Alserkal Avenue

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Alserkal Avenue is an industrial compound hosting warehouses in the industrial zone of Al Quoz, in Dubai. Recently the area has become an arts and culture district for Dubai with lineup of galleries, facilities and platforms, such as Alserkal Avenue that houses residencies for local and global artists.[1][2][3] In March 2017, Alserkal Avenue inaugurated Concrete (Alserkal Avenue), its new space in the Avenue and the first project to be completed in the United Arab Emirates by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), founded by Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate Rem Koolhaas.[4]


Originally an industrial area consisting of thirty-nine warehouses, the district evolved naturally, with the first gallery, Ayyam Gallery, moving into the district in 2008. The original warehouses have since been converted into art galleries, design studios, a private museum and a performing arts space.[5]

After Carbon 12 Dubai, one of the most active contemporary art galleries of the region, moved to Alserkal Avenue in October 2009, other galleries followed, and the industrial compound's function evolved to become a "focal point of artistic activity."[6]

Alserkal Avenue is now a mix of industrial business and creative spaces. It now houses more than 60 art, design and creative venues that include foundations, private collections and community projects.[3] It is home to twenty-five contemporary art galleries and arts spaces in a one-block radius, the highest concentration of art galleries in one area in the region.[7]

Galleries in Alserkal Avenue are distinct and characterized by individual programs that represent emerging, mid-career and established artists as well as hosting exhibitions, talks, panel discussions, young collector’s auctions and community events.[8]

In March 2012, the area's developer, Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, announced plans to double the size of the art district, adding 62 units of varying sizes to the existing 39, and also adding an events centre and additional parking, giving the district a total area of 92,000 square metres (990,000 sq ft).[9] By September 2012 Alserkal Avenue had 20 art spaces[10] and the Al Quoz neighborhood had a total of 33.[11] The expansion was completed in 2015, doubling Alserkal's square footage to about 500,000. The same year, it launched is programming arm to support local talent, focusing primarily on artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.[12]

Two contemporary art galleries from the district, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde and Green Art Gallery, were selected to participate in Art Basel in the Art Statements section, "for the first time in the history of the region".[13]


  1. ^ Imran Mojib, "Cultural district expansion to transform emirate’s cultural landscape", The Gulf Today, March 22, 2012.
  2. ^ Zara, Janelle (March 23, 2012). "Boom Times Are Back in Dubai, With a New Museum, Opera House, and Cultural District in the Works". Artinfo. Retrieved November 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Mohammad, Arsalan (December 10, 2016). "Emirati artists and designers find inspiration close to home". Financial Times.
  4. ^ Gibson, Eleanor. "OMA's first project in Dubai is a cultural centre with moving eight-metre-high walls". Dezeen, March 17, 2017.
  5. ^ Simpson, Colin. "Dubai Art District to Double in Size". The National, March 21, 2013.
  6. ^ Ali Khaled, "Industrial city's art scene is picture of vibrancy", The National, May 5, 2010.
  7. ^ Wilson-Powell, Georgina. "Dubai's Industrial Arts Scene". BBC Travel, November 20, 2012.
  8. ^ Suleiman, Nahda. "Common Ground". Brownbook, September 8, 2012. Archived from the original on 2013-12-18. Retrieved 2013-12-12.
  9. ^ Colin Simpson, "Dubai Art District to Double in Size", The National, March 21, 2012.
  10. ^ Muhammad Yusuf, "New Avenue for Art', "Gulf Today", September 6, 2012.
  11. ^ D'Souza, Carolina. "Retracing the Al Quoz Art Trail". Gulf News. June 23, 2012.
  12. ^ Oztaskin, Murat (January 25, 2017). "Will Dubai's Alserkal Avenue be the Middle East's Next Great Art Hub?". Departures. TimeInc. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
  13. ^ Hewett, Jenny. "Alserkal Avenue in Dubai Focus". Timeout Dubai. February 10, 2012.

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