Top 10 experiences for Art & Culture enthusiasts at Dubai International Financial Centre


Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), one of Dubai’s most sought after lifestyle destinations, is gearing up to host the best art and culture experiences for Art Week taking place from today until Saturday, 3 April 2021.

Art Week includes the 14th edition of Art Dubai, the world’s largest international art fair, being hosted across a number of purpose-built venues at the iconic Gate Building and throughout the Centre.

Part of Art Week is the 11th season of the popular biannual DIFC Art Nights. With late night gallery openings and an al fresco dining scene, art aficionados, connoisseurs and the cultural community can discover inspiration, admire breathtaking architecture, participate in workshops, and relax, dine, shop and play at DIFC’s 350+ retail and dining outlets. Visitors can also enjoy one of the UAE’s largest public collections of art which are situated throughout the Centre.

Some of the top experiences to visit during Art Week are below:

What’s On

1.    Explore Art Dubai

Art Dubai will feature 50 leading contemporary and modern galleries from 31 countries, showcasing a diverse selection of artworks, artists and practices, reflecting the multicultural identity of the city. Isabelle van den Eynde, founder of Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde (Dubai), Kristin Hjellegjerde, founder of Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (London), Nathalie Obadia, founder of Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris, Brussels) are among the list of highly anticipated exhibitors.

Access to the fair will be via pre booked slots facilitated by the Art Dubai App. For more information, visit https://www.artdubai.ae/. The event will ensure the highest COVID-19 safety protocols, creating a secure, safe and flexible environment for participants and visitors.

When: 29 March to 3 April 2021

Where: Gate Building and throughout DIFC

2.    Celebrate the work of local artists at DIFC Art Nights

The much-loved event, resuming for its 11th year, provides a platform for both local and international artists to exhibit to a unique global audience at the Gate Village area on a complimentary basis. Themed on the sentiments of hope and positivity, this season will showcase creative art installations by eminent artists that are looking towards the future and aimed at creating positive experiences for the residents and visitors. Dubai has had some big wins this year, including mission to mars, Art Nights carries on this sentiment allowing inspiring installations such as a set of LED astronauts hung-off the facades of the Gate Village buildings, to reflect the same excitement and vision for looking beyond the here and now. Furthermore, the vibrant art event will exhibit an exceptional breadth of sculptures, paintings, and more from art galleries across the Centre.

When: 1 to 2 April 2021

Where: Gate Village, DIFC

Sculptures to see

Amongst DIFC’s public art collection are sculptures from internationally renowned artists. The Centre is home to five large-scale sculptures by celebrated New York-based Spanish artist, Manolo Valdés at the heart of DIFC’s Gate Building area. These include:

3.    Clio Dorada (2017) and La Mariposa (2015)

Clio Dorada and La Mariposa were chosen to balance each other. Placed in ponds on the side of DIFC’s iconic Gate Building, the business and intricacy of Clio Dorada is the opposite of the apparent simplicity of La Mariposa.

4.    Mariposas (2015) and Butterflies (2013)

Mariposas and Butterflies share the same theme and were positioned in the grass area opposite the Gate building. The choice was made to match the volumes and the architecture surrounding their environment.


5.    La Diadema (2015)

La Diadema was installed on a platform, offering the viewers two very different angles and interpretations. The same artwork will look totally different when seen from the street than when seen from inside DIFC.

Art Galleries to visit

DIFC houses eight contemporary art galleries and auction houses. Since the inception of DIFC, art galleries have been an integral part of the Centre’s community. They include The Farjam Foundation, the centre for preservation and promotion of the arts located at Gate Avenue, Opera Gallery, representing international artists, Sconci Art Gallery presenting a wide range of work of art, from the seventeenth century to the present day and Empty Quarter one of only a handful of galleries in the Middle East devoted exclusively to fine art photography.​

6.    Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s has been uniting collectors with world-class works of art since 1744. A truly international auction house, Sotheby’s offers collectors a wide range of services and experiences to reflect an overriding passion for art across all categories – from paintings and sculpture to jewellery and cars. Host to a vibrant calendar of exhibitions, Sotheby’s gallery space in Dubai is a hub for art lovers with public displays of eclectic highlights from our auctions across the globe, educational events, workshops and lectures.

Where: Gate Village, Building 3, DIFC

7.    Tabari Artspace

Tabari Artspace, has been a pioneer in establishing a contemporary art scene in Dubai since it was founded in 2003 by collector and art consultant, Maliha Tabari. A strong passion for the arts led Maliha to become an expert in contemporary art in the Middle East, building her own personal collection and advising on the establishment of others. The gallery represents and champions a range of established artists and is dedicated to the global promotion of modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art.

Where: Gate Village, Building 3, DIFC

Where to shop

During Art Week, art enthusiasts and visitors can also take advantage of amazing promotions and exclusive discounts ranging between 15 to 50 per cent on fashion, beauty, art, décor and lifestyle brands including INAAYAT by Divya Taimni, Fiori Jewels, Offwork, DB Artworks, Himalaya, The Gentleman’s Community, Raw Music Store, Anyahh Art and House of Cenmar.

If you’re looking for reliable and world-class wellness services to enhance your looks or improve your overall health, Dubai’s premium IV Clinic, DNA Health Medical Center in DIFC is offering an additional 15 per cent off IVs and IV push injections. From skin enhancement to anti-stress and anti-aging, the clinic provides 20 different kinds of IVs and Push IVs to meet various needs.


Where to eat

8.    Gaia

Guests can indulge in a delectable meal at DIFC’s acclaimed Greek-Mediterranean restaurant, Gaia. The homegrown food, beverage and lifestyle concept was born of a collaboration between Evgeny Kuzin and Chef Izu Ani, who showcase the core elements of Grecian culture with beautiful displays of seafood and freshly sourced vegetables.

Where: Gate Village, Building 4, DIFC

When: Daily from 12pm to 11.30pm | For bookings: call (04) 241 4242 or visit gaia-dubai.com

9.    Indochine

Indochine, a New York favourite, brings guests a modern French-Vietnamese fusion. Indochine combines stylish ambience, tropical décor and exotic French-Vietnamese cuisine that are perfect for intimate dinners and large groups alike.

Where: Gate Precinct, Building 3, DIFC | For bookings: call (04) 208 9333

10.  Cipriani Dubai

Cipriani Dubai features an elegant setting with maritime-inspired interiors, complete with a blue and white nautical aesthetic, high gloss wood interior with polished steel finishes and signature brown leather chairs. Diners can experience a taste of Venice as the restaurant serves up a range of Italian inspired dishes. 

Where: Gate Village, Building 10, DIFC

When: 12pm to 11pm | For bookings, call (04) 347 0003 or visit cipriani.com




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