We've got your guide on things to do in Dubai for art lovers and music fans.
7 February 2021| Last updated on 10 February 2021
There's more to the city than shopping sprees and sunny sandy beaches...
Experiences such as relaxing in an abra boat ride as the sun sets, sipping Arabic coffee in the desert, and craning your neck to see the world's tallest building can all be categorized as "bucket list."
For art lovers and music fans though, you may be surprised to know that Dubai has its own share of artists and musicians to be enchanted by.
If you’re an art or music enthusiast and wonder what this young city has in store, this guide will help you choose which places to visit and make sure that you don’t miss any of the beautiful artistry and homegrown talents that call Dubai home.
1. Al Fahidi historical district
Perfect for history and art lovers, the historic neighbourhood of Al Fahidi is perfectly positioned so you can explore the local museums, lively souks, and the imaginative XVA Art Hotel. The hotel also features local artists in its gallery space, the XVA Gallery.
Visitors can explore how Old Dubai looked like in the mid-19th century, as most of the original heritage sites and infrastructure have been preserved.
2. Jameel Arts Centre, Jaddaf Waterfront
The Jameel Arts Centre is a free-entry independent, contemporary art gallery that features contemporary art from local and regional artists. The Centre has a particular focus on supporting artists from the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa, but much of their exhibitions also include international works.
Whether you're an art enthusiast or a first-time visitor, you will find a variety of arts-related programmes as well. The Jameel Arts Centre is founded and supported by Art Jameel.
Photo credit: @jameelartscentre | Instagram
3. Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz
Established in 2008, Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz has long been considered as one of the biggest art hubs in Dubai. The area features lots of galleries, home to a variety of art such as sculpture, photography, paintings, architecture, and even artisan food and drink.
Don't worry about having a strict itinerary in Alserkal Avenue, it's more fun to simply wander around and pop into one of the art galleries. Sometimes, there may be workshops and other events where you can spend a lovely morning or afternoon painting, woodworking, sampling sustainable menus, etc.
The area also has an independent cinema, where you could catch fascinating documentaries, small arthouse flicks, and more.
4. The Fridge Warehouse
Located in Alserkal Avenue is a music scene nestled among the art galleries and cafes. For over a decade, the Fridge Warehouse in Dubai has been hosting musicians in the region and other unique talented performing artists.
The Scene is their own concert series, where visitors can watch a growing portfolio of Dubai-based musicians perform a variety of genres.
5. Dubai Opera
Music fans can catch a show at the Dubai Opera's stunning venue, located just a few minutes away from the Dubai Mall. While this dhow-shaped concert hall hosts plenty of beautiful opera shows in Dubai, they're no stranger to other genres of live entertainment and music such as theatre, concerts, conferences, ballet, and other exhibitions.
6. Live rock music with dining
Diners can catch a live band every evening at the Hard Rock Cafe venues in Dubai. Here, you'll find live music from regular local and international performers, with special big act evenings.
7. Live jazz music
Located in the Palazzo Versace, Q’s Bar & Lounge is an old school cool venue with its plush leather seats and mahogany tables. This is a great place for fans of jazz and rock music.
8. Open mic nights
On Wednesdays, Pizza Express Live holds on an open mic night for local singers in Dubai to show off what they’ve got. Whether you're a shower singer, natural talent, or experienced performer, you're welcome to hop on the mic.
9. Dubai Theatre of Digital Art
Art lover or not, the Theatre of Digital Art in Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a stunning, multi-sensory attraction. Previous art features include works from greats such as Claude Monet, Edvard Munch, and Vincent Van Gogh.
10. Andakulova Gallery
The Andakulova Gallery is a contemporary art gallery based in Damac Park Towers, promoting Central Asia's contemporary and visual arts in Dubai. They hold themed events highlighting spotlight artists, and much more.