The wait is nearly over! The 2023 edition of Art Dubai will take place from March 1-5 at Madinat Jumeirah. This year marks the 16th edition of the leading international art fair in the Middle East, held annually to promote art from the Middle East and the surrounding region (MENASA). Serving as both an exhibition and a talent incubator for artists, curators, and art professionals, Art Dubai offers new perspectives that go beyond the traditional western-led narratives. This year’s event will be bigger and better, featuring over 100 galleries from 40+ countries, showcasing more than 400 artists, and hosting 50+ talks! 

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Sfeir-Semler Gallery to be displayed at Art Dubai 2023_©Rayyane Tabet

Now, let’s take a glimpse into the four gallery sections that Art Dubai has been divided into Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Art Dubai Digital.

Contemporary Art Dubai | Art Dubai

The committee for contemporary art comprises Andrée Sfeir-Semler (Beirut/Hamburg), Priyanka Raja (Kolkata/Mumbai), and Ursula Krinzinger (Vienna, Austria). With 76 galleries in 34 countries from the Global South Area, this series of exhibitions explores the world, focusing on discovering new perspectives from global contributors. Exhibitors range from Europe, South Asia, East Asia, the Middle East, and North America!

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Her Clip 1, 2022, stainless steel razor blades_© Shrine Empire and Tayeba Begum Lip

Emerging art scenes and new techniques are explored in these galleries, from the conceptual use of material and mixed media in New Delhi to product and visual designs from the Arab world. Contemporary art truly showcases the culture and its unique narratives. From young to old, some galleries, like The Rooster Gallery from Lithuania featuring youngsters and their perspectives towards art, while Gallery 1957 shows tradition through the eyes of experienced artists trying to bridge the gap between contemporary West African art and the world.

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Globe, 2022, ink-jet print, epoxy, plants, twigs, stones_©Vytautus Kumza with The Rooster Gallery
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Home is Where I Lay My Rug, 2021 to 2022, acrylic on canvas over panel_©Kour Pour with Gallery 1957

These exhibitions culminate the perspectives of cultures to preserve heritage in a unique manner irrespective of mediums. Most of these exhibitors focus on the work of dozens of artists and aim to create an awareness of their culture and bespoke talents.

Art Dubai Modern

Discover the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia at Art Dubai Modern, where modern art is showcased in all its glory. This carefully curated section focuses on period or thematic dialogue and features works by renowned artists from the 1950s to the 1990s who have played a pivotal role in shaping modern art as we know it today. Mouna Mekouar and Lorenzo Giusti are the expert curators for this section, ensuring that the galleries on display are of the highest quality.

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Malula, Syria, oil on canvas_©Samir Salameh with Gallery One

Step into the world of pioneering Palestinian art and embrace the generational crafts from the Middle East and North Africa, all while immersing yourself in themes like transvangarde and minimal art. These galleries explore cross-cultural linkages between the western and eastern worlds, using new techniques and unique expressions to bridge the gap.

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AGIP Calendar Model, 1974, digital fiber print_©James Barnor, October Gallery, London

Art Dubai Modern offers a fresh perspective on modern art, one that is rooted in culture and heritage, making it an unmissable experience for all art enthusiasts. Come and witness the evolution of modern art at Art Dubai Modern. 

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Untitled, circa 80’s, painting_©Helen Khal, Mark Hachem Gallery

Art Dubai Bawwaba

Step through the “Bawwaba” gateway and discover a world of contemporary art that pushes the boundaries of creativity and innovation. This series of exhibitions showcase solo artists from “The Global South,” and provides a platform for emerging talent to showcase their work. The exhibit is curated by Vipash Purichanont, a respected solo curator and lecturer at Silpakorn University. 

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Raising Lazarus, 2021, diasec_©Siamak Filizadeh, Navahi Projects

Eleven galleries feature exhibitions from the latest era, spanning 2010 to 2021, and utilize a range of mediums including performance, photography, photomontage, and 3D modeling. The displays are ambitious, rooted in the real world, and infused with imaginative touches that will captivate and inspire. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking for a unique experience, the Bawwaba exhibit is not to be missed.

A brief guide in the search for untarnished Authenticity, 2019, oil and giclee on canvas _©Zico Albaiquni with Yavuz Gallery

Art Dubai Digital | Art Dubai

Experience the future of art at Art Dubai Digital! With 21 galleries showcasing the latest in digital technologies and techniques, you’ll be amazed by what artists are achieving in the immersive realm. The exhibit is curated by Clara Che Wei Peh, a renowned curator, writer, and artist.

Be inspired by thought-provoking exhibits like Afrofuturism, which explores the intersection of culture, creativity, and social change in Africa and beyond.

Space Cadet Her (in) Astral Invasion, Digital Mixed Media on Lenticular Lens_©Somi Nwandu with AfroFuturism

Discover innovative exhibitors like Artemis, the first digital art gallery in Portugal. And immerse yourself in the groundbreaking work of artists like Solimán López, whose exhibit Olea combines history, biotechnology, and conceptual visual art. With Art Dubai Digital, you’ll be at the forefront of the digital art movement, experiencing firsthand the power and potential of new technologies in the hands of visionary artists. Don’t miss out on this exciting opportunity to explore the cutting edge of contemporary art!

Olea Exhibition_© Solimán López
Olea Exhibition_© Solimán López

There is More!

Art Dubai aims to spark dialogue, encouraging people to ponder and truly connect with artists and their heritage from all around the world. Each day from March 2nd to March 5th, 2023, Art Dubai Talks will be held in various gallery platforms, led by leading global and UAE-based cultural institutions.

Exciting topics are underway, including new institutional models for cultural spaces, exploring contemporary traditions and histories, sustainability practices, digital visual cultures, and much more. The talks are lecture and discourse-based, allowing for maximum audience participation. Therefore, the exhibition, along with the talks, is bound to be a learning experience for any visitor.

In summary, Art Dubai 2023 is a unique and enriching experience that enables visitors to discover new perspectives and narratives beyond the traditional The western-led art world. With so much to see and learn, don’t miss the chance to attend this extraordinary event!


Art Dubai (2023) Art Dubai , Art Dubai. Available at: (Accessed: February 25, 2023). 

Mathieson, A. (2023) Art Exhibitions in Dubai 2023: 10 must-see exhibits, 10 must-see art exhibitions coming to Dubai in 2023. Available at: (Accessed: February 25, 2023). 

STIRpad (2023) Art Dubai stirs dialogue between heritage and contemporary art for 2023 edition, STIRpad. Available at: (Accessed: February 25, 2023). 


Sara is a final year student pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Pakistan. As an Urban Design enthusiast, her main interest lies in identifying the relationship between sociology and architecture. She believes that exploring rich dialogues between people and the environment are the catalysts for fostering healthy solutions to adversities.