Making their mark on the world’s most diverse city, celebrated artists represent the first wave as Dubai Walls aims to lead a conversation about this exciting art movement with people visiting the region and to educate those who have yet to discover street art.
In recent times artists have used spray paint to show off their art, but in Dubai you’ll see a combination of street art graffiti, sculptures and statues. Despite the ongoing debate about its direction and definition, Dubai’s street art scene is rapidly growing and developing. We look at the best public art in Dubai.
Emaar Boulevard has some of the world’s most striking sculptures
On the Emaar Boulevard, not far from Dubai Opera and the Burj Khalifa, is an impressive gathering of huge sculptures. The works draw on themes love by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai: equestrian life, the desert landscape, and the strength of the local community.
The white marble and black granite figures of Arab man and a woman in an abaya, called Together, have been placed on Emaar Boulevard, close to the entrance of the Burj Khalifa and are possibly the most striking of them all.
They are made in granite and marble, black and white, like giant chess pieces. To showcase they are so different, yet they are so alike!
City Walk hosts the world’s most amazing street art by renowned artists!
Dubai’s local designer Meraas wanted to make the people of Dubai feel acquainted with street art so they began a project on the City Walk development and brought in 15 of the best street artists from all over the world as part of the Dubai Walls initiative.
Art lovers should allow a few hours to take in all 15 artists. There are plenty of places around the City Walk to stop off for a drink, a snack, or something more substantial.
Karama Street Art
Lively Karama, neighbouring Bur Dubai and Oud Metha, is best known for its fabulous stalls where you can snap up a bargain - fabrics, garments and South Asian charms. But similar to the way of City Walk, eight street artists have painted 24 gigantic murals on the side of 12 apartment buildings and shops in the busy district, boosting the appeal.
Alserkal Avenue Arts District
Located in Dubai’s trade quarter, the fashionable terminus of Alserkal has several converted warehouses that often host many of the city’s trendiest art galleries. October-March are the perfect time to stroll through the streets drinking in the beautiful galleries of Grey Noice, Ayyam and Carbon 12, which are free to enter.
As you wander, stop off to admire the street art murals and numerous mysterious lighting installations. There’s also a handful of places to dine at, including organic and vegan options such as Wild & The Moon, and sometimes you’ll find free outdoor screenings of movies in the main courtyard, hosted by Cinema Akil.
Dubai Street Museum
In 2016, artists had been encouraged to transform the appearance of Dubai’s 2nd December Street. Contributors have painted murals on 16 of the street’s buildings as part of Dubai Street Museum, an initiative promoting the emirates’ visual arts and cultural heritage. In the first stage of the scheme, 12 artists from around the world painted 16 murals along numerous buildings of the historically noteworthy 2nd December Street in Satwa, with each of the artworks showcasing the UAE’s rich history and culture.
Dubai is seeing an explosion of art practices
Dubai is also incredibly welcoming. The last 10-15 years have seen an explosion of art practices. The rise and development of Dubai Culture and all it provides for the arts encouraged the growth of galleries, art fairs and street art. With the Design Fair and Dubai Design District (d3) and everything developing there in arts and fashion world it is just a wonderful time to visit Dubai if you have a love for all things visually appealing.