Guide: Top 10 art and design events not to miss this March

Guide: Top 10 art and design events not to miss this March

March being Dubai’s official art and design month, designMENA puts together all the not-to-be-missed events taking place this month, from pop up installations to exhibitions and talks.

See all events here: 

10. Art Room presented by Antidote 

When? March 9 – 31

Where? Zumtobel warehouse, opposite Al Serkaal Avenue, Al Quoz. 


Artroom is a unique concept in Dubai, inviting the audience to discover an ephemeral art and design collection in an informal and relaxed private environment.

Its second edition features artworks and handmade design pieces by 22 artists and designers from 11 countries: Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, France, Cuba, USA and Argentina among others. The big focus of this edition are emerging artists from the region. It also includes the high anticipated ‘Nap Room’ by French designer Smarin.

9. Design Days Dubai 

When? 14-18 March

Where? The Venue, Downtown Dubai 

The 2016 edition of Dubai’s collectible furniture and design fair celebrates its five year anniversary with an array of exhibitors and programme of installations, showcases and talks. This year’s edition features the largest retrospective of UAE design, as well as offering the largest number of Middle East and GCC-based exhibitors since its inception.

8. Art Dubai 

When? 16- 19 March 

Where? Madinat Jumeirah 


This year will see the 10th edition of Art Dubai, with artworks from across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Around 90 galleries will be on show at the event across programmes such as Contemporary, Modern and Maker, a curated section of artspaces that focus on a particular country of theme, with this year’s focus being The Philippines.

7. Marcel Wanders talk 

When? March 14, 7-8pm 

Where? Design Days Dubai 

The acclaimed Dutch designer, co-founder of furniture brand Moooi and founder of design firm Marcel Wanders Studio, Marcel Wanders will be giving Design Days Dubai’s keynote speech. Possibly one of the most inspiring designers of our age, this lecture is surely not be missed! Continue scrolling to see what else Wanders will have on offer for Dubai this month….

6. Pop-Up Academy 

When? 14-18 March

Where? Design Days Dubai 


Marcel Wanders will also be kicking off the first edition of Pop-Up Academy, launched by Esra Lemmens, by presenting his Personal Editions Collection, followed by a lecture on on collectible design and what it means to be at the crossroads of art and design.

5. Dubai Photo Exhibition 

When? 16-19 March

Where? Dubai Design District

During Dubai’s Photo Exhibition visitors will be able to see more than 700 photographic works by some of the world’s most celebrated photographers, both classic and contemporary.

4. Talk: Yasser Elsheshtawy

When? 16 March, 7-8pm

Where? Design Days Dubai


Yasser Elsheshtawy will present an overview of ‘Transformations: The Emirati National House’, the exhibition to be presented at the National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia during the upcoming 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale.

Elsheshtawy will introduce his curatorial concept, which explores the transformative aspect of the housing model of Emirati traditional homes, known as ‘Sha’abi’ (Folk) houses, first planned across the UAE in the 1970s to house what was then a fairly transient population. Over the years, resident families made various architectural modifications to the standardised model, thus reflecting their changing lifestyles.

3. Vertical Volume by Yasuaki Onishi

When? March 14, 10-8pm 

Where? The Mine gallery, Al Quoz 


Japanese artist Yasuaki Onishi  will be presenting a new body of work expanding upon an earlier preoccupation of the artist with the fluidity of the built environment, re-imagining space as an interrupted sequence of fragments and enabling the transformation of spatial surfaces into composite worlds of definite material weight.

Vertical Volume, a room-size installation that lends its name to the exhibition, is Yasuaki Onishi’s new work, in which volumes of cylindrical bags expand and contract with vertical motion, creating a vertiginous sensation of negative space through movement: The absolute and the void conflate and contract through the same interface, presenting themselves and each other as one and the same reactive substance.

Also, make sure you don’t miss the artist’s off-site installation called Reverse Volume on view at Vida Downtown starting on the 16th of March 2016, a mountain-like form that appears to float in space.


The work is the result of a process the artist calls “casting the invisible” which involves draping the plastic sheeting over stacked cardboard boxes, which are then removed to leave their impressions; a meditation on the nature of the negative space.

2. The Wedding Project 

When? 16-19 March

Where? Art Dubai 


Curated by the Delfina Foundation director, Aaron Cezar as the latest iteration of the popular ‘Politics of Food’ series, The Wedding Project combines novel drinks and dishes, commissions and interventions by artists including Sunoj D, Larissa Sansour, Candice Lin, Manal Al Dowayan, Taus Makhacheva, Nile Sunset Annex, Hind Mezaina and the Centre for Genomic Gastronomy.

Inspired by a tenth century Arabic text that describes eleven different words that define ‘love’ and  wider meanings, each concept will be embodied in a subtle and sensational performance, provocation, food or drink. Beginning with hawa (attraction) and progressing through alaqah (attachment) to kalaf (infatuation) tohuyum (insanity), each dish – produced in collaboration with chefs from Madinat Jumeirah – will explore the notion of food, recipes and cookbooks as markers of cultural memory that can be just as easily erased as they are preserved.

Guests are welcomed into an edible garden created by the artist Sunoj D, which acts as a source of ingredients for the bar, where lemons, lime, mint, and other garnishes are picked for drinks, served to fair audiences throughout the week. Cairo-based collective Nile Sunset Annex, working with Absolut Elyx mixologists, are among other artists creating specially commissioned cocktails, coffees and teas exploring the various notions of love.

1. Art Week in Al Serkaal Avenue 

When? 14-19 March

Where? Al Serkaal Avenue, Al Quoz 

Alserkal Avenue  will have a host of openings, commissions, projects and public programming taking place during the annual Art Week. New openings include galleries such as Jean-Paul Najar FoundationCustot Gallery Dubai, as well as renown  calligraffiti artist eL Seed studio opening.






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