Art lovers from around the world are beginning to arrive in Dubai for Art Dubai 2018. Since its founding in 2007, Art Dubai has become the place to view not only Middle East and North African art, but art from over 40 different countries. Emerging artists, innovative art spaces, galleries, and household names in art will all gather together to celebrate contemporary and modern art. 2018 will be the most globally diverse Art Dubai to date. There are three main categories for Art Dubai: Contemporary, Modern, and Residents. This year, 78 galleries will be featured in Art Dubai Contemporary. Many mediums will be explored, from sculpture to painting to performance. The selection committee has chosen artists from 42 countries, including newcomers from Iceland and Kazakhstan. Highlights in the Contemporary Hall will include British artist Marc Quinn, French-American Jules de Balincourt, and Iranian-born Soheila Sokhanvari who is known for her explorations of trauma and hope within her art. Art Dubai Modern will showcase some of the most influential 20th century artists from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. It’s a spectacular opportunity to appreciate the world’s greatest modern artists all under the shadow of the beautiful city of Dubai. In the Modern Hall, keep an eye out for Algerian artist Mahjoub Ben Balla. New this year is the Residents 2018 portion of Art Dubai which brings to visitors an intimate connection with specially-selected artists in residence. The exhibitions here are the culmination of each artist’s recent 4-8 week immersions into a local UAE arts scene. This is the first time for this type of format at Art Dubai, and it offers a unique view into the collaboration between artists, local cultures, and communities. Visitors here will be keen to view the installation of contemporary sculpture Yasuaki Onishi.

Girma Berta, Moving Shadows II, II, 2017, Digital Archival Print, 40 x 40 cm (Edition of 7 + 1AP), 90 x 90 cm (Edition of 4 + 1AP), Courtesy of the Artist (

One of the highlights of Art Dubai will be the Global Art Forum, where visitors can enjoy performances and exhibitions from selected artists and the Abraaj Group Art Prize winner. This year’s winner is Lawrence Abu Hamdan whose audiovisual installations often exhibit the interactions between sound and politics. An area known as The Room will again be a top destination, providing an immersive experience with a large-scale installation.

While Art Dubai will carry the exclusive ambiance that Dubai is known for, it will also be a meeting place for art lovers from every background. It will be a place to be introduced to the newest artists—a carefully curated group of 28 new exhibitors to Art Dubai—while revisiting older, established artists and galleries. After parties will again be part of Art Dubai, with internationally renowned DJs ready to keep visitors entertained well into the night. These events are free, but you must register in advance. These parties are part of GCC After Dark and run from the 20th to the 23rd. Art Dubai is always an ideal place to make new connections with international art lovers. Join in discussions, discover emerging artists, and allow yourself to experience the cosmopolitan, international vibe that is Art Dubai. Art Dubai runs from March 21-24 // Buy your tickets at