Entertainment is not always about theatre shows and movies. To the more art appreciative individual, a visit to an art gallery is as entertaining as watching a thrilling film.
We've compiled a list of some of our favorite art galleries around the Gulf. From small boutique style showrooms that showcase local independent artists, to larger venues that showcase the likes of Picasso and Dali, there's something for everyone.
Located in the heart of renowned cities like New York, London, Paris, Monaco, and Hong Kong, and most importantly, Dubai, Opera Gallery retain paintings from the early 1900s. Pieces that portrayed modernism, impressionism, and post-war artwork, mainly from French and Spanish artists, are all on display. Artists include Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso.
Gate Village Building 3, DIFC, Dubai, UAE; Tel : +971 4 323 0909
Ayyam Art Center
It’s true what they say: Art comes in many shapes and forms, especially at Ayyam Art Center, where you will find artworks like contemporary paintings, photography and sculptures. Not only are they on display for viewing, but pieces are also on sale during auctions.
Alserkal Avenue, Exit 43 of SZR, Street 8, Al Quoz 1, Dubai, UAE; Tel: +971 4 3236242
The Ara Gallery
The Ara Gallery has created a platform for talented Arab artists to showcase their work to a local, regional and global audience. The gallery hosts workshops and dialogues, and takes part in exhibitions and art fairs both regionally and internationally.
Burj Plaza ,Emaar Boulevard, downtown Dubai, UAE; Tel: +971 4 4542784
Established in 2008, Carbon 12 has specialized in international artworks. The gallery has exhibited contemporary fine art from artists all around the world. Like its name implies, you can expect to find some dark and moody artworks.
Al Quoz 1, Street 8, Alserkal Avenue, Warehouse D37, Dubai, UAE; Tel: +971 4 3406016
Al Riwaq Art Space
Non-profit gallery Al Riwaq Art Space has promoted creativity and art value to Bahrain’s youth since 1998. To create a relationship between the society and artist, they have made it their mission to host international exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and debates.
3 Osama Bin Zaid Avenue, Adliya, Bahrain; Tel: +973 1 7717441
A 3-in-1 gallery, coffee shop, and gift shop, Naqsh Gallery represents Arabic artists in its venue. The gallery possesses a colorful and illuminating atmosphere, making it one of the most beautiful art venues in the country.
Uptown Village, Shop no. 04, Building no. 1496, Road no. 85, 502 Budaiya Hwy, Jannusan, Bahrain; Tel: +973 3 8384919
Albareh Art Gallery
On a mission to showcase established and emerging local artists, Albareh Art Gallery involves work that captivates local and universal issues. It also hosts exhibitions, festivals, education platforms and cultural events.
Building 38, Road 3601, Area 336, Adliya, Bahrain; Tel: +973 1 771 3535
Arabesque Art Gallery
Looking for antique pieces of art? Arabesque Art Gallery particularly specializes in 19th century lithographs, old maps of Arabia and the chromolithographs of Prisse D’Avennes. The gallery also specializes in picture framing.
Al Aali Shopping Complex, Seef Area, Bahrain; Tel: +973 1 7722916
The Art Gallery, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah
As if it can’t get any more artistic, a stay at the Shangri-La’s Barr Al-Jissah Resort and Spa offers an art gallery space for exhibitions and with art pieces. If you feel you’ve had enough of the beautiful beach, take some time to visit the gallery.
Al Bandar Hotel, Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort and Spa, Muscat, Oman; Tel: +968 2477 6666
Bait Muzna Gallery
The three storey house is a refined art gallery that showcases local and international artwork. The art ranges from paintings, sculptures, concept art, film, photography, installation, and media paintings.
Al Saidiyah Street, Way 8662, House 234, Muscat, Oman; Tel: +968 24739 204
Bait Al Zubair Museum
Bait Al Zubair is a private museum funded by its founders, the Zubair family. It officially opened its doors to the public in 1998. The museum houses the family’s collection of Omani artifacts, as well as various exhibitions that reflect Oman’s culture and heritage.
Al Saidiyah Street, Muscat, Oman. Tel: +968 24 736 688
Al M Gallery
The gallery exhibits contemporary fine art from Kuwait, the Middle East, as well as international countries. In addition to the exhibitions hosted at the gallery, you can find a good selection of paintings including modern and historical political issues in many of the paintings.
Salhia Complex, Gate 4, Mezzanine 2, Place 16, Salhiya, Kuwait; Tel: +965 22996447
Dar Al Funoon
For 18 years, Dar Al Funoon has allowed regional talents to present contemporary art in several ways and forms. You won’t just find Picasso inspired paintings, but a wide range of abstract installations, lithographs, and sculptures.
Behbehani Compound, House No. 28, Al Watiah, Kuwait; Tel +965 2 243 3138
Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyah
Not just a gallery, but a cultural organization, Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyah has managed to collect and preserve Islamic artworks that includes more than 20,000 pieces extending from Spain to China, from the 1st – 13th centuries AD and 17th – 19th centuries AD. It hosts an annual Cultural Season (lectures, music concerts, and workshops), travelling exhibitions and loans, and research projects.
Former Amricani Hospital, Intersection of Arabian Gulf Road and Al Shuhada Street, Across the road from Youm Al Bahaar, Kuwait; Tel: +965 2 240 0992
For 40 years, Sultan Gallery has specialized in contemporary photography, sound, video, performance, publications, networks and media. Their relationship with exhibitors and potential collaborators has helped introduce leading Arab and Kuwaiti artists. It was reopened in 2006 and is headed by its director Farida Sultan.
South Sabhan, Block 8, Street 105, Building 168, Kuwait; Tel: +965 24714325/26 ext. 111
Hewar Art Gallery
Established in 2005, the gallery has since showcased a series of paintings, sculptures, and photographs that represent Saudi Arabia. They also have art organizations and consultants, and encourage artists’ projects.
Kingdom Tower, Floor 52, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966 1 2111 200
A space for Middle Eastern and local artists not only to showcase their contemporary artworks, but to also prove it actually exists. Athr Gallery is also involved in education projects, through public lectures and forums.
5th Floor Business Center, Wing B, Serafi Mega Mall, Tahlia Street
Crimson Art Gallery
If you have a strong passion for oil paintings, then this is a must-visit art gallery for you. Different styles and forms like impressionism, contemporary, realistic, cubic, and abstract are all available.
666 King Abdul Aziz Road, Riyadh, KSA; Tel: +966 1 454 1444
Artirama has more 68 original art works in watercolor, silk and oil paintings of landscapes, flowers and still life, not available in its originality. They also offer pottery, table gifts, accessories, glass chandeliers, and mirrors. If you’re in need for framed paintings to spice up your living room, you won’t fail to find one here.
Artirama, AlSalah Art Gallery, Prince Faisal Bin Fahd St. (28th), AlKhobar 31952, Saudi Arabia. Tel: +966 3 8670009
Al Markhiya Gallery
The gallery promotes and represents both emerging and established artists from Qatar and the region. Located in Souq Waqif, Qatar’s famous old market, the gallery displays paintings, sculptures, photographs, prints, and design.
Souq Waqif, Doha, Qatar; Tel: +974 6609 9687
Katara Art Center
Katara Art Center is a platform that invites creative minds to socialize at exhibitions, performances, art projects, and workshops. Its mission is to change perceptions about the local understanding of contemporary art.
Katara Cultural Village, Doha, Qatar; Tel: + 974 4408 0244
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art
For over 20 years, Mathaf collected over six thousand pieces and its collection is still growing. They offer an Arab perspective on international modern and contemporary art. The building has been re-designed by the French architect Jean-François Bodin and is divided into four units: Manara (learning), Maktaba (library), Mahal (museum shop), Maqha (café).
Education City, off Al Luqta Street, Doha, Qatar; Tel: +974 4402 8855
– Fajer Al-Farsi and Iqbal Al-Sanea