Art in Dubai
After you’ve soared to the top of the world’s tallest building in the Burj Khalifa’s high-speed, 10-metre-per-second elevator, and sold your soul for Arabian perfume, Middle Eastern jewellery and carpets and tapestries at the world’s largest mall, come back down to earth in Al Quoz. The gritty neighbourhood of garages and warehouses isn’t the Dubai of anyone’s dreams, but it is where the city’s alternative-arts hub has taken root. Contemporary artists and gallery owners love the large spaces around Al Serkal Avenue, which are so distinct from the chichi galleries in the Dubai International Financial Center or DIFC. Some owners even have two branches: a tiny gallery in the DIFC (aka the bait) and a larger one in Al Quoz (the hook). Foreign buyers have taken notice; the Lawrie Shabibi gallery recently told the New York Times that when it opened in 2011, 60 percent of its buyers were from Dubai. Today, 60 percent are from abroad. For a list of galleries, search “Al Quoz” at emirates.com.
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