The Weekend Guide: For the Love of Art, Here Are the Best Exhibits in the UAE

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Weekend Dubai Art
Photo: Courtesy of @capturedblinks

Dubai is like Disneyland for adults (and kids too), but it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to filter through everything our gorgeous city has to offer on the weekends. Let’s be honest, after you’ve worked all week long, the last thing you want to do is waste your precious R&R time sifting through offers and websites. Sometimes, you miss the best events because it takes too long to find them.

Savoir Flair is here to help start your weekend off on the right note. We are giving you our favorite picks for what you should be doing this weekend in Dubai. So whether it’s a much-needed day at the beach, a well-deserved spa treatment, or a day of adventure, you have never felt more on holiday than you will in Dubai this weekend.

1

Can You Keep A Secret?

Afshin Pirhashemi latest solo exhibition, Can You Keep A Secret, at Ayyam Gallery in Alserkal Avenue is nothing short of breath-taking. In their latest show, the Iranian artist continues to explore the complexities of femininity and women in his beloved Tehran. Iconic women appear as real, raw images, which are then layered with text and juxtaposed with impressively unique depictions of Coca Cola bottles (reminiscent of the Pop Art movement). His strokes are accented with notes of seduction, femininity, strength, beauty, and even superheroes. A deep vulnerability manifests in the struggle of East meets West with a climax leaving you in awe. Definitely one of our favorites on at the moment, and an exhibit not to be missed.

Can You Keep A Secret? is open until March 10th.

Weekend
Artwork: Courtesy of Afshin Pirhashemi
2

Seriously the Coolest Initiative for Local Artists Yet

In a stroke of utter genius, Jameel Arts Centre has introduced its first iteration of compositions: original works of music reflecting the current artwork on exhibit at the centre. From seasoned Emirati composers, to young, budding, and extremely talented musicians still in high school and even younger, Jameel Arts has tapped the talents of the local community to bring about one of the most ground-breaking initiatives we’ve seen. Musicians from various backgrounds, ethnicities, and ages came together to play the original compositions which were recorded at Jameel Arts Centre and have now been released online. It’s Covid-friendly, available 24-hours, and 100 percent worth your time. You will not be able to stop after the first one. We cannot wait to see more cross-disciplinary artistic collaborations with local artists.

You can check out the Compositions here.

3

An Art Exhibit on Jebel Jais

In a stunning, outdoor exhibition, the Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival (RAKFAF) is once again bringing over 130 world-class artworks by a diverse mix of artists, photographers and sculptors. The festival, which centers around the much needed theme of ‘Hope,’ will be hosting film screenings, workshops, guided tours, and other events across its three locations: Al Jazirah Al Hamra Heritage Village in Ras Al Khaimah, as well as smaller exhibits at Al Marjan Island’s serene Open Park, and the highest point in the UAE, Jebel Jais.

Be sure you don’t miss the latest collaboration with Art Dubai and The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, the Oral History Project – which preserves the stories of five Emirati residents who lived in the Al Jazirah Al Hamra Village, and special works by the insanely talented local UAE female artist Azza Al Nuaimi, as well as Emirati photographers Nuwair Al Hejari, and Faisal Al Rais.

RAKFAF opens this Saturday, February 6th and runs through April 3rd.

Dubai Art Weekend
Photo: Courtesy of Mohamed Husain
4

Photographers of the World Tell One Story

Photographer and filmmaker Sohrab Hura’s inaugural curatorial project, Growing Like a Tree, features a wide range of photographers from Bangladesh, Cambodia, Germany, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Singapore. Despite the diversity, Hura has managed to capture a multitude of different voices and perspectives to tell one human story. Changing cities, collective memory, the environment, political conversations, and women and the patriarchy are only a few of the universal themes tackled and brought together into one emergent and cohesive community. 

“What I’ve been seeing over the years are collective flows in terms of movement and exchange of photographers across political, geographical and cultural boundaries,” says Hura. “An osmosis-like relationship with photographers across borders has started to seep through with each one searching for new ways to grow as artists and having at stake something in common that is far more urgent than photography.”

Growing Like a Tree is open at the Ishara Foundation in Alserkal Avenue until May 20th.

Dubai Art Weekend
Photo: Courtesy of Bunu Dhangana
5

When In Abu Dhabi, Do Not Miss This Homegrown Art House

If you can get to Abu Dhabi, it’s worth visiting the homegrown arts and design center, Warehouse 421, which opens its winter exhibits this Saturday, Feb. 6th with three staggering new installations. Float: Stephanie Comilang, an exhibition that features the works of artist and Berlin-based filmmaker Stephanie Comilang will open in conjunction with Mina Zayed: Reflections on Past Futures, an image-based exhibition presented in partnership with Gulf Photo Plus (GPP), that documents Mina Zayed through narrative photography. In the third reprisal of 100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters, visitors have a chance to see the winning entries from the Biennial competition that celebrates graphic design in the Arab world. 

Warehouse 421 Winter Exhibits open this Saturday, February 6th and runs through March 21 (Float), May 16 (100/100), and June 13 (Mina Zayed).

Dubai Art Weekend
Photo: Courtesy of Lara Rudar
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