Al Quoz/Al Serkal Avenue in Dubai which involves 20 or so galleries in the art district.


DUBAI - The Gulf art trail led to Dubai yesterday. On 10 November Al Quoz/Al Serkal Avenue hosted an all day event involving the 20 or so galleries in the art district. Typically of course, finding a taxi that knew the way there nearly defeated me. But a call to one of the galleries for graphic directions involving Golden Laundry and Times Square did the trick. We got there in the end.

A healthy turn-out streamed through the warehouse-like galleries that line the Al Serkal. Throbbing music from The Fridge (a performance centre for experimental musicians), an art happening at The Cartel (dedicated to fashion), and half a dozen new shows attracted the young and trendy. Chief amongst these was Ayyam Gallery's "Syria," a solo exhibition of work by Syrian Tamman Azzam, composed of digital and installation art, curated by the acclaimed Safwan Dahoul. The current turmoil of this war-torn country was vividly depicted as viewers were also invited to reflect on a distant past.

Hazem Harb's residency Build-Rebuild Work in-progress at ‘Satellite’ Space Dubai.

Ramin Salsali featured work by Iranian artist Panthea Rahmani, and Ali Bakhtiari's book launch, while Isabelle Van den Ende showed strong works by Zoulikha Bouabdellah. Passing through Green Art Gallery to greet new owner Yasmine Atassi, I ran into Aya Moussavi who is embarking on a new project: The Moving Museum, which will travel international contemporary art throughout the world. Etemad Gallery's Column by Sheree Hovsepian was across the street from Grey Noise's House of Cards, while Rami Farouk was promoting Hazem Harb's residency works called Build Re-build that explores multi-media conceptual art. I could go on, but post-show commitments beckon in a city that like New York, never sleeps.

The next major fair will be Art Istanbul from 19–25 November, which includes Turkey's leading international art fair, Contemporary Istanbul.