Located in Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial district, Alserkal Avenue was founded in 2008 and quickly became the city’s more important art hub with many galleries, art spaces and events.
It may come as a surprise, but for many Dubai's residents Alserkal Avenue is still an undiscovered gem. With the sunny weather around the clock, perfect beaches and countless attractions, only a few daredevils are willing to get lost in the industrial neighborhood dotted with factories and functional warehouses. But if you give it a try, if you step out of the sandy gold strips and blend into these - not exactly eye catching - surroundings, you will discover Dubai’s quirky and vibrant cultural district. (And it’s actually just a few minutes away from the Mall of the Emirates).
From opening the first gallery, Ayyam Gallery, back in 2008, Alserkal Avenue has become the most important art hub with around twenty-five galleries, non-profit organisations, design studios, home grown businesses, contemporary art displays, as well as seasonal events and open-air community days.
Without any doubts, it’s the city’s artistic heart, a foremost platform for contemporary art focusing on promoting cultural initiatives not only in Dubai but also in the entire region.
And as we all know, wherever artists go, others follow, therefore there is always something happening in the district, starting from outdoor movie screenings, concerts, lectures to poetry nights and creative workshops. It’s also home to The Junction, a performing arts space, and Akil Cinema - an independent cinema platform. You can also enjoy coffee or a healthy lunch at one of many artisan eateries.
Even if you’re not a fan of the arts, it’s worth visiting, just to have an idea about the different life of Dubai’s communities.
How to get there?
Metro: the nearest metro station is Noor Bank station, from there it’s best to take a taxi, because it’s quite a long walk.
Here are some places that can help you to build your perfect itinerary.
What to do:
Art gallery presenting mainly Indian Modern and Contemporary Art installations. The gallery comprises of multiple areas with two large exhibition spaces, a viewing room and an edition shop.
Location: Warehouse 10
The Third Line
The Third Line housing two galleries represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists and host non-profit, alternative programs to increase the interest and dialogue in the region.
Location: Warehouse 78/80
It’s the region’s first arthouse cinema that brings quality films from across the globe. Add to this picture cozy sofas, retro theatre seatings and a cup of a good chai. Screenings generally take place on weekends, unless there’s a theme week or festival. Screenings are often followed by Q&A sessions with directors or group discussions with an audience.
Location: Warehouse 68
A theatre that aims to provide a platform for performers. It was established in 2015 and quickly became home for Dubai’s growing performing arts community. As such, The Junction’s program is diverse, with a Capella singing festival, stand-ups, magic shows on one nights and various theatrical productions on others.
Location: Warehouse 72
Talent management agency that uses its own stage to showcase new talents. The Fridge Concert Series focus on promoting local talents still operating behind the spotlights. Concerts vary from opera and jazz to pop, and always attract an amazing audience.
A community arts space made to engage audiences, promote local artists and support Dubai’s art scene.
Where to eat & drink
Our favorite, free co-working community space made to inspire and influence the creatives in Dubai. It has, obviously, plenty of working space, free wifi, cafe and an impressive book collection donated by people.
With a philosophy “Make it good. Give a damn” Nightjar Coffee make sure to deliver one of the best coffees in the city.
Location: Warehouse 62
Wild & The Moon
Plant-based restaurant with everything that comes out on a plate or in a glass is 100% organic, cold-pressed, plant-based gluten free and unpasteurized. Voila, enjoy!
Location: Warehouse 77