Dubai’s Stunning Architectural Art

Although Dubai has been mentioned in history over a thousand years ago, it was not an official city until 1833. In a very short time, it has burgeoned into a wealthy metropolis known for its art, culture, food, style and architecture. Although it is situated on a desert located by the sea, it’s landscape is no longer flat and homogeneous. It is now known for its skyscrapers, many of which are some of the tallest buildings in the world. It is also home to other architectural feats such as private man-made islands. Dubai is now known for its bold and unique architectural design concepts.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab Aerial ViewUp until 2008, Burj Al Arab was the world’s only seven star hotel. This breathtakingly tall skyscraper does not stand on solid ground. Instead, it is perched on top of a man-made island. Believe it or not, the artificial island this behemoth rests on is made of sand. Two hundred and thirty concrete piles which are a hundred and thirty feet long are wedged in to keep the sand in place. In spite of its seemingly precarious position, this is the world’s fourth tallest hotel.

If you’re going on holiday to Dubai, this is one landmark you can’t afford to miss. Designed by Tom Wright of WKK architects, it was made to resemble an Arabian vessel. Many of the landmark buildings in Dubai have been created to reflect dubai art and history (incorrect grammar of given keyword.) Although the building was only inaugurated in 1999, it has become an iconic part of Dubai’s skyline like the Eiffel tower in Paris or London’s Big Ben.

Most poeple are impressed with the sleek design of Burj Al Arab but some are less so with the interior decor. The ostentatiousness of the decor has been described as “style over substance” as well as baroque for it’s brazen display of wealth in all aspects. This landmark of Dubai architectural art is not known for its subtlety.

Burj Dubai

Burj KhalifaBurj Dubai is now known as Burj Khalifa. This is the tallest man-made structure in the world. Its existence is relatively new since it has only been around since 2010. Adrian Smith of Chicago served as chief architect. It is rumored that he incorporated several increases in height during the time it took for construction. Whether it was purely for architectural and aesthetic purposes or whether it was to retain the stronghold on “world’s tallest building” title remains unknown.

The reason this building came to be as because the government of Dubai wanted to move away from being solely an oil-based economy and wanted to promote tourism and create a lifestyle based on luxury and modern aesthetics.

The firm which designed the Burj Khalifa, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, also designed Willis Tower, which was formerly known as Sears Tower as well as One World Trade Center. The design was based on plans Frank LLoyd Wright had for The Illinois, a mile-high scraper intended for Chicago. It’s interesting how much of dubai architectural art takes influence from Chicago because of the many Windy City artists and designers flocking there. However, this tower also takes influence from Islamic architecture.

Da Vinci Rotating Tower

Da Vinci Rotating TowerA common theme in Dubai’s architecture is how many buildings refuse to be tied down. Although the Da Vinci Rotating Tower (now known as the Dynamic Tower) is not built on sand, it is planned to rotate endlessly. Florence-based architect David Fisher plans to make each floor rotate independently of the rest of the building, making sure the entire building is constantly changing shape. This reflects how there is always artistic expression and a flair of luxury in everything that exists in Dubai. Everything is not designed solely based on functionality and efficiency. Many things are designed to be unforgettable experiences.

If you’re wondering how much energy it will take to power this yet unveiled building, it is intended to run on wind and solar powered turbines and panels which should be able to power the motion of the building as well as many more.


OpusDesigned by Zaha Hadid, renowned architect who was the first female to win the Pritzker Archicture Prize in 2004. Her plans for the Opus are to make three towers which look like one unified building that appears to hover off the ground. A curved glass curtain wall on the inside will allow to view into the void.

Explained by the designer herself, “The idea was to create curves and openings with a view to the city and landmark buildings that are adjacent. I wanted it to be a very large window to the city, this is where the idea of the void became a critical factor.” Doing so eliminates the need for columns as well as maximizes views of the city rather than being just another building that obliterates the skyline.

The Art Scene In Dubai

Art in Dubai is flourishing, thanks to the political turbulence in neighboring countries such as Iran and Syria, just to name a few of them. Artists and patrons of the region have found a safe refuge in Dubai, which is now emerging as an important art hub, catering to the tastes of the elite and wealthy, who are frequently visiting the country.

art in ubaiThe transition is quite interesting, given the fact that Dubai’s penchant for art does not stem from any deep-rooted cultural significance, but is rather governed by its multi-cultural floating population, and the business opportunities available here. Several art galleries and fairs have come up in the last few years, regularly showcasing the works of regional and international artists. Performing arts such as theater and opera too have received a shot in the arm. Art magazines are also helping enthusiasts keep pace with the latest events and developments in the country’s art scene.

Art lovers visiting Dubai will now find their trip more exciting and satisfying, given the various galleries and fairs to catch up with.

Art Galleries in Dubai

Dubai Art park• The Pavilion – This unique space is an uber-cool café setting that houses a couple of galleries showcasing fresh talent. The place also hosts a variety of workshops and discussions on art, making it an informal setting for both artists and art enthusiasts to share their experiences.

• Carbon 12 – Carbon 12 Dubai is a haven for contemporary art admirers who regularly visit the country. It features works sculptures, digital art and photography, in addition to paintings.

• The Mojo – Visitors to the Mojo gallery have unique opportunity to view and appreciate a variety of art forms under a single roof. Original art pieces, mixed media print, video and conceptual photography with contemporary themes are featured here. Works of budding international artists also find special focus.

• Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) – This free zone for international business is home to several art galleries located in the Gate Village, notable among them being Ayyam Gallery (Syrian), Art Sawa, Elie Domit, The Third Quarter, Art Space, Opera and Rira. A Dubai holiday for art enthusiasts is definitely incomplete without exploring these galleries at the DIFC. Contemporary and traditional artistic designs also find their way into the rugs on display at the Rug Company here.

The DIFC houses the Christie’s in Dubai since 2006, which has served to boost the value of regional art work, placing Dubai on the international art map.

• Tashkeel – This is an art studio space set up by Princess Latifa Bint Maktoum to enable local artists make use of the several facilities here to further hone their artistic skills.

Art Fairs in Dubai

Art fairs in the country are scheduled to coincide with the Dubai Art Week, a cultural extravaganza usually held in March every year.

art dubai week• Art Dubai, a major international art event, is an integral part of the art week celebrations and so is the Sikka, a fair exclusively dedicated to local artists. It is held at Bastakiya, which is a heritage zone, aka Al-Fahidi.

• Design Days Dubai is another exclusive fair in the whole of Asia that lauds innovative furniture and product design.

• The Galleries Nights special event hosts nearly 40 new exhibitions across all galleries at the DIFC and the Al Quoz area.

Art admirers looking for a fabulous Dubai holiday should take care to plan their annual break or visit to this country, so that it coincides with the Dubai Art Week and helps them catch the best of emerging regional and international art talent.

Regional art also finds its way into the homes of art admirers, thanks to the several magazines, documentary films, and regular programs on local radio that keep people updated on the latest developments on the art front.

the magazine shop in dubaiThe Brownbook Magazine with its office at the DIFC also operates a café by the name ‘The Magazine Shop’ where visitors can pick up art magazines. The Brownbook lifestyle magazine focuses on design, art and travels through the Middle East. Other publications such as the bi-monthly international Canvas, Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia, and Bidoun focus on the trends and evolution of regional art.

Art definitely continues to be a costly pursuit, even if it simply means catching up with exhibitions at the different venues. Dubai, a contemporary, cosmopolitan business destination is now headed towards becoming a tempting holiday destination for art buffs, who can indulge in the expensive luxury that this country offers its visitors.