Art Fair - renamed as Art Dubai for 2008
- Sharjah Biennial (Sharjah International Art Biennial) - 16 March to 16 May 2009
- START at Art Dubai 2009 - an arts program for underpriviledged children during Art Dubai 18-21 March 2009
Art Societies, Clubs, Councils and Groups in Dubai and the UAE
- Al Owais Cultural Foundation
Artisans of the UAE - www.arte.ae - an
arts and crafts group.
- Cultural and Scientific Association
- Design People Dubai - www.designpeopledubai.com -
interesting website. Different.
- Dubai Arts & Crafts group - groups.msn.com/dubaiartscrafts
- DUCTAC - Dubai Community
Theatre and Arts Centre, www.ductac.org,
non profit art and theatre center at Mall
of the Emirates on the 2nd
floor, at the Ski Dubai end. Has a pottery studio, dance and arts classes,
an art gallery, The Centre for Musical Arts, The Art Materials Shop,
The Old Library, The Manu Chhabria Arts Center (not Chabria). Tel +971-4-3414777
(general), fax +971-4-3414443 (arts center), fax +971-4-3414445 (theatre),
- Dubai Cultural City - a several
billion dhs development announced early in 2006 which will include the
first Klingon-designed Opera House in the world.
- Dubai Cultural Council (DCC) - web www.dubaiculturalcouncil.ae
(needs updating - all events and shows listed have already happened).
Established 12 January 2004 to facilitate development of Dubai as a
cultural hub in the Middle East.
- Dubai International Art
Centre (DIAC) - www.artdubai.com -
villa No 27, street 75b, near Town Centre, Jumeirah Beach Road, tel
+971-4-3444398. Well-established center for
art supplies, courses. Since January 2005,
Gallery 76 has art displays and art exhibitions.
- Emirates Fine Arts Society (EFAS) - based in Sharjah
with offices also in Abu Dhabi, Khorfakkan, and Ras Al Khaimah. Main
email email@example.com, web www.artsuae.org.ae (may not be correct
- dated 2000 but cannot find more up to date version). Promotes art
appreciation and education with courses, lectures, seminars,
ceramics, graphic art, painting, photography, and sculpture. Occasionally
publishes in fine arts related magazines and periodicals. Established
in 1980. Member of the Arab Art Association and the International
Art Association (Arab) in Paris.
- Juma Al Majid Heritage and Cultural Center
- RAKarts / RAK arts - www.rakarts.ae - established May 2008 in Khouzam (near RAKESS) to promote arts in Ras Al Khaimah with pictures for adults to look at and activities for children. They also offer yoga, pilates, and martial arts - to make the human body look more artistic we guess.
- Sharjah Arts Society - same as the Emirates Arts
- The Jam Jar (see listing in art galleries section above) organise art related activities, for individual or corporate