On the Ground : Gallery hopping in Dubai

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.

DIFC

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: 

 Cuadro Fine Art Gallery 

Farjam Collection

Opera Gallery

the Empty Quarter Fine Art Photography 

Alserkal Avenue

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:

Ayyam Gallery

Carbon12

Etemad Gallery

Gallery Isabelle Van Den Eynde

Green Art Gallery

Grey Noise

Lawrie Shabibi

Salsali Private Museum 

Al Quoz. Photo: Lucy Rees

Al Quoz. Photo: Lucy Rees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramin Salsali Private Museum, Dubai. Photo: Lucy Rees.

Ramin Salsali Private Museum, Dubai. Photo: Lucy Rees.

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.

Youssef Nabil (b.1972) pictured at the opening of his exhibition, Third Line Gallery, Dubai. Photo: Lucy Rees. 

Youssef Nabil (b.1972) pictured at the opening of his exhibition, Third Line Gallery, Dubai. Photo: Lucy Rees. 

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. 

"Veiled Women" series. Photo: Lucy Rees  

"Veiled Women" series. Photo: Lucy Rees

 

In the above “Transformation” panels, Nabil asked performance artist Marina Abramovich and actress  Idasabelle Huppert too act out their interpretation of what the artist is feeling. Photo: Lucy Rees. 

In the above “Transformation” panels, Nabil asked performance artist Marina Abramovich and actress  Idasabelle Huppert too act out their interpretation of what the artist is feeling. Photo: Lucy Rees.