When most people think Dubai, they think money, flash, grandeur and excess. In fact, there is a theory that the word Dubai literally means “money” – from an old Arabic proverb, "Daba Dubai,” which translates to, “They came with a lot of money.” So it makes perfect sense that Dubai has become a major force in the art world with galleries, such as our friends at Carbon 12, that are popping up in the industrial region of Dubai known as Al Quoz. This is a mirroring of the art scene that is currently growing in the industrial regions of Los Angeles, London, New York and even Miami. In Dubai, much of this growth is thanks to Alserkal Avenue, an arts hub that fosters and provides architect designed warehouses to galleries and creative institutions. And this week marks the start of Art Week in Dubai, with the central focus being on the Art Dubai, the foremost art fair in the region that is currently in its tenth year. We asked Nadine Knotzer and Kourosh Nouri of Carbon 12 to provide a list of things to do and see, and where to stay, in Dubai during Art Week.
1. Place To Stay: The Mina A'Salam Boutique Hotel
Located next to the Arabian Gulf, this gorgeous boutique hotel has a more intimate vibe than many of the other hotels in the Dubai region. Click here to book a room.
2. Get Energized for the Fairs and Galleries at Urban Yoga
Art Week can be stressful, so we recommend Urban Yoga, a loft style yoga studio overlooking Dubai, to get energized and inspired. Click here to for classes and schedule.
3. Go See Ghazel’s Show Mea Culpa @ Carbon 12 Gallery
Ghazel is back at Dubai’s Carbon 12 from March 14th to May 1st, 2016, and so is her tongue-in-cheek, vehemently insightful work commenting on the state of the world and pushing the boundaries of art. The solo exhibition, Mea Culpa, revolves around the map motif used in diverse, sometimes derisive, ways. Click here to for more info.
4. Take A Stroll Through the Gallery District @ Alserkal Avenue
After visiting Carbon 12, take a stroll through Aserkal Avenue to visit many of the other galleries and project spaces. Must see: Zahra Al-Ghamdi's 'An Inanimate Village' installation, pictured above. Learn more here.
5. Cocktails On The Beach at Jetty Lounge at One & Only Royal Mirage
Sit down for a cocktail by the beach at the Jetty Bar at the One&Only Royal Mirage, Dubai. You can make reservations here.
7. Lunch @ The Concept Store and Healthy Cafe Comptoir 102 For Organic Bites
If it's lunch you are after, visit Comptoir 102, a healthy cafe and concept store that has organic bites and brilliant design selections.
8. Visit The Main Art Dubai Fair
Art Dubai is the leading international art fair in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. The tenth edition of the fair takes place March 16-19, 2016 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Visit Carbon 12's booth, B1, where they will be exhibiting 6 artists from their roster, including a new video by Anahita Razmi. Click here to learn more about Art Dubai.
9. Visit The Elyx Bar During Art Dubai
Inspired by Elyx House New York, Elyx Bar has now come to Art Dubai 2016. From March 15th to 17th, Fort Island will play host to the pure raw aesthetic known as Elyx. Art, luxury & flavor have a new temporary address. Experience quality cocktails, great tunes and immerse yourself in the world of raw luxe that is Elyx. Open from March 15th - March 17th, 9:30PM onwards.
10. Locals Favorite: Eat Dinner At Flooka, A Lebanese Fish Restaurant
Make reservations at Flooka, a Lebanese fish restaurant that is a local's favorite. Click here for reservations.