Alserkal Avenue Community Night

Visitors to and residents of the GCC will experience the region’s most comprehensive cultural programme to date during the second edition of Art Week, March 15-25th 2012. The Gulf will host an exceptional range of contemporary art and design events — from art and design fairs to major museum shows — cementing the region as a hub for artistic production and home to numerous cultural centres.

Art Week, the umbrella programme that includes Design Days Dubai, SIKKA and Art Dubai, showcases the broad range of cultural events taking place across the UAE.

Dubai Galleries’ Night on Monday, March 19th will see late-night openings for a host of stellar new exhibitions, complemented by performances by locally-based musicians, at more than 40 galleries across Dubai.  Five new galleries, including Fayez Barakat, Grey Noise, La Galerie Nationale, Showcase Gallery and FN Designs, will open their doors for the first time in Alserkal Avenue. Meanwhile, established galleries in Al Quoz and the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), such as Green Art Gallery, The Third Line, Lawrie Shabibi, Cuadro, Artspace and The Empty Quarter,  among others, in addition to private collections such as the Salsali Private Museum and The Farjam Collection, will open major exhibitions of Arab, Iranian, South Asian and international contemporary art.

Design Days Dubai, the first fair in the Middle East entirely dedicated to limited edition and collectible design will open on Saturday March 17th in a new location at the foot of Burj Khalifa. Bringing a fresh dimension to the region’s arts and design scene, Design Days Dubai will showcase works of leading design galleries and the most innovative of designers from around the world. The fair will appeal to a broad public – from design connoisseurs, architects, design enthusiasts, and designers to students and graduates – looking for inspiration, and for exclusive designed objects for their homes and workspaces.

Art Nights @ Gate Village, DIFC

In 2012, Art Week also includes SIKKA in the Bastakiya cultural district, which will serve as a pathway to discover the works of UAE artists this March. An initiative by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, SIKKA is an artist-led commissioning fair that aims to showcase the most compelling work being made across the UAE and features exclusive events such as live music performances, research areas, food gatherings and educational activities, as well as an open-studios exhibition by the artists in residence with A.i.R Dubai, the new collaborative programme run by Art Dubai, the Delfina Foundation, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), and Tashkeel.

The sixth edition of Art Dubai takes place March 21-24 at Madinat Jumeirah. This edition of the fair is the most diverse to date, featuring 75 galleries from 32 countries showing more than 500 artists, while Marker, the curated section gallery stands, turns its focus to the Indonesian art scene. Art Dubai Projects involves over 40 artists and a host of commissioned projects, including live radio transmissions, a performance night, and a range of activities for families and children.

Al Bastakiya

The winners of the fourth Abraaj Capital Art Prize will unveil their major new works at the fair. 2012 also sees the expansion of the critically-acclaimed Global Art Forum, which looks at 'The Medium of Media', taking in everything from archived Emirati TV shows to an analysis of the past year of news reportage in the Arab world. The Forum starts in Doha at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, March 18-19, and continues at Art Dubai, March 21-24.

Looking to the rest of the UAE, the Sharjah Art Foundation will host its 5th annual March Meeting, an annual gathering of artists, art professionals and institutions concerned with the production and dissemination of art in the region and internationally, alongside a number of new launches in the emirate’s non-commercial art spaces. Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Festival (ADMAF) begins on March 11, with performances and productions around the city.

A comprehensive Art Week Guide will be available at Design Days Dubai, SIKKA, Art Dubai and all of Art Week’s participating venues including museums, festivals, galleries, and select hotels, restaurants and universities.

For more information, check out

Image Credits: Robeya Williams Walt Sofia DadourianAyyam Gallery – Traffic; Art Dubai Press and Marketing.

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