We may only be a couple of weeks into 2023, but there’s already a spectrum of cultural events to look forward to in Dubai. The bustling metropolitan city has already seen its annual schedule fill up, with a multitude of concerts, festivals, and exhibitions of all kinds and nature unfolding over the next 52 weeks. Among some of the upcoming events to look forward to stands Art Dubai, a leading international art fair in the region that takes place every March in the UAE’s economic hub.
An unmissable moment shared by hundreds of creatives, the culture-centered happening has grown, in recent years, into a catalyzing instrument and platform for artists from all corners of the globe. Now in its 16th edition, the celebration of contemporary art aims at those that seek to engage in thought-provoking conversations that stray away from traditional western-led narratives, interact with like-minded individuals, and get familiar with new practices that could inspire new projects. It is now set to take place from March 1 to 5 at Madinat Jumeriah
“This year’s expanded programme fully reflects our role as a meeting point for the region’s creative industries, both commercial and not-for-profit. As an innovative public-private partnership, we have been an incubator of talent, a catalyst for the creative economy here in Dubai, a convener of great minds, and an entry point to this vibrant ecosystem for the wider cultural sector,” Benedetta Ghione, Art Dubai’s executive director, told The National.
With a strong desire to amplify the voice and heighten the vision of the region’s confirmed, and up-and-coming, cultural workers, over 100 galleries from all around the world will be welcomed to showcase their respective commissioned crafts and place them at the center of Art Dubai’s stage. Inviting a record number of Emirati artists, with 17 confirmed participants, as well as 20 galleries based in Dubai, the event will also involve guests hailing from neighboring Gulf States, including Saudi Arabia, with ATHR and Hafez Galleries from Jeddah, also expected to make an appearance. What’s more, a significant amount of young female Iranian artists, will also be invited to highlight and uphold their latest creations.
This year, organizers have revealed that the fair will be split into four categories, namely contemporary, modern, bawwaba, and digital. But that’s not all — there will also be plenty of enticing site-specific performances by regional and international artists, informative seminars and conferences, and special exhibits. Trust us, you don’t want to miss out on this year’s Art Dubai.
Below, a quick recap of everything we know so far about the incubator of creative talent in the region.
When is it happening?
This year’s iteration will run from the March 1 to 5, with the first two days by invitation only. The art fair will be open from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day, except for the last day, which will open at noon and close at 6:00 p.m.
Where is happening?
As with previous editions, the event will get underway at Madinat Jumeirah.
What are the themes of this year’s edition?
Artists will explore the themes of cuisine, community, connection, celebration, and hope. According to reports online, the fair’s director, Benedetta Ghione, stated that they are “delighted” to collaborate with a select group of cultural institutions, including the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Samdani Art Foundation, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Britto Arts Trust, Ishara Art Foundation, and Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation for the occasion.
How will this year’s edition differ from previous iterations?
Art Dubai 2023 will offer new site-specific commissions and world premieres by international artists, as well as conferences, lectures, and an instructional program to come in support of Dubai’s efforts in the cultural sector.
The event will also reintroduce UAE First Immersion, a collection of digital art created during a November visit to the UAE, as part of the second edition of Art Dubai Digital, which includes partnerships with organizations of the likes of the Lian Foundation and Punk6529’s Open Metaverse project.