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With several art hubs, museums and performing arts centers – the UAE is fast emerging as a popular destination for art lovers from around the world.
Abu Dhabi is leading the way with the construction of world-class museums and art centers at the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. This area will have a branch of Louvre, scheduled to open in 2015; the Guggenheim which is likely to be inaugurated in 2017; the Zayed National Museum, set to open in 2016; and a Performing Arts Centre.
The capital also has a thriving art community in Mussafah, called the Abu Dhabi Art Hub. This 2,500 square meter facility has residential facilities, galleries and workshops for artists. There are plans for internship programs and a sponsorship scheme. The Art Hub invites artists from around the world and after painting in and around Abu Dhabi for four weeks, they get to show their work at the center.
In neighboring emirate of Dubai, Downtown Dubai is soon set to become a thriving art district. The proposed culture hotspot will have the Dubai Modern Art Museum and Opera House. It will also have several art galleries and design studios along with art hotels and residential apartments.
Currently, a number of art studios and galleries are located in the industrial area of Al Quoz. Art workshops are also conducted in the old part of the city - the Bastakiya area in Bur Dubai and DIFC Gate Village on Sheikh Zayed Road.
Sharjah, UNESCO’s Cultural Capital of the Arab World, has a vibrant art scene. Its art foundation helps artists through grants, residencies and exhibitions. It also hosts the Sharjah Biennial, an arts festival held every two years, and has more than 15 museums. Sharjah Heritage Area is the culture nerve center with around 20,000 square meters of space for art exhibitions.
• Sharjah currently holds the Culture Capital of the Arab World title
• Saadiyat Cultural District is home to Abu Dhabi’s art, culture scene
• Dubai Modern Art Museum is soon to open at Downtown Dubai
Source: S. Dhar, Special to Properties
The writer is a freelancer