Dubai: Authority unveils plan to transform streets with artwork, murals, installations

This step confirms the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority’s keenness to cement the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture and a thriving hub for talent



By Web Desk

Published: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 9:54 PM

In line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the best city in the world and strengthen its position on the global cultural map and a capital of the global creative economy by 2026, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), has begun the implementation of Dubai’s Public Art Strategy.

It seeks to transform the emirate into an open, accessible and global art gallery, offering exceptional artistic experiences that enhance visual culture and the spirit of innovation, and contributing to enriching the region’s cultural and artistic scene whilst supporting Dubai’s creative economy.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, approved the Public Art Strategy last year in January, and Dubai Culture, headed by Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Member of the Dubai Council, leads an inspiring artistic movement in line with Dubai’s cultural vision to cement the emirate’s position as a global centre for culture, an incubator for creativity and a thriving hub for talent.

This step confirms Dubai Culture’s keenness to empower creatives and coordinate with various institutions and stakeholders to transform Dubai’s streets, neighbourhoods and public areas into touristic and cultural destinations. The Authority aims to transform Dubai’s public spaces with artwork, sculptures, paintings, murals and art installations that reflect the creative identity of the emirate and generate an interactive social space between artists and the public. This increases art accessibility and establishes a sustainable creative environment, in line with the objectives of the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) that seeks to double Dubai’s GDP by 2033.

Open Call

To ensure the success of the Public Art Strategy, the Authority sought to empower the creative community by collaborating with Art Dubai, Tashkeel, Alserkal, Art Jameel, and Akaas Visual Arts, who in turn will undertake the task of issuing open calls to all artists, offering them the platform to participate in presenting a series of unique, site-specific art installations.

Within this content, the Authority announced that it has completed defining the strategy’s roadmap for the distribution of the installations across the emirate, and is launching, in cooperation with Art Dubai, the Dh2 million inaugural commission and open call to all Emirati and UAE-based artists, designers and architects to submit their suggestions, ideas and artistic designs for the first large-scale site-specific installation for one of Dubai's most beautiful public gardens in Al Hudaiba, overlooking the Etihad Museum and Union House, which will be unveiled to the public in late 2023.

The Authority will manage the selection process and production for this first commission in partnership with Art Dubai. Carlo Rizzo, Special Advisor to Dubai Public Art; Maryam Mohammed Mudhaffar, Project Manager in the Museums Department at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority; and Benedetta Ghione, Executive Director of Art Dubai are the members of an expert committee who will evaluate the submissions and select the winning proposal.

All preliminary submissions must be received by 11:59pm UAE time on February 12 2023. Shortlisted artists will be announced at the 16th edition of Art Dubai on March 5-1, and each will receive a fee of $5,000 to create a detailed proposal and a prototype or maquette of their pieces. Late 2023 will mark the grand reveal of the winning landmark piece. Full details of the open call are available on the official Dubai Culture and Art Dubai websites and social media pages.

The objectives of the Public Art Strategy are integrated with those of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which aims to improve the quality of life, enhance the emirate's global competitiveness over the next twenty years, and confirm its position as the best city in the world to live, work and visit.

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