Art Lover’s Guide to Dubai
Boasting one of the Middle East’s most vibrant art scenes, Dubai offers rich pickings for all types of collectors and enthusiasts. From museums displaying works by established Emirati and international painters and sculptors to contemporary performance spaces, here are some amazing art venues to visit in Dubai.
XVA Gallery—Contemporary art from across the globe
Tucked into the Al Fahidi Historical District, the XVA is a leading light in Dubai’s art scene and a must-visit spot for modern and Emirati art fans. Connected to the XVA hotel and café, this gallery stages exhibitions focused primarily on works by contemporary Emirati, Middle Eastern, Asian, and African artists. Visit on your own or, for local context, see the venue on a guided walk around Al Fahidi.
The Majlis Gallery—Art in a private home
Housed in a restored courtyard villa in Al Fahidi, this privately-run gallery is one of Dubai’s premier venues. Exhibitions and collections include everything from calligraphy, ceramics, and sculpture to paintings and drawings of local scenes, thus appealing to a wide variety of arts buffs.
Bait Al Banat Women’s Museum—Contemporary women’s art
This museum—often included on Dubai’s heritage walking tours—celebrates women’s art and achievements in the emirate. Situated in the heart of Deira, the museum showcases pieces by established and emerging local female artists and will appeal to anyone interested in women’s contribution to culture in Dubai.
Al Quoz—Cutting edge venues
Modern art fans will love Dubai’s industrial-style Al Quoz district, where warehouses contain cutting-edge galleries, event venues, and performance spaces, many of which offer free admission. The heart of the complex is Alserkal Avenue, a hub of galleries displaying painting and conceptual art pieces by hot new talents from the Middle East, Asia, and Europe.
La Mer—Street art of all kinds
This outdoor, beachfront shopping destination in Dubai’s Jumeirah neighborhood (handily near a stop on a Dubai’s hop-on hop-off bus route) doubles as an open-air gallery. The walls of local buildings are coated in murals, graffiti, and stencils, making the area a great introduction to the city’s contemporary art scene.