HAPPENINGText: Mamiko Kawakami

It is the largest annual art festival in the Middle East; held over five days, across four major cities and two countries. The tenth edition of Dubai Art Week took place between 12th to 19th March 2017, in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, in the UAE, and Doha in Qatar.  It not only includes art galleries, but also museums like the Museum of Islamic Art, in Qatar, as well as universities, hotels and outdoor public spaces. 

“Flowers and People – Dark”, teamLab (Collective created in Tokyo, 2001). Courtesy of the artist and Martin Brown Contemporary

The flagship event within Art Week, is Art Dubai, which is in its 11th year. However it also held the Sharjah Biennial, in its 13th year (exhibition runs through June 12, 2017), as well as the Sikka Art Fair at the Al Fahidi historic area of Dubai in same time. 

“Syria: Into the Light”, Alserkal Avenue. Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue

The new OMA-designed events space in Dubai’s new art hub, Alserkal Avenue, was inaugurated with an exhibition entitled “Syria: Into the Light,” curated by Mouna Atassi, and Rasha Salti, from the Atassi Foundation. The exhibition featured 60 works by over 40 artists illustrating the landscape of Syrian art from 1924 up to the war-torn present of 2016.

In Alserkal, there was also daily talks, workshops, gallery tours, and several pop-up events like the region’s first art book fair.

“Global Art Forum” Design Days Dubai, Hai d3, Dubai Design District. Courtesy of Photo Solutions

Within the Art Week umbrella was also another popular event, Design Days Dubai, now in its 6th year. The event, which is the region’s only annual fair dedicated to purchasable, modern and design works. It was held at a new venue this year, Dubai Design District – also known as d3. The freezone business district is the latest edition to the city and is dedicated to the design community, including startups from the region, as well as established international design, luxury and fashion brands.

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