Virtual Art, Entertainment and Cultural Experiences from the UAE

The UAE is a regional hub for the arts; a place where artistic creativity flourishes and home to hundreds of local and world-class galleries, museums and cultural institutions.

Today, there are more ways than ever before to virtually experience the energy, inspiration and vision behind many of the UAE’s most well-known cultural sites and performances.

Virtual Art Experiences

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai’s renowned cultural district of contemporary art galleries, non-profit organizations and homegrown businesses, has created a digital alternative with 360° exhibition views and interviews with gallerists called Alserkal Online. 

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Barjeel Art Foundation

Barjeel Art Foundation

Take a narrated video tour through exhibition “Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s-1980s” at the NYU Grey Art Gallery. All the works in the exhibit are from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation.

A virtual tour of the Foundation’s two-part exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum, “A Century in Flux” is also available online. The exhibition features a selection of key modernist paintings, sculptures and mixed media artworks, covering a century of artistic production in the Arab region from the late 19th Century to the late 20th Century.

 

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Art Dubai 2020

Art Dubai 2020

Art Dubai is one of the world’s leading international art fairs and unique platform for art across the Global South. Its 2020 digital program includes an online catalogue with 500 pieces of artwork and online performance work in a virtual restorative space curated by Marina Fokidis.

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Louvre Abu Dhabi

Louvre Abu Dhabi 

Located in Saadiyat Island's Cultural District, Louvre Abu Dhabi brings its collection of art and artifacts from throughout human history and a wide range of geographic regions to you through its online content, including an immersive science-fiction audio tour that explores the museum’s architecture called “We are not alone.”

The museum also offers a walk-through virtual tour of its latest exhibition: ‘Furusiyya: The Art of Chivalry Between East and West.” The exhibition explores the ancient roots of chivalry around the world including the role of a knight in combat.

 

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NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi 

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Arts Center programming is going virtual under the name Reconnect. NYUAD is streaming past shows, as well as its “Rooftop Rhythms” open mic, via its Facebook page.

The NYUAD Art Gallery is also offering an online video experience of its last Project Space exhibition, Intimaa: Belonging, which showcases the artworks on display and features poem recitals.

 

NYUAD Institute is regularly uploading content to its YouTube channel. Videos feature renowned scholars, researchers, policymakers and thought leaders presenting on regional and global history, culture and anthropology.

 

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Dubai 360

Dubai 360

Dubai 360 offers a virtual reality tour of some of the emirate’s most famous sites and best museums. Learn about the heritage and history of the UAE with a virtual walkthrough of the Etihad Museum, or explore the history of Dubai and its customs at the Dubai Museum.

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Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

The Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization houses more than 5,000 Islamic artifacts from all over the Islamic World. The entire first floor of the museum is devoted to Islamic Art. View artifacts from the collection online at the Museum with No Frontiers.

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Cultural Foundation

Located in the heart of Abu Dhabi, the Cultural Foundation offers exhibitions and events that focus on modern and contemporary art from the UAE and the region, and beyond. Experience their cutting edge visual arts program through virtual tours of three of their exhibitions. The Foundation is also streaming live performances on its YouTube channel.

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Maraya Art Center

Enjoy the Maraya Art Center’s current exhibitions “Rearranging the Riddle. New Works by Shaikha Al Mazrou” as well as “The Place I Call Home” at your own pace with their 360° tours online.

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Sharjah Art Museum

Sharjah Art Museum’s “Modern and Contemporary Arab Art Collection” and two-part photography exhibition “Homebound: A Journey in Photography” are both available for viewers to virtually experience. Take a tour of the two exhibitions online.

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Art Jameel

Jaddaf Aloud Online is a virtual iteration of the institution’s popular annual festival Jaddaf Aloud, designed to celebrate Emirati creative talent. The online platform will host a series of artist-led workshops and music performances for audiences to enjoy at home.

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Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi has launched virtual guided cultural tours of the mosque. Visit the mosque’s Instagram account for a live tour in English on Saturdays.

 

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Qasr Al Hosn

Qasr Al Hosn is the oldest and most significant building in Abu Dhabi, originally built to protect the only freshwater well on Abu Dhabi island. In 2018, it was transformed into a museum displaying artifacts and pictures that showcase the history of the Emirate. Take a virtual tour through the exhibition and learn about the story of Abu Dhabi.

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Podcasts and Virtual Talks
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In the second episode of Abu Dhabi-based Warehouse421’s ‘Conversations’ series, speakers discuss art and artists in times of disruption. The conversation explores how creatives can find a way forward amidst challenging circumstances, and how institutions can support them.

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Dana Al Marashi, Head of Cultural Diplomacy at the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC, hosts a series of virtual online Iftar dinners throughout Ramadan, gathering with friends, colleagues and partner organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution Folklife Festival, Louvre Abu Dhabi, National Gallery of Art,  Freer Sackler and Galleries, North Carolina Museum of Art, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Boston Museum of Fine Art, Al Serkal Avenue, Art Jameel and many more from around the world. The conversations address tradition, heritage, common interests and shared values.

Click here to play the video
Click here to play the video
Click here to play the video

UAE-based pitmaster Hattem Mattar gives Texas brisket an Emirati flavor and discusses how third culture cuisine brings people together from all parts of the globe.

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About the Arts in the UAE

The UAE is a global hub where artists convene and creativity flourishes. Several festivals and performance venues bring audiences from around the world together in the UAE. The country’s creative energy is also reflected in the world-class cultural institutions that have a presence on Saadiyat Island, including Louvre Abu Dhabi and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. 

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