Often, it is said that ‘Art knows no boundaries,’ ‘It has no language’ and ‘It doesn’t follow any faith’. And, we get to witness this at Abu Dhabi Art fair, which is nothing short of bliss for art connoisseurs. Featuring the artwork of well-established artists, the event showcases some of the finest art forms in the world.
Organized by the Department of Tourism every year, Abu Dhabi Art aims at promoting the art and culture of opulent capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Besides, the event gives a fair chance to young and budding artists to display their work in front of thousands of visitors. Not just this, it organizes a year-long performing arts programme, and various public talks and art workshops for students, adults and families.
Every year, Abu Dhabi Art organisers try to present things differently and better than before. Its 10th edition in 2018 was also a visual treat to more than 20,000 visitors from around the world. Curated by art writer Hammad Nasar, the event’s theme was Structures of Meaning-Architectures of Perception. It was held from Nov. 14, 2018, to Jan. 26, 2019, at Gallery S, Manarat Al Saadiyat.
The event in 2018 also hosted commercial art galleries such as Los Angeles-based Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Other than this, it displayed the work of 14 international artists. And, these included popular American artists - James Turrell and Spruth Magers. Not just this, the event displayed a collection of abstract photos by Germany-based Thomas Ruff.
The event featured something for book lovers too. They were glad to see the artistic display showing books as the known ‘Structures of knowledge.’ Also, visitors liked artwork based on architectures and physical structures. Moreover, 2018 witnessed the return of commissions by contemporary artists such as Moataz Nasr and Ammar Al Attar.
Offering opportunities to learn about the world’s finest art forms, Abu Dhabi Art organized informative and interesting forum sessions on topics like ‘Regional art market,’ ‘The rise of neoliberal economies’ and ‘Rise of auction houses’.
Other than museums and art galleries, Manarat Al Saadiyat houses a separate art studio. Founded in 2010, it hosts a unique art space. Also, it operates an art supply store that offers a range of good quality art products. Further, the retail store at Manarat Al Saadiyat offers exclusive merchandise manufactured by Abu Dhabi Art Wings Project.
Abu Dhabi is extremely popular for architectural marvels like Etihad Towers, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Qasr Al Hosn, Al Jahili Fort, Sheikh Zayed Bridge and Aldar Headquarters. Besides, art lovers must visit Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is a seemingly floating dome structure. Also, visitors must take a stroll on Corniche, which is a road that is running parallel to the sea coast.
In order to beat the scorching sun, one can indulge in water sports. Waterworld Abu Dhabi is perfect to spend a day. Apart from this, jet skiing, paddleboarding and windsurfing opportunities are offered by most of the beach clubs and resorts. In addition, tourists often go for horseback riding along the beach.
Further, tourists in the area must visit Ferrari World, which is a theme park dedicated to sports and fast cars. Not to forget, The Jumeirah allows its visitors to enjoy a wonderful view of the city from the 74th floor of Etihad Towers. Heritage Village in Abu Dhabi also offers a one of its kind experience to its visitors. Offering glimpses of the pre-oil era of UAE, it offers opportunities to witness the traditional way of living in a desert.
Moving ahead, the food in Abu Dhabi is also something to look for. Majority of the local dishes include lamb or chicken, or both, along with aromatic rice and fresh seasonal vegetables. When in Abu Dhabi, one must try harees, machboos, salona, madrooba and luqaimat.
Moreover, tourists in Abu Dhabi love to go for desert safari with BBQ dinner, henna painting, dune bashing, sandboarding, camel ride and belly dance performances. One must consider spending a night at a traditional camp under the glittery sky. Not to miss, Abu Dhabi boasts of expansive shopping centres. And, some of these include Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi Mall, Yas Mall and Abu Dhabi Mall.