The UAE is an up-and-coming art and design arena. With projects such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim, as well as high-profile annual events Art Dubai and Art Abu Dhabi, the region is fast becoming a cultural destination, with a unique link between the global East and West. Creative minds from the region, as well as the world, flock here to take stock of innovations in art and design, and both collectors and professionals have set out to discover local artists.
Art finds a voice in the UAE
In the last twenty years, a burgeoning art scene has grown across the Emirates as a result of not only an expanding expat population, but also a local narrative finding voice across the arts. This process has created art that explores different viewpoints and experiences, and large-scale collaborations have linked local art and design in the UAE to an international art scene.
The Dubai Design District is an offshoot of this artistic explosion. The D3 community is home to the latest trends and is proving to be a lucrative market that is attracting a lot of people. Art and design in the UAE has found a space in which to flourish, as the D3 is a place for young people to connect, explore different ideas, and stay in touch with global art and design trends. This is a result of a series of events that take place throughout the year, of which Sole DXB and Fashion Forward Dubai being the most recognized. Both productions provide a platform for designers as well as those members of the public interested in sharing in similar passions and connecting.
In the Dubai Design District, for example, there are also pop-up shows that take place throughout the year showcasing all sorts of art forms, from curated exhibitions to performance pieces. Such regular programing keeps the community engaged and reflecting on the dynamic spirit of the city. Art and design in the UAE also provides an excellent platform for emerging women’s artists. As the art scene is new and young in the region, it has taken advantage of the opportunity to address historical imbalances. In the UAE’s attempt to modernize, it has given room to a growing number of Arab women who are featured as leading artists in the community.
Creative art as university courses
Local universities are also producing talented artists, with Ajman University at the front and center. Many of its departments are dedicated to artistic innovation, such as Interior Design, and Graphic Design. The Interior Design Department has been in existence since the early 2000s, and has given the university the opportunity to refine its program to include technological advancements and digital applications. Ajman University graduates and alumni can competitively make their way into the growing art and design scene in the UAE.
Ajman University students, equipped with the correct courses and surrounding atmosphere, are pushing the envelope on discourse in art and design. They currently stand as the crème da le crème of the emerging art and design scene in the UAE. Ajman University students are taught various perspective on the importance of art and design, and their application in solving problems creatively. Many graduates from the Architecture, Art and Design department suggested designs for the Expo 2020 interior space challenges. In this way, they were able to blend their technical and creative skills in order to contribute to a groundbreaking international event. Such programs produce work-ready artists and design experts with an ability to consider cultural and environmental factors, think critically, and apply their learning.