Art Dubai is set to be a coveted creative forum this season. From painters to sculptors, writers to performers, the world's art fraternity is descending upon Dubai, bringing with them expertise, ideas and creativity. Household names as well as emerging artists share one platform to showcase their passion for the arts. The art event of the year is not to be missed and Buro 24/7 Middle East has the highlights...

Galleries

This year's Art Dubai will see 94 galleries from 40 countries representing a total of 500 artists from 70 different nationalities. This year, the galleries will be divided into three categories: Contemporary, Modern and Marker. The Contemporary section will include some of the world's most renowned galleries including Marianne Boesky Gallery from New York and Victoria Miro from London. Meanwhile, the Modern section will be focusing on regional galleries and participants include Dubai's Meem Gallery. The Marker section, curated by Ringo Bunoan, will put the spotlight on the Philippines and its vast and burgeoning arts scene.

 Artwork by Laure-Ghorayeb

Global Art Forum

Under the banner, The Future Was, the region's biggest arts conference will feature live talks, panel discussions as well as art displays and performances by prominent artists, curators and writers. This year's edition will explore the impact artists, filmmakers and musicians have had, and will continue to have, on different futures.

Global Art Forum to discuss how artists shaped and continue to shape, futures

Projects

This year, curator Yasmin Reggad has commissioned artists Doa Aly, Sreshta Rit Premnath, Massinissa Selmani and collective Nile Sunset Annex to create site-specific installations. In the same mould, the artists-in-residence programme invited four artists – Areej Kaoud (UAE), Moza Almatrooshi (UAE), Jumairy (UAE) and Lydia Ourahmane (UK/Algeria) – to create site works that will also be unveiled during Art Dubai.

Also under the Art Dubai Projects initiative is 89plus, a project that explores the works of artists born on or after 1989 — the year that is known as the launch of the World Wide Web. Finally, one of the most exciting new projects at Art Dubai is The Wedding Project, where artists will transform ballrooms into wedding halls and simultaneously create an 11-course menu inspired by the arts.

Art-inspired menu and setting at The Wedding Project

Abraaj Group Art Prize

The highly successful Abraaj Group Art Prize returns, once again, awarding artists with the funding and sustained support to realise their artistic proposals. Artistic duo Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, whose artworks run the gamut from sound to text and performances, were declared this year's winners. The pair were awarded Dhs370,000 to complete their work, which will be unveiled as part of a group exhibition during Art Dubai. Three other shortlisted finalists, Dina Danish, Mahmoud Khaled, Basir Mahmood, were each given Dhs37,000 to also create works for the group exhibition.

Previous artwork by 2016 Abraaj Group Art Prize winners Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou Rahme

Education

To further encourage the growth of the local arts scene, Art Dubai will hold several educational programmes throughout the fair. These include the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program for children and teenagers as well as Campus Art Dubai, an institution whereby a series of courses, talks and workshops will be held to further educate artists.

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program teaches and encourages young artists

RCA Secret Dubai

Following in the footsteps of the successful annual event in London, RCA Secret Dubai sees 1000 postcard-sized original artworks for sale, each priced at Dhs500. The artists of the cards, however will not be disclosed but buyers are encouraged to purchase based on personal appreciation, rather than name. All proceeds from the sale will go towards the education of local artists at the Royal College of Art in London. RCA Secret Dubai will be held at Alserkal Avenue from March 14-19 and at Art Dubai from March 17-19.

Postcard-sized artworks by anonymous artists

Art Dubai will run from March 16-19 at Madinat Jumeirah. For more information and full programme listings, visit artdubai.ae.