DUBAI, 11th March, 2022 (WAM) — Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, the ‘Dubai Destinations’ initiative is continuing its campaign with a focus on highlighting the exceptional experiences, events and activities of the ongoing Dubai Art Season.
Starting this week, the campaign invites residents and visitors to explore Dubai’s diverse art attractions ranging from exhibitions and festivals to galleries and art studios. Running till mid-April, the campaign will open new windows into Dubai’s many-splendoured artistic landscape.
Mona Al Marri, Vice Chairperson and Managing Director of the Dubai Media Council and Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), said: “Inspired by the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make Dubai one of the world’s leading hubs for art, culture and creativity, the Dubai Destinations campaign focused on the Dubai Art Season will showcase varied facets of Dubai’s uniqueness as an art destination. Taking place during the busiest period in Dubai’s art calendar, the campaign seeks to highlight the initiatives that have transformed the city into an ‘open art museum’. Artists from the UAE, the region and across the world have converged on the city to take part in the Dubai Art Season, enriching its creative landscape,” she added.
“The initiative also supports the leadership’s vision to make Dubai the world’s best city to live work and visit. Integral to this vision is the development of a dynamic cultural and creative environment that has found expression in a vibrant Dubai Art Season. One of our key objectives is to create opportunities for the local community and visitors to engage with art and connect with artists who have gathered together in Dubai.” Al Marri noted.
Under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed, the continuing Dubai Destinations campaign will be focusing on various destination themes throughout the year, the Vice Chairperson of the Dubai Media Council further said.
Hala Badri, Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Member of the Dubai Media Council, said the Dubai Art Season has become a vital part of the fabric of Dubai’s creative life and cultural environment. With artists and art lovers from across the globe congregating in the emirate, the Dubai Art Season has become a melting pot of different creative perspectives. Apart from fostering a new cultural dynamism, the Dubai Art Season also provides a platform for building the partnerships and engagements that sustain the growth of the creative economy, she said. “Through this campaign, we also seek to encourage the widespread participation of the public in art events and activities. The initiative has created many opportunities for the public to forge new connections and conversations with art and artists through workshops and discussions, which in turn contribute to the development of a new aesthetic sensibility in the Dubai community,” she added.
Key highlights of the campaign this week include Art Dubai 2022; Rethink Art, art events at Expo 2020 Dubai, Sikka Art and Design Festival and the Sculpture Park at DIFC.
Art Dubai 2022, the largest edition of the global art fair in its history, has opened for the public in Madinat Jumeirah Dubai. Featuring over 100 contemporary and modern galleries from more than 40 countries across four main gallery sections, Art Dubai’s 15th edition, being held from 11 – 13 March 2022, is the most ambitious and extensive to date.
Art Dubai this year includes more than 30 first-time participants, and over half of the gallery programme is drawn from the Global South, reaffirming the fair’s position as the leading marketplace and meeting point for art and artists from this region. New for 2022 is the debut of Art Dubai Digital, an innovative new digital art and NFT section. Art Dubai offers a place to discover and celebrate new global and regional trends, creating and facilitating conversations, and celebrating the strength of creative output across the Global South.
Shaima Al Suwaidi, Project Manager at Brand Dubai, the creative arm of the Government of Dubai Media Office, said that art and creativity are key components of the destination experience that Dubai offers. “Brand Dubai is conducting a comprehensive communication campaign, with a particular focus on social media, to further raise the profile of art events and attractions featured in the #DubaiDestinations initiative, in addition to various other promotional activities,” she said.
This week, the Dubai Destinations initiative also puts the spotlight on the second edition of Rethink Art organised by Dubai Design District (d3) from 8-13 March. Pushing creative and artistic boundaries, the innovative art programme presents art exhibitions and installations, live performances and activations and workshops for art enthusiasts. Driven by a mission to “Rethink the Regular” and bring creative talent together to experiment, innovate, collaborate and challenge, the latest edition showcases aspiring local, regional and global names in the world of art.
One of the many highlights of d3’s Rethink Art is the Icons of Crypto Art by The 721, which brings together over thirty pioneering artists in one show, highlighting some of the most monumental works in the history of the space. With street art becoming a worldwide phenomenon, Rethink Art features live graffiti displays and activations, where even visitors can join in and spray, design, and build on the existing artworks. Authentic Marks & Glow’s 4th annual International Miniature Printmaking Exhibition is another highlight that features printmakers around the world. d3’s very own K Gallery showcases a group of 18 UAE-based emerging talents, including the Facade to Facade and the Celebrating Middle Eastern Creativity exhibition presented by The Khawla Art and Cultural Foundation.
Along with these events, Dubai Destinations also aims to highlight the art attractions at Expo 2020 Dubai. The mega global event, which features immersive journeys highlighting culture and heritage of 192 countries, is also displaying a diverse range of installations and artistic creations.
MENASA – Emirati Design Platform is a core element of Expo 2020 Dubai’s art programme that showcases more than 40 local and international designers, telling stories of the UAE through exclusive curated design collections. By bringing together artisans and designers from the UAE and around the world, the Platform seeks to foster a rich cultural and creative dialogue that contributes to a meaningful legacy after Expo 2020 closes its doors.
Expo 2020 Dubai also features a Public Art Programme that showcases permanent public artworks interwoven into the urban fabric of the event’s venue inspired by the famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al Haytham’s Book of Optics. Integrated throughout the Expo 2020 site, 11 commissioned public artworks have created a journey of ideas, aesthetics and concepts. The artworks will become a permanent part of the future District 2020 and the urban fabric of Dubai.
Another major event highlighted in the initial week of the campaign is the 10th edition of Sikka Art and Design Festival being held from 15-24 March 2022. Organised under the theme ‘Celebrating Art, Celebrating Growth’, the Festival features a series of unique creative events and activities at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. During the Festival, visitors can enjoy exhibitions and innovative art installations, along with a selection of evening activities, workshops and discussions.
This year’s edition, which marks the Festival’s 10th anniversary, is being held under its new umbrella, the Sikka Art and Design Platform, which aims to support the professional growth journey of emerging creative talent. As part of its new direction, the Sikka Art and Design Festival aims to foster an integrated ecosystem that supports emerging creatives and provides a platform for them to embark on their journey to become professional artists. Emerging Emirati and UAE-based artists are presenting artworks that interpret the theme of the event in uniquely creative ways.
Yet another Dubai art attraction that is in the limelight as part of the campaign is the DIFC Sculpture Park. Based around the theme of Harmony of Different Voices: a celebration of UAE’s 50th year anniversary, the Sculpture Park hosts 62 artworks, including sculptures and paintings, both outdoors and indoors. The centrepiece of the Sculpture Park is a space stretching from the Gate Building to Gate Avenue in DIFC that exhibits over 50 sculptures marking UAE’s Year of the Fiftieth. Taking inspiration from Expo 2020 Dubai, the initiative features the work of renowned international artists from different backgrounds and nationalities as they come together through the theme of harmony of different voices to communicate and express through art. Running from 3 Mar to 30 Jun 2022, the Sculpture Park portrays the cultural diversity and richness of Dubai.
The current Dubai Destinations campaign brings together a wide range of public and private sector stakeholders to showcase the emirate’s art experiences. The initiative also brings together some of the emirate’s most accomplished creatives including influencers, photographers, digital media content creators, animators and videographers to create compelling new content about Dubai’s art destination offerings.