Alserkal Avenue Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai: a guide

Last year Dubai's creative district doubled in size, welcoming international artists and offering more opportunities for the growth of arts and culture in the UAE

Alserkal Avenue is located within Dubai’s industrial zone of Al Quoz and is now Dubai’s main artistic hub. Formed organically since 2008, when art spaces first started to move to the area; it is now home to the biggest number of art galleries in the region.

With 25 creative spaces, nine top contemporary galleries and a private museum...that might be a lot to get through so here we’ve listed some of the best spots (save the rest for your next visit).

1. The Third Line

One of the oldest galleries in Dubai, the Third Line, was previously situated in another part of Al Quoz but recently moved to Alserkal Avenue into a large and spacious unit. Founded by two power women Claudia Cellini and Sunny Rahbar; the gallery represents what is best in contemporary Iranian and Middle Eastern art. It has a book wing called ‘Works on Paper’ which publishes books by artists from the region who are associated with the gallery. www.thethirdline.com

2. Carbon 12

carbon-12Carbon 12

Carbon 12 was one of the first distinguished galleries to move to Alserkal, and as many followed suit, this started to shape the area into what we see today. This gallery itself is constantly seeking to engage the public and the education sector through their extensive exhibition programme and the wide range of contextual activities which includes publications and talks. It is currently hosting its 50th exhibition with Austrian artist Philip Mueller’s latest work, “Dream’s in Blue. The year Philip Mueller didn’t wake up." This exhibition runs until 6 March. www.carbon12dubai.com

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3. IVDE Gallery (Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde)

IVDEIVDE

After originally establishing itself in 2006, this gallery moved to Alserkal in 2010. It represents a great number of international and regional artists; among them Mohammed Kazem and Hassan Sharif, two amazing conceptual Emirati artists. The gallery also works with a wide range of international artists from Europe, Latin America and Africa. If you plan on only visiting one or two galleries, make sure this is at the top of your list. www.ivde.net

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4. The Junction

the-junctionThe Junction

Dubai’s newest performing arts space, this was built ‘for performers by performers.’ A versatile space where local and regional talent can thrive; and it’s not just artists who meet here... comedians, poets, dancers, actors, musicians, you name it, all are welcome. This is the perfect space for mutual collaboration and development. Have you ever felt like taking a risk and exploring your creative side? This is the perfect place to do it. www.thejunctiondubai.com

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5. Green. Art. Gallery.

green.-artGreen. Art. Gallery

Founded around 15 years ago, the gallery was previously located in Jumeirah and it was one of the first to move to Alserkal Avenue. Yasmine Atassi, the founder, chooses intelligent works from home and abroad, but with a focus on young promising artists. The galleries programme features artists who work across a diverse range of media which are intensively researched and idea-led, and the gallery was among very few to be selected to participate in Art Basel in the Art Statements section. Guests who visit in March can catch “The Lightness Of Mass,” by the artist Seher Shah. www.gagallery.com

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6. Grey Noise

grey-noise-1Grey Noise

This gallery was originally established in Bangalore before a move to Dubai. The Pakistani owners of this gallery, Umer Butt and Hetal Pawani, are praised for an exceptionally curated and welcoming gallery; there is always someone on hand to guide you through the show should you wish to have a better understanding on conceptual and minimalistic South Asian Art. The gallery focuses on conceptual works, with an emphasis on distinct, experimental content. www.greynoise.org

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7. Leila Heller Gallery

leila-heller-3Leila Heller Gallery

This prominent gallery has New York roots but recently opened its doors in Alserkal Avenue, it is recognised for placing a strong effort in creating links between Western and Middle Eastern artists. The gallery boasts innovative curatorial and educational programmes in addition to a well-established support of international artists. The museum style space with high ceilings in a perfect backdrop to represent the artists, and the gallery itself is a brilliant balance of Western and Middle Eastern artists. www.leilahellergallery.com

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8. M.A.D Gallery

mad-galleryM.A.D Gallery

The M.A.D (mechanical art devices) Gallery is absolute paradise for tech and mechanics lovers; a place where intricate watches and incredibly elaborate mechanical art devices rule the showroom. The third of a series of M.A.D galleries, (the first in Geneva and the second in Taipei) inside you’ll find intricate, mechanic designs designed to wow and thrill. www.mbandf.com

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9. A4 by Alserkal Avenue

A4-by-Alserkal-AvenueA4 by Alserkal Avenue

Much more than a cafe, this co-working space boasts a cinema room, a huge project and work area space, free Wi-Fi and even solitude pods; it’s the perfect spot to get the creative juices flowing and for minds to meld over a Raw coffee or healthy juice. In simpler terms, this is a great place to rest your legs after a long tour of Alserkal, or on another level this is the place where the Alserkal community will develop as it becomes the social meeting hub of the area. www.facebook.com/A4space

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Still interested?
Take a virtual tour, find out more about the space and meet some of the museum curators in this short video: 

1 Carbon 12
2 IVDE Gallery
3 The Third Line
4 The Junction
5 Green. Art. Gallery.
6 Grey Noise
7 Leila Heller Gallery
8 M.A.D Gallery
9 A4 by Alserkal Avenue