Art Dubai returns to Madinat Jumeirah with a four-day programme of exhibitions, installations and events showcasing work from artists based regionally and globally, plus a series of insightful talks highlighting education, led by internationally renowned critics and curators.

The 12th edition of the art fair focuses on a transnational political subject, the Global South, addressing issues such as the negative effects of contemporary capitalist globalisation, including subjugated people residing within wealthy countries.

This year, commissioned artwork will be presented under a new format, accessible to artists and galleries from non-Western geographies, of four sections known as Galleries: Contemporary, Modern, Residents, and Bawwaba.

Work by Saudi-born conceptual artist Ayman Zedani, who is exhibiting at Art Dubai’s Contemporary gallery.

Contemporary and Modern will represent the core section of the fair, and together forms the largest exhibition to date of contemporary art in the region, by both emerging and established artists. Head to Art Dubai Modern for museum-quality works by masters from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, whose work was influential throughout the 20th century.

Untitled by Egyptian artist Mohamed Kabbani, born in 1926, whose work will be showcased at the fair’s Modern gallery.

The second edition of the Residents programme, this year curated by Brazilian Fernanda Brenner and Emirati Munira Al Sayegh, will display solo work by artists from 12 Latin American galleries, who have spent up to two months exploring the UAE’s art scene and reacting to their new surroundings. 

Selva Intervenida by Columbian artist Mazenett Quiroga, taking part in Art Dubai's Residents programme.

Bawwaba – which means gateway in Arabic – is a brand new gallery section for the 2019 edition of the festival, and aims to offer insight into current artistic developments in the Global South, focusing on different geographical viewpoints and emerging markets. Curated by French-Cameroonian Élise Atangana, the Bawwaba Gallery will present 10 solo exhibitions from artists based in, or focused on, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Central and South Asia.

Work from Bawwaba exhibitors. Left to right: Enroachments I by Shezad Dawood and Sérgio Sister's Caixa 351.

Elsewhere, regular visitors to Art Dubai will enjoy a new segment called UAE Now, which explores six of the Emirates’ most forward-thinking, independent grassroots platforms. These include: BAIT 15, an artist-run studio and exhibition space in Abu Dhabi; The Arab Art Salon, a hypothetical space in London where Arab artists can gather to engage in critical thinking; Jaffat el Aqlam, an independent platform that celebrates artistic creations based on or originating from the MENA region.

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program will inspire young, aspiring creatives with on-site workshops, discovery tours, and an artists-in-schools initiative.

Under the theme “School is a Factory?”, the show’s Global Art Forum will address the challenges and opportunities facing education today, with talks on topics such as Bauhaus and art and science, open for the public to attend. 

Art Dubai is the hero segment of Art Week, part of a broad programme of cultural events taking place across Dubai and beyond, from March 16. View the full line-up at

Read more from InsideOut magazine:

An expert guide to curating your own art collection at home

Tour a Cape Town home filled with art and sculpture at every turn

Why a staycay at Fairmont hotel in Fujairah is a must for art lovers