7 Art Spaces Harnessing the Power of Artists in the Region

From Iraq to Morocco

When it comes to its art scene, the region never falls short on expectations. From North Africa to the Middle East, the Arab world is emerging as a world class art hub. 

Whether it’s the UAE’s Sharjah Art Foundation, Saudi Arabia’s Misk Art Institute or Tunisia’s Kamel Lazaar Foundation, art institutions are playing a major role in taking local art to a global scale. Cultural calendars are filled to the brim, with art festivals like Art Dubai to Jeddah’s 21, 39 standing as some of the region’s most hotly-anticipated events. 

We’d be remiss not to mention the region’s permanent museums too—think the Louvre Abu Dhabi and Morocco’s Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden—and galleries like The Third Line, Athr and Selma Feriani to name just a few, each always a worthy visit. 

So, if you’re in or around the region and want to dive into the its art world, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite art spaces for you to visit.  

Alserkal Avenue – Dubai


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Set in the Al Quoz industrial area of Dubai, the avenue hosts over 70 contemporary art galleries, arts organisations, designers, home-grown businesses and community spaces. From Cinema Akil and The Third Line gallery to Carbon 12 and Gulf Photo Plus, there’s always an exciting venture to check out at Alserkal.

Bait Tarkib – Baghdad

Iraq’s first creative contemporary arts centre, Bait Tarkib opens its doors to Baghdadi youth to voice their artistic identities through a vast program of exhibitions, public performances, trainings and workshops. Pushing Iraq’s creative scene forward, the centre supports emerging and aspiring Iraqi artists with their extended facilities of labs specialized in art, music, dance, drama and more.

B7L9 – Tunis

The brainchild of Tunisia’s Kamel Lazaar Foundation, the art hub is bringing a new life to one of Tunis’s most impoverished neighbourhoods, Bhar Lazreg, and its local community of art enthusiasts.

Jameel Arts Centre – Dubai

One of the biggest art institutions in the Emirates, the multiple-gallery space was launched in 2018 by the Art Jameel organisation. Jameel Arts Centre is now home to curated commissions, projects, and both solo and group exhibitions, as well as an open-access research library dedicated to artists and cultural movements in the region.

Le Cube – Rabat

An independent art room, Le Cube has been shedding a light on the local art community since 2005. Alongside hosting exhibitions, conferences and workshops, the space offers residency programs and grants for female artists as well as access to a library.

AlMashtal – Riyadh

The creative space, set in the heart of Riyadh’s international hub in the Diplomatic Quarter, is a gathering point for artists, creatives and art enthusiasts. With a gallery, library, audio and visual lab, screening room, as well as workstations, AlMashtal hosts everything from exhibitions to talks and workshops for nurturing the local creative community.

Maisan 15 – Dubai


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Founded by Emirati creative Rami Farook, the Dubai-based space is the perfect place for a date and an art fix. A haven for artist collaborations and exhibitions, Maisan 15 includes a restaurant, cafe, gallery, garden and library.

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