Initiated by the Art Dubai Group and supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), Art Week is the region’s largest cultural festival taking place in the UAE every March as part of Dubai’s Art Season.
The 9th edition of Art Week starts on Saturday March 16 with over 500 events taking place over seven days across three Emirates – Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. As a testament to the UAE’s thriving and dynamic cultural scene, this year’s Art Week sees a 25% increase in venues staging events throughout the week, with over 80 venues filled with exhibitions, panel discussions, film screenings, workshops and live performances.
For the first time, a selected range of activities, all open to the public, are available to view on Art Dubai’s website; searchable by category and location, listing the highlights of the Week and what not to miss. The website is supported by a free print guide to Art Week in partnership with My Art Guides, available at Art Dubai and arts venues across the UAE.
Art Dubai, the flagship cultural event of Art Week, returns to Madinat Jumeirah, March 20-23, with its most extensive programme to date comprising of four gallery sections, performance art and music, talks and workshops, special projects and family programming. For its 13th edition the fair introduces Bawwaba, a new section focused on projects about Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South Asia, and UAE NOW which explores the evolving landscape of the country’s independent local artist-run platforms.
The 6th edition of Dubai Art Season ‘Take a Walk on the Art Side’ runs from March 1 –April 30. Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, SIKKA Art Fair returns for its 9th edition in the heart of Old Dubai at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood from March 16-24 . The fair, the first to open during Art Week, reflects 2019 as the Year of Tolerance in the UAE by bringing together emerging regional talents displaying works under the theme An Open Window to Art and Tolerance. For the first time this year, Sikka Art Fair will offer two distinctive but intertwined experiences: ‘Sikka by Day,’ celebrating Al Fahidi tenants, the neighbourhood, and their art exhibitions and installations; and ‘Sikka by Night’ where multiple cultural activations will be hosted.
On March 18, Alserkal Avenue’s Galleries Night will provide an extended-hours evening of exhibitions, commissions, artist talks, guest projects, screenings, tours and workshops. Not to be missed on this vibrant evening is Concrete’s Fabric(ated) Fractures, a group exhibition presented in collaboration with the Samdani Art Foundation featuring works from artists with a connection to Bangladesh. Concurrently, DIFC Art Nights presents a fusion of art, culture and entertainment with a number of exhibitions and creative activities.
Across town in Jaddaf Waterfront, the newly opened Jameel Arts Centre presents its inaugural exhibition Crude as well as a selection of Artist’s Rooms by Maha Malluh, Seher Shah and Randhir Singh, Hemali Bhuta and Farah Al Qasimi and an array of talks related to exhibitions and activities happening across the UAE. Elsewhere in Dubai, Tashkeel presents a group exhibition of 30 works by artists living and working in the UAE.
Beyond Dubai, visitors to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, can view works by Rembrandt van Rijn and Johannes Vermeer for the first time in the Middle East. Also making a debut in the region is the The Princely Collections, featuring key figures in the Late Renaissance and Baroque artistic movements, presented at the 16th annual Abu Dhabi Festival at ADMAF in Manarat Al Saadiyat. Other Abu Dhabi debuts include Swiss artist Zimoun’s survey exhibition at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery and Warehouse421’s group exhibition focusing on the development of six of the key Abjads (consonantal alphabets) of the Middle East.
A major highlight of the calendar this year is the 14th edition of the Sharjah Biennial, which takes over spaces at the Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Art Museum, the Emirates Fine Art Society and stretches across to venues on the East Coast. Elsewhere in the Emirate, Maraya Arts Centre host UAE Unlimited’s fifth collaborative exhibition and Sharjah Art Museum presents the long-term exhibition Century in Flux: Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation.