Dubai, UAE: Art serves as a powerful means of human expression and social connection, fostering communication and understanding among peoples and cultures. In Dubai, where World Art Day is celebrated annually, the brilliance of artistic masterpieces illuminates the landscape, enriching the city with beauty and inspiration. This celebration underscores the significance of the arts sector and its pivotal role in shaping a dynamic ecosystem that elevates the ambitions and global stature of the emirate and reinforces its cultural vision to be a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity, and a thriving hub for talent.

Dubai remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing and celebrating its cultural and artistic sector through strategic initiatives, projects, and qualitative endeavors. These efforts serve to foster stronger bonds between artistic creativity and the community, embracing the contributions of pioneers and creatives, contributing to the sustainable development of the emirate. This embodies the wisdom of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who said: “Our ethos of tolerance, openness and inclusiveness, combined with our strong belief that creative expression in all its forms is vital to the progress of civilizations, has led to the creation of a vibrant cultural environment in the country and made it a home for diverse artistic talent.”

Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is dedicated to enriching Dubai’s artistic landscape through its array of qualitative projects and programmes. With a firm commitment to fostering a sustainable creative environment, Dubai Culture empowers artists to express their visions and ideas while encouraging them to share their works with the wider community. This commitment is exemplified through initiatives like the Dubai Art Season, which annually offers diverse artistic and musical events, showcasing Dubai’s global stature and exceptional cultural experiences. The season features renowned exhibitions such as Art Dubai, World Art Dubai, and DIFC Art Nights, alongside a myriad of initiatives, events, and activities that transform Dubai into a vibrant arts. These endeavours elevate Dubai’s cultural profile and provide emerging talents with opportunities to hone their skills and unleash their creativity.

The emirate demonstrates a strong commitment to public art with its Dubai Public Art strategy, designed to elevate visual culture and showcase the emirate’s authenticity and ambitious vision. This strategy, spearheaded by Dubai Culture, underscores the Authority’s dedication to bolstering the cultural and creative industries. It aligns closely with Dubai Culture’s sectoral priorities, which focus on embodying cultural responsibility, solidifying Dubai’s global standing, fostering the growth of its creative economy, and empowering creatives and artists to contribute to enriching the cultural landscape.

As part of the ‘Dubai Public Art’ strategy, Dubai Culture successfully implemented various projects, including the ‘Union of the Artists’ installation created in collaboration with Art Dubai and situated in the Al Hudaiba area, opposite the Etihad Museum. This striking piece bears the signatures of five talented Emirati artists: Afra Al Dhaheri, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Asma Belhamar, and Khalid Al Banna. Furthermore, another noteworthy project is the interactive artwork titled ‘I Dreamt of a City Everyone Calls Home,’ which was unveiled and executed by the Theories of Imagination (TOFI) group. Situated in the Jaddaf Waterfront Park, adjacent to the Jameel Arts Centre, this piece was inspired by the rich history of the Jaddaf area, known as a historical meeting point for diverse cultures and a hub for cultural and trade exchange.

Moreover, the Sikka Art and Design Festival has firmly entrenched itself as a cornerstone of the local art scene, solidifying its presence on both the local and regional artistic landscapes. This was evident in the resounding success of its 12th edition, held in the Al Shindagha Historic Neighbourhood, which underscored its significance and drew in a staggering 162,000 visitors, showcasing the works of over 500 artists from the UAE, the GCC, and beyond. In support of the local and international art movement, Dubai Culture organised the inaugural ‘Dubai Calligraphy Biennale’ to elevate calligraphy as a powerful and evocative artistic medium that reflects rich cultural narratives. The biennale saw the participation of over 200 local and international calligraphers and creatives, organising 19 exhibitions and activating over 35 locations around Dubai, displaying a wide range of artworks inspired by traditional and contemporary lines and calligraphic scripts in over eight languages and cultures.

Art in Dubai has evolved into a dynamic platform for innovation and a destination for entrepreneurs exploring diverse artistic and cultural expression forms. It has emerged as a fundamental pillar in shaping the future economy, driving cultural tourism, and amplifying Dubai’s global footprint. Positioned as a vibrant hub for the arts, Dubai has garnered international acclaim as a premier destination for art aficionados and cultural enthusiasts.