‘Dubai Art Season’ returns, bringing excitement to local scene

Under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Member of the Dubai Council, Dubai Culture has announced the return of Dubai Art Season for the 2023 edition, bringing back a rich agenda of artistic and musical activities highlighting Dubai’s international position and exceptional cultural experiences.

This year, Dubai Art Season is being held under the theme ‘Take a Walk on the Art Side’, and includes a variety of initiatives that will transform Dubai into an oasis of comprehensive arts throughout February and March 2023. This will launch in conjunction with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Sikka Art and Design Festival, Art Dubai, Dubai Opera performances, ‘DIFC Art Nights’ and many other entertainment activities.

Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts & Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, affirmed that Dubai Art Season has become a platform that brings together multiple creative events taking place in Dubai, saying: “Dubai Culture continues to champion Dubai Art Season, which in essence expresses the spirit of Dubai and its ability to attract artists and creative talent from all over the world, thanks to having made it a fertile ground for talent, an incubator for artistic and cultural projects, and workshops, panel discussions, innovative exhibitions, performance arts, music, and others.”.

Bin Kharbash stressed that the season opens horizons for writers, artists, and intellectuals to express their creativity in various fields, which is in line with the commitments of Dubai Culture to create a sustainable and supportive artistic ecosystem for entrepreneurs, embodying the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to cement Dubai's position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Bin Kharbash added: “The 2023 edition includes various programmes that contribute to cementing Dubai's position as an attractive destination for people of thought, culture and the arts, and reflects the emirate’s ambition to become the global capital of the creative economy by 2026 and strengthens its leadership in the field of cultural and creative industries, in line with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to consolidate the emirate’s position among the top three global cities.”

Forecasting the future

Dubai Art Season will start its activities with the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, held in partnership with Dubai Culture from 1 to 6 February at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City and the Mohammed bin Rashid Library. The 15th edited will witness the presence of over 250 global personalities. It will also host a joint session of Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Her Excellency Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture to talk about the UAE’s experience in shaping the future. Further sessions fall under the ‘Bil Emirati’ theme, sponsored by Dubai Culture, with the participation of a group of prominent Emirati writers and creatives.

The ‘Taste of Dubai Festival’ will also return to present diverse culinary arts from the best chefs and restaurants in Dubai and the region.

Visual arts

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the UAE and Japan, Dubai Culture, in cooperation with the Japanese Consulate in Dubai, is laying on the ‘Dubai in 1962’ exhibition, which includes unique photographs of the emirate taken by Japanese photographer Yoshio Kawashima from the ‘Sankei Shimbun’ newspaper during his visit to Dubai and the Middle East in that year. The exhibition at the Al Safa Art and Design Library, running from January 30 to March 17, 2023, documents Dubai's heritage, history and daily life of the time.

AYA, which is located in Wafi City and the first of a next generation of immersive, experiential entertainment parks in the emirate offering interactive and immersive art experiences, is also part of the 2023 Dubai Art Season calendar, inviting visitors to step foot into a huge universe of vibrant, interactive experiences across 12 different zones, each with its own unique theme and elements that rely on the latest technology.

The 11th edition of Sikka Art and Design Festival, organised by Dubai Culture in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood from 24 February to 5 March, 2023, represents a celebration of the visual arts with the participation of Emirati and UAE & GCC-based talent.

Throughout February and March, Alserkal Avenue and Alserkal Arts Foundation will host a series of creative cultural activities, including a wide range of art exhibitions, talks and happenings, like ‘The Tree School’ initiative, a gathering place for groups and individuals interested in learning from each other and sharing common urgencies based on lived experience. It also includes art walks designed to offer alternative ways to interact with and engage with art, while slowly absorbing artist work with deep awareness.

The ‘DIFC Art Nights’ is one of the most important annual activities hosted by ‘Gate Avenue’. The event annually attracts over 4,000 people, including artists, collectors and fashionistas. It also aims to support Dubai’s art scene and highlight the most creative works.

Diverse experiences

The season’s programme includes the 16th edition of Art Dubai, which will take place at Madinat Jumeirah from 1 to 5 March, 2023. Amidst art discussions, the exhibition will also witness an Etihad Museum session organised by Dubai Culture, in which a number of artists and creatives will gather to present new ideas inspired by handicrafts, reflecting their view of the future of these crafts.

The ‘M2L Market’ in Gate Avenue – DIFC will celebrate entertainment, art and food, providing visitors with the opportunity to live different experiences and taste new international flavours.

Throughout the year, Dubai Opera will present a series of musical and theatrical performances that highlight the creativity of regional and international performing arts and musical talent, while the digital arts centre ‘Infinity des Lumières’ in the Dubai Mall shall showcase digital art exhibitions across the same period in an innovative technological manner.

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