Dubai has become a popular art and entertainment hub in the Middle East and the traditional Arab culture is strongly knitted in the city. There is no shortage of contemporary art galleries in Dubai, showcasing the rich artistic flair of the community. From modern Middle Eastern art to emerging talent and international artists, the Dubai art galleries depict the true colours of the city’s creative scenery.
You will often find artwork featuring the UAE’s iconic architecture in different shops. The pride of Dubai, Burj Al Arab and the skyscrapers along the Sheikh Zayed Road have also been drawn on canvas by artists and placed in various art galleries in Dubai. Other artistic creations include portraits of the former rulers of the UAE.
Top Art Galleries in Dubai
A trip to the art galleries in Dubai can be informative and enthralling. But which ones are a ‘must-visit’? Here is your guide to the 8 best art galleries in Dubai.
One of the leading art galleries in Dubai and the Middle East is XVA, located in the charming old quarters of Dubai. The XVA Gallery is located in AI Fahidi, Dubai’s heritage district. Established in 2003, XVA specialises in contemporary art from Arab countries, Iran, and the subcontinent. The exhibitions held at XVA focuses on art creations by regional and emerging artists. The artwork depicts various cultural identities and perspectives, challenging the existing biases. XVA gallery displays exhibitions locally and internationally. It also participates in international art exhibitions such as SH Contemporary, Art London, and Art Basel Hong Kong.
XVA offers expert art consultancy and project management for companies and individuals. This is also one of the popular haunts for those looking at Middle Eastern and Indian art galleries in Dubai. They also provide art rotations for rented or loaned work. Their art halls in Dubai are used for planning exhibitions, assist in art transportation and handling and provide art installation services.
Current Art exhibitions in Dubai 2019:
- Naz Shahrokh; Wish Tree (The sacred space between the no longer and the non-yet) March 5 – May 5, 2019.
- A night sea journey by Samira Abbassy | Badshahnama by Imran Channa March 16 – April 24, 2019.
- Exiles in Hidden Worlds, Halim Al Karim Empathetic Dream Construction March 16 – April 24, 2019.
Location: XVA Gallery, Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai, P.O. Box 37304 Dubai, UAE
- Phone: +971-4-353-5383
- Fax: +971-4-353-5988
Working Hours: 7 days a week: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm.
The Empty Quarter
The Empty Quarter is the only art gallery in the UAE exclusively devoted to fine art photography. It is co-founded by Saudi Princess HRH Reem Al-Faisal and Emirati Princess Safa Al-Hamed. It is one of the finest Dubai art galleries dealing with emerging and internationally renowned photographers. The list includes Steve McCurry, Bruno Barbey, Marc Riboud, and Al-Moutasim Al Maskery to name a few. The Empty Quarters have represented twice at “Paris Photo” and won the BMW Paris Award in 2009. This art gallery has also hosted the world tour titled “Prix Pictet Earth” in 2009 and the Art Paris Art Fair in 2013.
Current Exhibitions: Samuel Davis from February 17th, 2019- March 14th, 2019.
Location: Gate Village, Building 02, P.O.BOX 506697, DIFC Dubai, UAE
Contact: Tel: +971-4-323 1210, Fax: +971-4-323-1524
Working Hours: Sun-Thur: 10:00 am – 07:00 pm.
The Third Line
Another significant entry in the list of best art galleries in Dubai is the Third Line. It represents contemporary Middle Eastern art. The work displayed in the gallery includes the likes of Farah AI Qasimi, Amir H. Fallah, Tarek AI – Ghoussein, Hassan Hajjaj, Huda Lutfi to name a few. The book wing of the Third Line publishes books written by regional artists. Some prominent publications include In Absentia by Tarek AI – Ghoussein in 2009, a monograph on Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist and Karen Marta in 2011.
Current Exhibitions: Perception and Reflection by Rana Begum March 5 – May 9, 2019.
Location: Warehouse 78 & 80, (Exit 43 off Sheikh Zayed Road), Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE, PO Box 72036.
Contact: Tel: +971-4-341-1367, Fax: +971-4-341-1369.
Working Hours: Sat-Thu: 10:00 am To 07:00 pm. The gallery is closed on Fridays.
The Workshop Dubai in Jumeirah is a multi-concept space offering a diverse range of artistic experiences. The famous art galleries in Dubai, “Fann À Porter” and “Vindemia” are located inside the workshop. There is a separate floor for displaying interior design such as furniture, home accessories, and lighting. You can also find workshops alongside a place to relax, a library and a café.
- Resin Painting Workshop 19th March 2019 05:00 pm – 07:00 pm.
- Subconscious Reality Opening Reception 25th March 2019 07:00 pm – 10:00 pm.
- Alcohol Inks Workshop 30th March 2019 10:00 am – 01:00 pm.
- Art in Movement Workshop 31st March 2019 5 PM – 1st April 2019 07:30 pm.
Location: The Workshop Dubai, Villa 45 – ST 23B – Off AL Wasl Road Jumeirah 2 – Dubai – U.A.E.
Contact: +971-55-136-9454, email@example.com
Working Hours: Every day 10:00 am to 08:00 pm.
Cuadro Fine Art Gallery
Cuadro Fine Art Gallery is an exclusive contemporary art platform in Dubai. This art gallery also offers 3-month residencies for fine art book publications and for artists to develop and exhibit their skills. This place offers a wide range of art exhibitions, educational programs, and art consultation. The art exhibitions are enhanced by the Cuadro Education Programme which includes lectures, panel discussions, and workshops.
Current Exhibitions: None.
Location: Cuadro Gallery, Building 10 DIFC Gate Village, P.O. Box 506586, Dubai, UAE.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, +971-4-4250400
Working Hours: Sun – Thur 10:00 am to 08:00 pm.
The Lawrie Shabibi Dubai is a contemporary art gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai. This art gallery is known for supporting Middle Eastern and North African contemporary artists. This well-known Al Quoz art gallery also organises historical art exhibitions, mediating with curators, and collectors. When it comes to art museums in Dubai, this gallery has acted as a bridge of connection between Middle Eastern and International contemporary art community. The gallery regularly conducts exhibitions, screenings and talks in addition to taking part in international art fairs.
- Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim “The Space between the Eye Lid and Eye Ball” 5th March – 9th March 2019.
- Materialize – 18th March – 7th April 2019.
Location: Lawrie Shabibi, Unit 21, Alserkal Avenue, Al-Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE.
Contact: T. +971- (0) 4-346-9906, Fax: +971-(0)4-346-9902
Working Hours: Saturday – Thursday 10:00 am – 06:00 pm. It is closed on Friday.
Meem Gallery can’t be ignored when talking about the finest art galleries in Dubai. It focuses on the promotion of contemporary art belonging to the Arab, Iranian, and North African region. Founded by Sultan Sooud AI- Qassemi, Charles Pocock, and Mishal Hamed Kanoo in the year 2005, this gallery holds solo and group art exhibitions based on regional artists such as Parviz Tanavoli, Dia Azzawi, and Kamal Boullata. It also displays the artwork of contemporary artists such as Mahmoud Obaidi and Zhivago Duncan. You can witness artworks of renowned artists in Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, British Museum London, Institut du Monde Arabe Paris, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art Doha, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to name a few.
This art gallery also deals with the in-house publication programme featuring work by renowned writers and scholars. The region’s largest and comprehensive resource centres for the arts, the Noor Library for Middle Eastern Art, is present at the gallery. This resource centre houses a collection of over 16,000 books and journals related to contemporary, classical and ancient Middle Eastern art.
Current Exhibitions: The Mountain by Moataz Nasr, 9th March – 16th May 2019.
Location: Meem Gallery, P.O. Box 290, Al Qouz, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Contact: T +971- (0) 4-347-7883, Fax +971-(0)4-340-1640
Working Hours: Saturday – Thursday: 10:00 am – 06:00 pm. Friday – closed.
The Mojo Gallery brings together various creative forms such as design, art and media. Their art exhibitions are based on contemporary and fine arts. Mojo Gallery exhibits original paintings, sculptures, paperwork, conceptual photography, mixed media prints and video art.
Location: The Mojo Gallery, Unit 33 Al Serkal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Dubai
Contact: Tel: +971-4-347-7388, Fax: +971-4-323-6367
Working Hours: Sunday – Thursday 10:00 am – 07:00 pm, Saturday from 11:30 am – 06:00 pm.
Besides these art galleries, there are also frequent pop-up exhibitions in Zabeel Park, Dubai Design District, JBR and Al Quoz. If you want to explore more art studios in Dubai, then check out the Sikka Art Fair Dubai 2019 that will take place in March 2019. The dedicated art fans can even check out the best art galleries in Abu Dhabi. The culture of street art is becoming popular in the UAE. You can even check out the best places in Dubai for street art if you have a taste for it.