Spark Your Creativity
The past few years have seen the UAE's art scene really take off, with more exhibitions, workshops and collaborations than ever before. And there is still much to look forward to - including the opening of the spectacular Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (set to open in 2021).

In fact, this month sees the entire globe get excited about the power of creative expression with World Art Day taking place on 15 April – the same date as the birthday of the master himself, Leonardo Da Vinci.

If you, your friends or your family, want to tap into the creative buzz, Oasis Living has rounded-up an art lover’s guide to the creative UAE hot spots and events of 2018. Unleash your inner Da Vinci!

Al Qattara Arts Centre
Al Qattara Oasis, Al Ain
Open from 8am to 8pm, except Fridays

The crowning jewel of Al Ain’s growing arts scene regularly hosts and participates in numerous cultural festivals and artsrelated events with a main emphasis on Emirati heritage.

Run by Department of Culture and Tourism Authority (DCTA), the recently revamped centre was launched with an aim to provide the community with a platform where art can be admired, studied, practised, and developed. And true to its word, the centre plays host to an extensive variety of yearlong art classes and creative workshops for children and families alike, with courses tailored for specific age groups.

Abu Dhabi Art
Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
Year-long events, event every November

Abu Dhabi Art has been a second home to art enthusiasts nationwide with its public engagement programme, in which they get to interact in all things creative, from talks and events to exhibitions all year long.

Then come November, the fair showcases inspiring collections and provides burgeoning talents with the recognition they deserve in participating galleries as well as providing them with a sales platform. Organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and held under the patronage of Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, it is considered the frst modern and contemporary fair in the UAE.

Admission costs Dh50 for ages above 18; free entrance for all ages below.

Mina Zayed, Abu Dhabi
Open from 10am to 8pm, except Mondays

Opened under the vision of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, Warehouse421 is one of Abu Dhabi's most-happening art institutions as a hub for creativity.

An active participant in Abu Dhabi’s creative ecosystem, Warehouse421 is dedicated to supporting the learning, making, exhibition and commercial activities relevant to the local and regional creative industries.

Since November 2015, Warehouse421 has hosted 11 exhibitions and showcased the work of more than 200 local and regional artists and designers, providing a place for creatives to formally and informally convene. It offers the public the opportunity to explore their creativity through interactive initiatives including talks, workshops, flm screenings and performances.

Events are free to attend but require preregistration.

House 10, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai
Open from 9am to 10pm, except Fridays

Established in Dubai in 2008 by Lateefa bint Maktoum, Tashkeel enables creative practice, experimentation and dialogue among practitioners and the wider community through multi-disciplinary studios, workspaces and galleries. It operates on an open membership model, with its annual programme of training, residencies, workshops, talks, exhibitions, international collaborations and publications aiming to further practitioner development, public engagement, lifelong learning and the creative and cultural industries.

Tashkeel’s range of initiatives include: Tanween, which takes a selected cohort of emerging UAE-based designers through a nine-month development programme to take a product inspired by the surroundings of the UAE from concept to completion; Critical Practice, which invites visual artists to embark on a oneyear development programme of studio practice, mentorship and training that culminates in a major solo presentation and MakeWorks UAE (to name three) an online platform connecting creatives and fabricators to enable designers and artists accurate and efficient access to the UAE manufacturing sector.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
Open from 10am to 8pm, Saturday to Wednesday; 10am to 10pm, Thursday to Friday; closed on Mondays

Launched in November last year, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is the new crowning jewel in the UAE's art world. Dubbed as the frst museum of its kind in the Arab world, it features art and artefacts from throughout human history - representing every period from ancient times to the modern day. The wide-reaching collection consists of over 600 pieces with half on loan from other institutions and the rest are from the Louvre Abu Dhabi's own permanent collection.

Temporary exhibitions are also housed in the museum with multi-cultural performances also taking place from time to time.

In addition to the galleries, the museum also houses a Children’s Museum, a restaurant, a boutique and a café. General admission costs Dh60 but can vary depending on age and occupation.

The museum also offers membership to its Art Club which features benefts such as unlimited entry as well as special offers, priority reservations and exclusive events.

Gate Village 5, Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai
Open from 9am to 5pm, closed during the weekend

If you fancy starting your own in-house gallery or just purchasing art for simple décor, look into Christie's, a global art auction house with a branch in Dubai, specialising in everything from historic to modern art. Its recent sales included Dubai: Post War and Contemporary Art and Important Watches: Including Contemporary Wristwatches from an Important Swiss Collection.

Art Dubai
Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai
Year-long programme, event every March

Art Dubai is but one of several successfully and internationally recognised annual art fairs and festivals including Design Days Dubai, Downtown Design, Art Week and Dubai Design Week - all produced under the Art Dubai Group, which helped mark the emirate as a global arts and design destination. Besides supporting and exhibiting emerging artists from across the Middle East and North Africa, this art hub also offers a year-round non-proft education programme for art lovers, novices and connoisseurs alike.

Dubai Community Teatre & Arts Centre (DUCTAC)
Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Open from 9am to 10pm

DUCTAC is one of the best non-proft organisations of its kind in the UAE, offering and hosting a plethora of workshops, events and performances throughout the year. Classes are open to children, teens and adults alike and are a great way to improve communication, concentration and collaboration skills. The disciplines range from acting to musical theatre and even comedy as well as getting crafty with their accredited programmes on interior design, jewellery and photography.

Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF)
Al Mureijah Square, Corniche St, Sharjah
Open from 9am to 9pm, Saturday to Thursday; 4 to 9pm on Friday

Established in 2009, SAF hosts a year-round programme of rotating exhibitions featuring the work of local, regional and international artists.

It also runs a number of work programmes such as the Film Programme's screenings and Film Club activities, the Artist and Professionals Programme's Residencies, Production Grants and internships as well as offering opportunities to become involved through SAF Community Programmes such as Vantage Point Sharjah and the Urban Garden.
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