There’s more to Dubai life than “partying”, or at least there are alternatives. Immerse yourself in the art scene, it’s vibrant, inspiring, interesting and emerging to be one of Dubai’s most exclusive attractions.
Here are a selection of Dubai’s best art spaces, where all the cool kids hang out with their vintage bikes, Gola satchels and portable record players. OK some of that’s not quite true, it’s not Portland/Shoreditch… Yet. But it’s surely only a matter of time before a cereal shop starts up in Safa Park…
Al Serkal Avenue
Al Serkal Avenue has emerged to become the number one arts destination in the Middle East. It’s not hard to see why, when you step inside this world of diversity and expression, it very quickly becomes apparent that something is happening here. An underlying realm of creativity and expression, you can spend the day in Alerskal. It’s 250,000 sq. ft, of variation and fascination, housing numerous galleries, cinema rooms, cafes and warehouse spaces.
Artists mix with the public to discuss their work, and collaboration and exchange of ideas is positively encouraged. Within an hour you’ve completely forgotten where you are. You kind of semi-expect to walk out onto the King’s Road, London, but you don’t. Because you’re in Dubai.
The Empty Quarter is far from empty. It is actually the only gallery in Dubai completely devoted to exhibiting fine art photography. On display within these walls you can find both established and emerging photographers from the Middle East and beyond. The pictures on show are diverse, ranging from photojournalistic contributions, through to personal, human and street photography. Full of splendour and ubiquitous individuality, The Empty Quarter permanently displays collections encouraging escapism, and capturing the imagination of all those who enter.
If you’ve never been, The Archive will blow your mind. Based in Safa Park, this arty (hate that word) hotspot brings together creative minds looking to discover new ideas. A huge range of books on art history, fashion, design and typography are stored within these glass walls, making it the perfect reference point for those looking fro inspiration to create. Plus there are a huge number of activities constantly kicking off, such as book clubs, film screenings, musical performances, talks and discussions, outdoor painting, allsorts actually. There is a wonderful café that serves up a great all day breakfast, as well some of the best coffee you’ll find in Dubai. With free Wi-Fi as well, you’ll often find me down there working on my next stupid article. Come say hi. I love this place.