When you think of visiting Dubai you are no doubt instantly thinking of beaches, luxury shopping, happening nightlife, and colossal architecture like Burj Khalifa.
But, as much as Dubai is famous for its high-end lifestyle, it also has many impressive art galleries.
Surprised? Let us add to your astonishment!
There’s a whole neighbourhood in Dubai, Alserkal Avenue, with contemporary art galleries, where all the creative minds sit and work. Dubai is also home to the Middle East’s largest annual art show and there are dozens of smaller spots around town for soaking in contemporary art.
Therefore, if you’re an art enthusiast, have any sort of inclination toward art, or even if you’re a tourist looking to explore the different shades of Dubai, here are 8 art galleries in Dubai that might just take your interest you.
8 Best Galleries in Dubai
We’re going to start our journey through Dubai art at the most obvious hub, Alserkal Avenue in the Al Quoz neighbourhood of Dubai.
Covering over 50,000 square feet, and at present, over 94 warehouses, Alserkal Avenue houses not only galleries but creative spaces, design studios, performing platforms and exhibition halls. (Not to mention some of the best coffee shops in Dubai, too!)
We’re going to highlight here some of the most well-known art galleries, but encourage you to get to Alserkal and simply explore! Towards the end of our guide, we will explore art galleries in other areas of the city, too.
So, let’s begin our virtual journey into Dubai’s majestic world of art!
1. The Third Line
Located on Alserkal Avenue, the Third Line displays artwork by local and international artists from around the globe. It hosts exhibitions throughout the year to encourage local talent to come forward with their creativity. In this contemporary art gallery, you will find artwork by Anuar Khalifi, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad Elkoury, Hassan Hajjaj, Lamya Gargash, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Nima Nabavi, Slavs and Tatars, etc.
Besides artwork, the Third Line also publishes books by renowned artists, including Laleh Khorramian, Farah Al Qasimi, Abbas Akhavan, etc. Being one of the best art galleries in Dubai, the Third Line is working on promoting art and is frequented by art lovers worldwide.
Location: Unit H80, Alserkal Avenue
Timing: Monday to Saturday 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Closed on Sunday.
Official website: https://www.thethirdline.com/viewing-room/
2. Elmarsa Gallery
Also located on Alserkal Avenue, the Elmarsa Gallery is dedicated to the artwork of local talent. Here you will find surreal art by famous artists from all over the Middle East, including Abdulaziz Ashour, Emna Masmoudi, and Omar Bey.
The work of these great artists is inspired by the Mediterranean, African and Arab cultures and art that focuses on global issues.
The gallery was founded in 1994 in Tunisia, and its artwork has been displayed in art exhibits in Paris, Miami, Morocco. It made its way into Dubai in 2015 and has showcased local artwork ever since.
Location: Unit 23 Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1
Timing: Tuesday – Friday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM, and Saturday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Official website: https://www.galerielmarsa.com/
3. Ayyam Gallery
If you’re an emerging artist in Dubai, Ayyam Gallery is where you should go! Not only does this gallery provide a platform for the newbies, but it also displays the work of seasoned artists like Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Safwan Dahoul, Elias Izoli Sama Alshaibi, and Samia Halaby.
The art displayed in Ayyam Gallery is showcased at high-end art exhibits in the US, Asia, and Europe in an attempt to help contemporary art thrive. In Dubai, you will find this gallery on Alserkal Avenue and also at Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).
Apart from art, Ayyam Gallery also deals in multilingual publishings to help emerging artists make their mark.
Location: Unit B11, Alserkal Avenue Exit 43 of SZR, Al Quoz Street 8
Timing: Monday – Thursday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Official website: http://www.ayyamgallery.com/
4. Lawrie Shabibi
Another contemporary art gallery located on Alserkal Avenue is the Lawrie Shabibi. It is one of the best art galleries in Dubai, famous for being renowned in the Art Dubai event, and has managed to grab the attention of art connoisseurs worldwide.
It mainly showcases the artwork of Middle Eastern and North African artists and has managed to sell famous art pieces by Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Adel Abidin, Mounir Fatmi, and Nick Devereux.
The Lawrie Shabibi works on promoting art and invites famous artists to carry out hosted talks and screenings, which have earned it the title of one of the most prominent art galleries in Dubai as well as internationally.
Location: Unit 21, Alserkal Avenue, Al-Quoz 1
Timing: Saturday – Thursday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Closed on Friday.
Official website: https://www.lawrieshabibi.com/
5. 1×1 Art Gallery
Founded in 1996 and located on Alserkal Avenue, the 1×1 Art Gallery started off as a house of Indian contemporary art. However, with the passage of time, the founder started adding Middle Eastern and Emirati artwork to the collection.
Currently, 1×1 Art Gallery is one of the famous Dubai art galleries and has made its way into international art exhibits, museums, and galleries. It also collaborates with individual curators and organizations to display the artistic side of Dubai.
Location: 10, Alserkal Avenue Street 8 – Al Quoz 1
Timing: Saturday – Thursday 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Closed on Friday.
Official website: http://www.1x1artgallery.com/
Now let’s move on to some of the famous art galleries in the other neighbourhoods of Dubai.
If you’re looking for contemporary Arabic and Irani art that depicts diversified cultural identities, XVA Gallery is the place to be!
Located in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, this gallery supports artists of all sorts. From people who are trying their luck at art to emerging and established artists, you will find artwork of different levels. The most notable pieces are associated with Samira Abbassy, Mahmoud Hamadani, Colleen Quigley, and Alikhaan Abdollahi.
Intending to present the contemporary side of Dubai to the world, XVA Gallery actively participates in international art fairs and exhibits, like the ones held in Istanbul and Hongkong. And thus, it is considered one of the best art galleries in Dubai.
Combined with a hotel and cafe, XVA is also one of the top spots in Dubai for amateur artists to try their hand with regular coffee & paint evenings held in the picturesque courtyard throughout the winter months.
Location: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Bur Dubai
Timing: Monday – Sunday 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
Official website: https://www.xvagallery.com/
7. Jameel Arts Centre
The new kid on the block is Jameel Arts Centre. Situated in the up and coming Jaddaf Waterfront district of the city, this is a contemporary art museum and so much more.
The centre is run by Art Jameel, an independent organisation that fosters contemporary art practice, cultural heritage protection, and creative entrepreneurship across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond.
Here you’ll find not just art exhibits but the Jameel Library for research, a writers studio, restaurant and shop, as well as a large open-air sculpture park along the waterfront.
Location: Jaddaf Waterfront
Timing: Monday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM; Wednesdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM & 9:00 PM – 12:00 AM; Closed Tuesday and Friday
Official website: https://jameelartscentre.org/
8. Opera Gallery
How about we round up this article with an art gallery that houses not only contemporary art but everything else that can be considered art!
At the Opera Gallery, you will find everything from quirky graffitis to vibrant pop-music album covers by world-renowned artists like George Morton-Clark, Blek le Rat, Keith Haring, David Kim Whittaker, André Brasilier, Andy Denzler, Lita Cabellut, Joe Black, and Mike Dargas. With such an impressive variety of art, this gallery attracts art connoisseurs and businesspeople from around the globe.
Plus, it also collaborates with international foundations, museums, and art exhibits to bring the art scene of Dubai to light.
Location: Gate Village Building 3, DIFC
Timing: Sunday – Wednesday 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, Thursday 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, Friday 2:00 PM to 9:00 PM and Saturday 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Official website: https://www.operagallery.com/contact/dubai
Dubai is a city that has it all! You will find everything there, from extravagant shopping malls to monumental architectural structures. However, most people miss the magical world of art in Dubai.
If you stroll around Alserkal Avenue, wander the passageways of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood or admire the outdoor displays as Jaddaf Waterfront, you will find clusters of contemporary and fine art galleries that exhibit the work of many famous local and international artists.
Therefore, on your next trip, check out these 8 art galleries in Dubai and see the city from a whole new perspective!
Alserkal Avenue – How to get there
If you will be driving in Dubai and have the convenience of your own car, parking at Alserkal Avenue can be found nearby on 6A Street, then you can access the pedestrian entrance (don’t forget to pay for your parking online using 364C).
By public transport, your closest Metro is on the Red Metro Line M1 – Al Safa Metro Station. It’s a decent walk from here (about 30 minutes), so you’ll likely want to pay for a brief 5-minute taxi, or connect to the local bus services taking you to Al Quoz Bin Yaleith Mosque and a 5-minute walk.
You may want to time your visit to catch the free Avenue shuttle bus from the Metro – 4 in the morning and 4 back in the afternoon. The timetable can be found here.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
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