7 Places To Get Your Art Fix in The UAE
If you live in the UAE and are not travelling this year, then it is the right time to explore and get your arts and culture fix within every emirate.
The UAE is home to a variety of cultures as well as historical monuments, including the Palace of the Queen of Sheba, and a plethora of art galleries and museums.
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not take a road trip all over the UAE and get your art and culture fix in each emirate…
Dubai – Al Serkal Avenue
The Al Serkal Avenue in Al Quoz in Dubai was established in 2008, and has since become one of Dubai's most influential creative districts. It originally started out as a small block of warehouse spaces that hosted 20 art galleries, but has now developed and grown into a 500,000sqft urban hub that fuses art, food, fashion and music with cultural events like Art Dubai and Art Nights, and even the Hermes Carre Club event. With new exhibits and pop ups being hosted all the time, you’ll never be out of things to do, see and eat!
Abu Dhabi – The Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi is an art and civilization museum, located in Abu Dhabi, the museum is located on the Saadiyat Island Cultural District. Approximately 24,000 square metres in size, with 8,000 square meters of galleries, it is the largest art museum in the Arabian peninsula and host to a number of infamous pieces of art including Vincent Van Gogh's 1887 self-portrait, Claude Monet's The Saint-Lazare Station and Jacques-Louis David's huge Napoleon Crossing the Alps.
Fujairah – Al Bidya Mosque
Take a step back in time by taking a visit to one of the oldest mosques in the UAE, the Al Bidya Mosque. Standing testament to the cultural heritage of Fujairah, this historical landmark dates back to the 15th century and conveys the stories of historical civilizations whilst being a window to the innovative engineering of that era. The mosque’s history, aesthetics and location make it a highly-frequented destination by history buffs and visitors to Fujairah.
Overlooking the Arabian Sea on the coastal road between Dibba and Khorfakkan, the Bidya Mosque is located in the Dibba district of Fujairah.
Ras Al Khaimah – National Museum
Ras Al Khaimah’s National Museum is a time capsule that is said to have been destroyed twice, in 1621 by the Portuguese and in 1820 by the British. Serving as a residence for the ruling family it was eventually given up around 1920 for a bigger one, just 700m to the south of the emirate. This fort that was built later, had originally been built between the British attacks of 1809 and 1819 outside the town-wall and Ras Al Khaimah Old Town. It served as a residence for the ruling Quwasim family until 1964, and even became a police headquarters and a prison, before it was finally converted into the National Museum in 1987. With so much rich diversity of traditional architecture, and a vast history, the National Museum is a fort of wonders that hosts a rich variety of archaeological finds, historical information and aspects of the cultural heritage of the emirate.
Umm Al Quwain – National Museum Al Ali Fort
A historical landmark for the UAE’s smallest, but beautiful emirate, Umm Al Quwain Fort, otherwise referred to as the Al Ali Fort, is located in the city of Umm Al Quwain. It was the seat of the rulers of Umm Al Quwain and the center of government in the emirate until 1969 and was used as a police station before the fort was restored and opened to the public in 2000 by Sheikh Rashid Bin Ahmed Al Mualla, the Ruler of Umm Al Quwain at the time.
Today it houses the Umm Al Quwain National Museum and exhibits important artefacts from the important archeological site of Ed-Dur. The Fort is located in the old souq area of Umm Al Quwain which is the most traditional remaining area of the emirate's capital.
Ajman – Ajman Museum
The Ajman Museum offers up a compelling glimpse of Ajman's past, including archaeology, manuscripts, folk costumes, souvenirs, and more. The museum is a hub that has all the information about the local history and heritage, the place highlights various aspects of the past. The Ajman Museum displays lifestyle and traditional professions along with collections of archeological artifacts, manuscripts, and old weapons as well as displays of medical and religious practices.
One of the most famous displays is an excavated cemetery discovered in the Al Muwaihat area, which features pottery and funeral jewelry dating back as far as 3000 BC. This was a former fishing village, Ajman also relied heavily on pearl fishing and there is a section specifically devoted to what was once one of the most important pastimes in the region.
Sharjah – The Flying Saucer
Art buffs will be in their element when visiting The Flying Saucer in Sharjah. An absolutely stunning space, it is a 1978 building constructed in Brutalist style and originally opened as a café, restaurant, newsstand, gift shop and pharmacy. Later it was a supermarket from 1988 to 1997 before it was restored by Sharjah Art Foundation and is now open as a community art space.
Some of the most unique modern art pieces can be viewed at the gallery by a number of regional and international artists including works by infamous Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. If you take a lift down to the basement, a minimalist, but rather large café welcomes you to study, work, or simply enjoy a cup with your friends.