Head to Al Fahidi from this weekend and you’ll find a riot of colour.
The neighbourhood’s historical district is once again home to Sikka Art Fair, which takes over the winding streets and leafy courtyards with giant murals, live music, and plenty of reasons to stop and stare.
This year the always excellent event comes in two parts – ‘SIKKA by Day’ celebrates the Al Fahidi tenants and the neighbourhood with art exhibitions and “powerhouse” live performances. After dark, ‘SIKKA by Night’ brings together local artists under the theme of ‘An Open Window to Art & Tolerance’, with art exhibits, interactive installations, gigs, film, and more.
This year nearly half of the artists taking part are Emirati, with 20 talented citizens offering insight into the emirate’s art scene.
Also in on the artistic act is Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). At the centre in Al Fahidi, there are plenty of things to do for free – sip complimentary Emirati red tea that’s cooked over the coals, try a local board game, see an art exhibition about tolerance by Belgian artist Quentin Desmi and take part in a cultural Ask Me Anything (on 21st, 22nd, 23rd March from 7pm). There are also free-of-charge daily drumming sessions, where Dubai Drums aims to bring participants together in harmony with percussion.
Sikka Art Fair is part of Dubai Art Week, which also brings us Art Dubai, a three-day event at Madinat Jumeirah, where four galleries are packed with the work of 500 artists.
Entry is free. Sikka Art Fair. 16th-24th March, Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood. Timings and a full schedule are here. SMCCU is open 11am-11pm weekdays and until midnight weekends. To find out more, or book a tour, contact the office on 04 353 6666.