After a fantastic couple of days in Abu Dhabi for the "Birth of a Museum" exhibition opening (April 22 – 20 July 2013), I headed north to Dubai where I planned to spend just one night. Having never been before, upon arrival I immediately realised that I needed more time.
First stop was a visit the commercial galleries at the DIFC - a Federal Financial Free Zone administered by the Government of Dubai. Free zones in Dubai stimulate business growth by providing ownership, tax incentives and assistance in setting up companies in the UAE.
Nestled among the banks and financial institutions are 12 galleries including:
I then spent the afternoon at Alserkal Avenue with the director of Cultural Development, Vilma Jurkute. Developed by Mr. Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, the industrial precinct featuring desiccated row of warehouses has become a vibrant cultural hub in Dubai housing 25 creative spaces including art galleries, a private art museum and auction house.
Among the galleries are:
There are plans in place to expand the Avenue by 2014.
Update: The district laid its first foundation for its 250 000 sq. ft. expansion in Al Quoz in November 2013 doubling its size with a private investment of 50 Mln AED (13.8 Mln USD) by Alserkal family.
The Third Line, Dubai
After a quick visit to the Gold Souk I attended the opening of an exhibition by New York-based Egyptian photographer Youssef Nabil (b.1972).
His most recent show "Time of Transformation" at The Third Line, Dubai (April 24 - June 12, 2013), reveals Nabil's anguish about the changes taking place in Egyptian society after the recent revolution.
Above, he stands in front of two works from “The Veiled Women” series where he asked well-known women artists, actors and musicians such as Catherine Deneuve, Isabella Rosselini and Alicia Keys to pose for him wearing the traditional Middle Eastern veil.