Artworks with a focus on storytelling will be on display at the 14th Art Dubai fair in March.


Words by Reyhaan Day


Art Dubai has become a key event in the art world calendar.

For 13 years, it has been overturning the notion that the UAE destination has little to offer in terms of culture.

Plus, it has spearheaded conversations about art across the region, as well as in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).

Last year’s fair saw more than 28,000 visitors peruse artworks from more than 500 artists from the MENASA region.

Some 92 galleries from 42 countries were represented.

This made it one of the world’s most international art fairs.

Mayfair galleries taking part include Gazelli Art HouseGrosvenor Gallery and Ronchini Gallery.



Art Dubai is split into four categories.

Contemporary showcases both emerging and established artists across solo and group shows.

Modern presents works by masters from across the MENASA region.

Residents highlights artworks by artists in residence from Africa.

Finally, the Bawwaba (‘gateway’ in Arabic) section puts the spotlight on artists making works within the Global South. It is curated this year by Mumbai-based cultural theorist and curator Nancy Adajania.

New talent

This year the fair continues its dedication to nurturing new talent.

The Commissions initiative – which invites artists to produce site-specific works – will this year have an ecological focus.

Gulf Now will showcase the area’s emerging, independent, grassroots arts communities, with examples from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

The Ithra Art Prize, which is given to emerging Saudi and Saudi-based talent in contemporary art, has been awarded to Fahad bin Naif.

His installation Rakhm, which mimicks a greenhouse, will be exhibited at the fair.



Global Art Forum, the annual Dubai-based summit, has been a key part of Art Dubai’s programming since 2007.

There are live talks and discussions based around a curated theme.

This year, the event programme is curated by Global Art Forum commissioner Shumon Basar.

It revolves around the theme of stories and how narratives shape our world.


Art Dubai had been due to take place between March 25 and 28 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.



Due to circumstances brought on by coronavirus worldwide, the forthcoming edition of Art Dubai at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, has been postponed to a later date, to be announced in due course.

Instead of the international fair, the organisers are planning a smaller version of the Art Dubai programme for local and regional participants and partners during the same dates across different Dubai venues, which will be announced soon.