There's a host of new art exhibitions this weekend that will keep the aficionados busy. From abstract paintings and calligraphy to sculptures and photographs, these are the top five not-to-be-missed art exhibitions ringing in the start of the arts season.

Travelling Light

Launched to commemorate International Women's Day, the exhibition puts the spotlight on chiaroscuro – the treatment of light and shading in painting – by seven French female artists based in the UAE capital. The varied inspirations range from architecture and flora to textile and children, all of which convey an emotion of luminosity.

art guide weekend Mar 10-12

Travelling Light runs at the Etihad Modern Art Gallery until March 24.

Illuminated Space by Samia Halaby

Showcasing her transition into abstract art, the exhibition features natural organic forms – think flowers and trees – bathed in bright vivid colours that were inspired by the works of Mark Rothko and Ad Reinhardt. Expect soothing shades and hues mixed with an invitation for personal interpretation.

art guide weekend Mar 10-12

Illuminated Space runs at the Ayyam Gallery until June 17.

Syria: Into the Light

Al Serkal Avenue opens its new 600sqm event venue Concrete with the exhibition, Syria: Into the Light. The space gathers artworks by over 40 artists to showcase the changing trends of Syrian art from 1924 till 2016. "Looking at Syrian art through the lens of portraiture is not only an attempt to understand the characteristics of the genre but also an attempt to read Syrian art through this theme," said the Atassi Foundation's Founder, Mouna Atassi. "This exhibition marks a tremendous opportunity to tell the story of a multifaceted country and people by bringing a selection of our private collection to be shown in the first space of its kind in the region."

art guide weekend Mar 10-12

Syria: Into the Light runs at Concrete until April 3.

Sagar by Lala Rukh

The exhibition marks the first solo Dubai debut for Lala Rukh and features a collection of her photographic images of the sea and coastlines. The focus falls on the serenity of the tides too, punctured only by a diving seagull or the oars of a boat, as Rukh remains a voyeuristic observer. Whether it's the breaking of day or the coming of the night, the oceanic images provide a calming canvas for deep meditations.

art guide weekend Mar 10-12

Sagar runs at Grey Noise until May 13.

Ya Latif by Khaled Ben Slimane

Tunisian-born Khaled Ben Slimane presents a multi-disciplinary art exhibition that delves into the realm of spirituality. Inspired by the mythical practice of Sufism, the painter expresses a deep entrancement through repetitive graffiti-like calligraphy that is rooted in the past yet exudes a contemporary aesthetic.

art guide weekend Mar 10-12

Ya Latif runs until April 8 at Elmarsa.

Also, don't miss other must-experience cultural events this March 10-12 weekend.