An essential guide to Art Dubai

Art Dubai opening night party_Art Dubai 2017_Courtesy of Photo Solutions (3) (1)

Art aficionados, casual browsers and everyone in between, Art Dubai is back this week. For less than AED 100 you can spend three days immersed in the work of creatives from around the world.

Starting life in 2007 as a trade fair, Art Dubai has blossomed into a huge gathering with a line-up so globally diverse, it probably needs extra pages in its passport. Far from elitist or exclusive, everyone is welcome from 21st-24th March, when it all takes place at Madinat Jumeirah. Whether you’re a seasoned stroller of its stunning halls or are pouring over its rich calendar for the first time, here’s our essential guide on how to pack it all in.

First, get your ticket 

Skip the queues and save cash when you buy at www.artdubai.ae. Day tickets are AED 60 and a three-day pass is AED 100, plus you can use discount code ARTDUBAI50 to get 50 per cent off until 21st March. Rock up at the door and you’ll pay AED 90 or AED 150, so go digital and put the money saved towards a coffee to power you round the exhibitions.

Synchronise watches

Art Dubai opens to the public on 21st March from 2pm-6.30pm (for the Global Art Forum), 22nd March from 4pm-9.30pm, 23rd March from 2pm-9.30pm and 24th March from 12pm-6.30pm.

Planes, trains…

If you’re driving, park at the nearby Dubai Police Academy and catch the Art Dubai shuttle. Metro? Mall of the Emirates is a short taxi ride away and there are buses running up and down Jumeirah Beach Road and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street. Need that air-conditioned arrival? Use promo code ARTDUBAI2018 for 20 per cent off trips to/from Madinat Jumeirah with Uber.

Start with art 

Everything kicks off with the Global Art Forum. Under the title of ‘I Am Not A Robot’ the summit will focus on the power, paranoia and potentials of automation across the three-day event, ending with Cinema Akil showing series of sci-fi genre films from 4.30pm on 23rd March.

Starts 21st March, from 2pm.

Art Dubai Contemporary Maha Malluh, Food For Thought 7, 2017. Courtesy The Artist and Galerie Krinzinger-min

Roam the halls

With 78 galleries from 42 countries, Art Dubai Contemporary has everything from  upcoming artists to present-day household names, covering every medium from traditional painting drawing and sculpture to installation, video, photography and performance.

See museum-quality works from influential 20th century masters at Art Dubai Modern. The 2018 fair will feature 16 galleries from 14 countries with solo, two-artist and group exhibits.

New addition Art Dubai Residents, is dedicated to solo presentations from artists who have completed a short residency in the UAE. Expect intimate works across all media.

 Here’s our full round up of what’s going on in Dubai this Art Season. 

Art Dubai Ahaad Alamoudi, Artist featured in Reframe Saudi.-min

Discover Arabic art

Artworks from five Arab cities are presented in exhibition That Feverish Leap into the Fierceness of Life that spans five decades with ease. Simply stunning.

Immerse yourself

Interactive installation The Room this year takes the form of a ‘live’ Arabic talk show, but together by an art collective called GCC. Get cooking tips from celebrity singer and TV chef Suliman Al Qassar at 8pm on the opening night of the fair or watch a make-over transform a willing victim from drab to fab at 7.30pm on 23rd March.

Art Dubai Hiromi Tango, Imaginarium at Singapore Art Museum, 2017. Courtesy the Artist and Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney-min

Get young ones excited

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Programme allows kids to play in the Healing Garden, created by Japanese-Australian artist Hiromi Tango. Hands-on opportunities and play with light and shape will keep little artists intrigued.

Mix it up

By night, the GCC studio set on Fort Island hosts art fair after-parties with a roster of international DJs. Sign up for the guest-list here and shake it all out.

Art Dubai. 21st-24th March. Day tickets from AED 60, three-day pass from AED 100. Fort Island, Souk Madinat Jumeirah. For timings see www.artdubai.ae

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