Your Essential Guide to Art Dubai | ewmoda

Your Essential Guide to Art Dubai

A unique celebration of art, talks, and research is taking place in Dubai this March

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2 February 2020

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Art Dubai: Galleries, Art Installations, Special Programmes, Interactive Performances

UPDATE (03.03.2020): Art Dubai has been postponed to a later date with a more Dubai-focused theme. Stay tuned for updates!

From galleries to art installations, special programmes, inspiring workshops, interactive performances, and more

Opening its doors this March 25 - 28, Art Dubai is once again bringing a unique collection of Contemporary and Modern art to Dubai.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year's event returns with an eclectic line up of activations and exhibitions at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference & Events Centre.

With an exceptional exhibition schedule showcasing the work of over 500 regional and international artists across 93 galleries from 39 countries, on top of daily interactive programmes, workshops, and tours - Art Dubai can be overwhelming, and even more so if you're visiting for just one or a few days.

So, here is ewmoda's essential edit of what's in store at Art Dubai 2020 to inspire artists, curators, researchers, and experts this March.


The 2020 edition of Art Dubai will span across four galleries: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Residents. Each section explores the Middle East's rich cultural heritage and contemporary art practices.

Contemporary art

The Art Dubai Contemporary section will feature a selection of 55 galleries that reflect the event's focus on expanding art conversations beyond traditional production centres.

Art Dubai contemporary gallery

This edition features a divergent collection of exhibitors, ranging from emerging art scenes to established centres, with solo or group shows.

Modern art

The Art Dubai Modern is set to present 18 distinct shows where each of the participating galleries will showcase works by one leading modernist artist.

Visitors are invited to explore a broad scene of artistic practices from India, Egypt, Morocco, Nigeria, Sudan, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan - coming together under one roof.

Art Dubai Modern gallery

This year's Modern gallery was specially organised by curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, featuring 20th-century museum-class artworks from the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.

Bawwaba art

The Bawwaba gallery, which translates to "gateway" in Arabic, allows visitors to step into a discovery of works that were crafted in the past year or were created just for Art Dubai. It acts as an insight into current artistic developments around the world, with a focus on solo presentations.

Bawwaba art

Returning for its second year in Art Dubai, the 2020 collection was curated by Bombay-based cultural theorist and curator Nancy Adajania.

Residents art

The Residents gallery will showcase ambitious solo presentations from invited galleries whose artists are partaking in a six-week residency in the UAE. During this time, Residents immerse themselves in the emirates' local art scene where they are able to learn, be inspired by, and find meaningful engagement in the UAE's art practices and cultural heritage.

For its third run, the Residents art gallery will highlight contemporary art from Africa, curated by Johannesburg-based independent curator Kabelo Malatsie.

Art Dubai residents gallery

Non-for-profit programmes and education

Art Dubai's non-profit programmes is dedicated to supporting artists' practices as well as encourage visitors to embrace both the participatory and mentally-stimulating nature of the event.

This year's lineup of programmes includes the Global Art Forum, Modern Symposium, Commissions, Residencies, Performances and Film as well as our year-round Education programmes including Campus Art Dubai, Art Dubai Fellowship, and the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program.

Global Art Forum

The 2020 Global Art Forum considers the storytelling impulse, and how narratives shape our current reality. With the theme of "Do You Story?", the 14th run of the renowned transdisciplinary summit is programmed by Commissioner Shumon Basar.

"Do You Story?" will feature insightful tales about astrology, television, gaming, fashion, The One Thousand and One Nights, venture capitalism, cities, museums, political fictions, performance, The Gulf, Instagram Stories, epic endings, and much, much more.

Art Dubai programmes 2020

Modern Symposium

The Modern Symposium features a series of discussions centring on life, work, and cultural impact of 20th-century artists, curators, educators, and critics in the region.

Art Dubai Commissions

In the heart of Art Dubai is the Commissions platform where local and international artists are invited to create fair-specific works. In collaboration with the Jameel Arts Centre, visitors can see multi-disciplinary art and design works with an ecological focus.

Campus Art Dubai

The Campus Art Dubai offers an intensive seminar and residency programme for UAE-based artists, encouraging them to further develop and hone their skills and style.

Campus Art Dubai 2020

Art Dubai performances

Curated by Marina Fokidis, Director of Kunsthalle Athena, Art Dubai's 2020 edition of performances will explore how healing is also an art form. Explore a series of daily dances, interactive events, and festivities that will showcase the fair's celebration of togetherness and unity through art.

Children and teens' workshops

For the little artists, Art Dubai's non-profit children and teenagers' workshops, tours, and publications were specially created for the fair by international and local artists.

Check out the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program where kids and teens between 5-17 years old can develop their artistic skills and creativity that will help them get involved and excel in the arts.

Art Dubai children's and teens' workshops

Gulf Now

Art Dubai's Gulf Now 2020 will introduce a network of non-government creative platforms in the Arabian Gulf. These platforms will also be examined as catalysts for new waves of thought, theory, and artistic movements.

In this section, creatives from Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia will be represented, highlighting a curational introduction of grassroots platforms at Art Dubai.

Art Dubai Fellowshop

A week-long series of workshops for regional and international artists, curators, and writers. The Art Dubai Fellowship dedicates its activities in supporting the skills and practices of exceptional creators from the MENASA region.

Tickets on sale

So book your tickets now to get involved the most unique Contemporary and Modern art fair in the emirate.

Use our code EXPATWOMAN50 to enjoy a fabulous 50% discount when you buy your Art Dubai tickets online.

Regular single-day passes are AED 60 and three-day passes are AED 100. With our code, attendees can avail HALF OFF on any ticket category.

Children up until 18 years old and students (with valid student ID) can go for FREE.

For more information about Art Dubai 2020, visit

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