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March will welcome a slew of diverse cultural programmes across the Gulf region, welcoming international visitors and locals alike, instigating also conversations about pressing topics including how to make the cultural sector more sustainable.

Events include the annual Art Week Dubai, an array of exhibitions and programmes that make up the UAE’s biggest cultural week.

Here’s everything art and culture related that will be seen in the region in the coming weeks.

Dubai Expo 2020

Art aficionados can take stock of The Public Art Programme, a platform inspired by the famous Arab mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al Haytham’s Book of Optics (c. 11th century).

It features commissioned works from local and international artists including Pakistan's Hamra Abbas, who was commissioned a site-specific work called “Garden".

She employs traditional inlay techniques from Lahore comprising of marble, lapis lazuli, granite and pink calcite, to construct a floor sculpture depicting a Mughal garden, as depicted in miniature paintings.

The 33 by 30 feet piece is on display at the Expo and will become a permanent fixture in Dubai after the world fair closes.

Art Dubai

It will celebrate its 15th edition in Madinat Jumeirah from March 11-13, 2022. The largest edition to date will feature 115 presentations across the fair’s Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba and Digital sections from over 40 countries.

Karachi’s Canvas Gallery will exhibit in the Bawwaba section, which features solo presentations by artists from different regions.

This year’s edition will also comprise of a section dedicated to digital art and NFTs, with a newly curated gallery, Art Dubai Digital.

The 15th edition of the Global Art Forum will navigate the space of digital artifacts and crypto economies, inviting artists, curators, creators, thinkers and technologists to ruminate on a range of topics such as crypto gaming, the metaverse, Web 3.0 and Dubai’s new crypto zone.

Alserkal Arts Foundation

This will present an innovative exhibition featuring audio and video installations, A Slightly Curving Place, curated by Nina Ghouse (March 2-22, 2022). Additional programming includes film programme ‘A Supplementary Country called Cinema’ with independent cinema platform Cinema Akil and German cultural association Goethe-Institut. Alserkal Art Week (7-12 March 2022) will include Galleries Day with new exhibition openings and pop-up guest projects.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

It will host the exhibition Versailles and the World (26 January – 4 June 2022). In tandem, Cristiana de Marchi, an Italian-Lebanese visual artist, will be exhibiting at the venue, selected as one of 7 artists for the exhibition 'Art Here' (until March 27, 2022).

Sharjah Art Foundation

It will see the return of March Meeting, its annual convening of artists, curators and art practitioners, plus the opening of several new exhibitions. Additionally, de Marchi will have a solo exhibition at the Maraya Art Centre.

Meanwhile, many visitors will aim to also visit Saudi Arabia, where a stunning number of art shows are on.

Desert X AlUla

Sarab, the second edition of the Desert X AlUla art exhibition, promises to be a stellar visual treat, featuring site-responsive art works in a globally significant ancient desert region in Saudi Arabia.

The exhibit, curated by Reem Fadda, Raneem Farsi and Neville Wakefield, features newly commissioned works by 15 global artists, exploring ideas of mirage and oasis, both intrinsic to desert history and culture.

One of the featured artists is Britain's Shezad Dawood, of Pakistani-Indian descent, who works across the disciplines of film, painting, sculpture and virtual reality.

Dawood’s work explores the geo-biological relationship between the desert floor and the nearby Red Sea through a pair of coral-like forms, whose temperature-sensitive surfaces reflect the effects of climate change and mankind’s continuing struggle to find a sustainable relationship with a rapidly changing ecosystem.

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