Discovering the Best Art Galleries in Dubai

Written by Muhammad Qadeer

Undoubtedly the city of superlatives, from skyscrapers and upscale restaurants to dreamy beaches and top-tier hospitality - Dubai offers the best of everything. But there is another facet to the cosmopolitan city that often goes unnoticed, which is the exhibition of visual art, nature and culture. Since Dubai is home to expats from around the globe, the art galleries are truly eclectic, and feature works that take one on an ethereal journey to ponder and reflect. In this blog, we look at some of the finest art galleries Dubai has to offer.

XVA

XVA Gallery

Just as the abstract name suggests, XVA is home to a curated collection of art pieces from both renowned and underground artists. Established in 2004, the gallery primarily showcases works of Middle-Eastern painters and sculptors - with a focus on the intermingling of cultural identities and perspectives that challenges visitors to look beyond their preconceived notions of borders and cultural barriers.

Furthermore, XVA also offers expert art consultancy and project management solutions to individuals and corporate identities interested in holding exhibitions or setting up an arts and crafts space. Moreover, the gallery has a very rustic and traditional looking cafe that is dubbed as Dubai’s best kept secret. The eatery has been hailed as a favourite by none other than Gordon Ramsay.

Location

XVA is located in the historic neighbourhood of Al Fahidi.

The Third Line

The Third Line Gallery

The Third Line is another of those art galleries in Dubai that is helping to give a voice to aspiring artists of Middle-Eastern heritage - giving them a platform to showcase their work to whom art speaks on a deeper level. In addition to hosting art exhibitions, The Third Line is involved in the production and publication of art magazines in both English and Arabic; as well as hosting a myriad of non-for-profit programs that bring enthusiasts together to have discussions about art, literature, film and music of the region. Famous artists whose work has been featured include Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Anuar Khalifi, Farah Al Qasimi and Farhad Moshiri.

Location

The Third Line is located in the surreal setting of Alserkal Avenue, within Al Quoz.

The Opera Gallery

The Opera Gallery

Having started back in 1994, the Opera Gallery is a synthesis of old world aesthetics with abstract, contemporary design forms that compel visitors to ask themselves questions about life, evolution, natural morality and the confines of human expression. The Gallery holds exhibitions worldwide in cities including New York, Miami, Aspen, London, Monaco, Geneva, Beirut, Hong Kong and Dubai. The gallery has a reputation of showcasing intricate and visually striking pieces - such as, Lightfield by Anthony James, which presents five moving geometrical shapes in a dark room with LED lights to incredible effect. The experience is awe-inspiring and is an attempt to transport visitors into a parallel dimension where peace and tranquility reigns.

Location

The Opera Gallery Dubai is located in Gate Village, DIFC on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Oblong Contemporary Gallery

Oblong Contemporary Gallery

Oblong’s original gallery is in the beautiful seaside town of Forte dei Marmi, Italy. The Dubai gallery, which was inaugurated in 2019, serves as a bridge between cultures where the best of European and Middle Eastern contemporary art come together. It hosts exhibitions on a regular basis to showcase the works of renowned global artists – some recent names include Iranian artist Abol Atighetchi, Italian contemporary great Pablo Dana and Antonio Signorini, whose sculptural work can be seen in DIFC. Click here to listen to co-founder Paola Marucci’s interview with The Luxury Podcast.

Location

Oblong Contemporary Gallery is located on Bluewaters Island.

Green Art Gallery

Green Art Gallery

The Green Art Gallery is one of Dubai’s most renowned art galleries. Established nearly four decades ago, the center is a melting pot of artists coming together to give birth to contemporary and transformative paintings, figurines, sculptures and their stories. The gallery today features works of of artists originating from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and beyond, including Turkish artists Hale Tenger and Hera Büyüktaşcıyan; Iranian artists Kamrooz Aram and Nazgol Ansarinia; and Shadi Habib Allah, Seher Shah, and Alessandro Balteo-Yazbeck, who come from Palestine, Pakistan and Venezuela respectively.

Location

Like The Third Line, Green Art Gallery is also located in Alserkal Venue, Al Quoz.

The Empty Quarter

Empty Quarter Gallery

The Empty Quarter is the only place of its kind in the entire Middle East, which exhibits and celebrates photography. As a membership exclusive gallery, members look through the lens of a camera and enjoy stills of nature, country-side, urban infrastructure, historic architecture, documentary films, photo-journalism as well as random street photography. The gallery promotes creations of internationally recognized names in the field of photography; including Al-Moutasim Al Maskery, Steve McCurry, Marc Riboud, and Bruno Barbey. There is also a section dedicated to books and a place for people to have discourse over the various forms of photography.

Location

The Empty Quarter can be found at Gate Village, Building 02, DIFC, on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Gallery One

Gallery One

Last on the list is the retail chain, Gallery One, which offers a myriad of contemporary pieces of art to collectors and hobbyists. Despite not being overly intricate and abstract in its offerings, Gallery One’s outlets have enough art souvenirs to satiate the appetite of anyone. One of the most impressive features about them is how they commission art pieces that draw inspiration from daily life occurrences. This helps them stay abreast of what's fresh and relevant in the market.

Location

They have three locations in Dubai - one in Mirdif Center, another in Arabian Ranches II and one more in Souq Al Bahar.