Dubai’s Gritty Art District

Dubai’s “art” is its buildings – amazing feats of architecture as far as the eye can see.   The Louvre and the Guggenheim are in Abu Dabi – and Dubai generally contents itself with being the UAE’s flashier tourist city, where the ART is outside and architectural.   But I knew that there must be art apart from the pricey flashy galleries of the Marina District – and sure enough, there’s Alkersal Avenue.

So many here do not yet know of Alkersal – a rare treasure and fascinating place to visit.  It’s a mass of industrial buildings in the middle of an industrial area that now houses dozens of art galleries, a half dozen restaurants, a couple of coffeehouses and even a few art cinemas.

Definitely attend an Arkersal Avenue art gallery tour (email  They are given regularly (every two weeks), are free of charge and are an excellent way to get your bearings.  In fact, I would say that the tour is a necessary first introduction.  If you go on your own, it can be confusing to say the least, as not all galleries are open at any given time, there are so many to choose from, and it can be difficult to tell what is open and what is not.

A great way to experience a “different” side of art in Dubai!


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