As Dubai becomes an ever more important hub for air travel, passing friends keep telling me of wondrous transformations happening to the city’s landscape; most notably, the local art scene’s extraordinary boom over the past couple of years. Although other wealthy gulf cities like Doha and Abu Dhabi are also investing plenty to enrich the local cultural cache, Dubai was possibly one of the first to dip its toes in the art market waters and today has a reputable amount of galleries showcasing an interesting selection of artists from Iraq to Lebanon.
The ones most raved about are undoubtedly XVA Gallery, whose owner Mona Hauser represents internationally acclaimed artists such as Harim al Karim and Emirati Meera Huraiz, and The Empty Quarter which specializes in stunning photography, like the recently exhibited works on Outer Mongolia by Hamid Sardar-Afkhami.
But just as noteworthy, located a little further afield, in the burgeoning gallery hub of the Al Quoz district, are Carbon 12 Dubai and The Third Line. The former focuses more on European artists, as well as Middle Eastern, and has plenty of great installation pieces like the latest neon light works by James Clar, whereas the latter of the two spaces has a wonderfully curated batch of artists including Hayv Kahraman with her delicately solemn oil paintings.
For more Middle Eastern art, check out the “Exotic Escapes” issue of The Travel Curator featuring some intriguing Marrakech galleries. Happy Journeys!