Dubai’s old Al Fahidi district is alive with art, but it won’t be around forever.
Proud to be the flagship of Dubai Art Season, Sikka Art Fair is a colourful and creative mash up of Emirati and GCC-based artists, in the heart of Dubai’s Historical Neighbourhood.
Now in its seventh year, it brings a deluge of home-grown talent and draws intriguing international artists in to the narrow streets of Al Fahidi.
Here’s what’s on the programme for 2017:
With no entrance fee and art on show until 11pm, you have to see the seventh edition of Sikka. Prepare for an onslaught of performing arts, live music, film screenings and pop-up food stalls daily until 21st March.
New for this year, Sikka gets mobile with Sikka Around the City, so even if you don’t make it to Al Fahidi, watch out for it popping up where you are.
We wander Sikka’s winding alleys to find there’s more to see than ever before, with a record 150 artists and art institutions applying to take part. Urban art tricks out every corner and the more you explore, the more you’ll see.
Irreverent art collective Satwa 300 has claimed a shady nook as Satwaland, where you can take chai and chill. Elsewhere, take an upcycling workshop in one of the simple traditional houses and turn trash into treasure. There’s even meditation in the gloriously-named Happiness Space, and an open-air crossfit class.
Installations worth finding include The Bahrain House, where you can see the work of five Bahrani artists; film screenings by LOCO’MOTION Community Cinema and The Animation Chamber and the fair’s traditional Closing Feast.
Thousands of visitors are checking out the work of artists including Emirati Rashid Al Mulla, Khashab Design-founder Miaser Al-Habori, Brazilian-born street artist Tarsila Schubert (pictured), and the graffiti collective the Cosmic Boys, also from Brazil.
And Al Fahidi’s tenants will also be joining in – don’t miss the bright and playful colour of Mawaheb Beautiful People’s Squiggly Wiggly and step inside the ever-calming XVA Gallery with the bold oil paintings of Redemptive Narratives and Migrating Patterns.
It’s all part of an annual art take over that’s been running for four years, when Dubai Art Season combines Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai and Design Days Dubai, and the Middle East Film and Comic Convention.
11th-21st March, 5pm-10pm weekdays, 6pm-11pm weekends. Al Fahidi Historical District. Find a full schedule of events and workshops at www.sikka17.com