Tea with Culture

Podcast featuring discussions and interviews about the cultural happenings in the United Arab Emirates presented by Hind Mezaina (The Culturist) and Wael Hattar.


Entries in Dubai (378)


Exhibition and Talk Series: Is Old Gold? 

Artwork by Hussain Sharif 

Is Old Gold? is an exhibition curated by Cristiana de Marchi and Muhanad Ali, opening at DUCTAC (Dubai Community Theatre and Art Centre, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai) on Tuesday, 21st February 2017.

It pairs 10 artists from the current generation of artists ((including yours truly) with 5 artists (Hassan SharifMohammed Ahmed IbrahimMohammed KazemAbdullah Al Saadi and Hussain Sharifwho were part of the UAE avant-garde contemporary art practice in the 1970s.

Looking at spirit of experimentation that was present at that time, Is Old Gold? aims to ask "how and why this narrative has been aborted, lost or evolved and if it can, or should be recovered in the current context". The exhibition suggests a gap has emerged between today's generation and the previous one and asks if it is "due to disparate socio-political concerns by the UAE’s rapidly shifting contexts, or is it the result of other, more inherently personal, motivations and choices" and seeks to find out if this gap can be filled". 

The 10 artists who were invited to participate in this exhibition are: 

  • Maitha Abdalla 
  • Amal Al Khaja   
  • Shaikha Al Mazrou
  • Taqwa Al Naqbi
  • Fatima Albudoor   
  • Moza Almatrooshi 
  • Hind Mezaina
  • Alaa Edris
  • Alia Lootah 
  • Jumairy     

In a comparative experiment that takes the form of a fictional narrative, two artists from the contemporary ‘younger’ generation of Emirati artists were assigned to work separately on a ‘character’ from the ‘5 UAE’. The experimental, productive structure of the exhibition reflects on the atelier atmosphere of innovative exchange initiated by Hassan Sharif and transmuted and sustained by four of his students – Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Mohammed Kazem, Abdullah Al Saadi and Hussain Sharif.

This hypothetical experimental structure, wryly reminiscent of a family tree, is the result of perceived dislocation between these generations and seeks to describe the qualities of this creative, methodological and pedagogical gap.

'Is Old Gold?' straddles this gap, presenting creative acts of remembrance and reconsideration alongside games of fantasy and, equally telling, utterly disconnected pieces that are the product of defiance or disengagement.   


Leading to the opening of the exhibition, there will be series of weekly talks starting on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 which will be moderated by Cristiana de Marchi and will include some of the artists from the exhibition alongside leading writers, curators, academics and culture producers in the UAE. It's a good line up of topics which will ask some important questions. I hope it will create valuable and thought provoking discussions about the art scene in the country. 

Below is the information about the talks. I will be part of the panel on 14th January. Hope you can attend one, two, three or all four talks and hope you can make it to the exhibition too. 

Tuesday, 24th January, 7pm at DUCTAC's Art Forum

Knowledge Transmission: From The Atelier To Remote Teaching – Dominions Of Ideas And Inheritance

What roles have formal and informal education played in the UAE? Is there a shared cross-generational pedagogy despite apparent divergence? What necessitated the marked departure from the organic structures that propelled the creative spirit of the avant-garde ‘UAE 5’ to today’s more formal institutional approach? Whathas been lost and what has thrived as a result of this shift? 

Cristiana de Marchi will moderate a panel with filmmaker and writer Nujoom Al Ghanem, artist Fatima Albudoor, artist, cultural producer and curator Roberto Lopardo and academic Elizabeth Stoney for a discussion on the history of UAE artistic “educations” – both formal and informal.  


Tuesday, 31st January, 7pm at DUCTAC's Art Forum 31

Imitation, Plagiarism And Tribute: Recurrences In Visual Arts 

How has the apparatus of the colossal international art world infiltrated, shaped and informed art practices in the UAE? Can a local-centric approach counter the press of the international? How does the conflation of these two systems, the local and the international, the emergent and the established, engender a spectrum of issues from isolation to imitation? Can self-sustainability be forged in these conditions? Is a kind of plagiarism via generational recurrence and resonance inevitable?

Cristiana de Marchi will moderate this panel with artist Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, anthropologist Beth Derderian, academic, curator and cultural producer Dr. Nina Heydemann and artist Hind Mezaina as they investigate the relationship between international and local systems and the risks of becoming derivative in attempts to forge both an individual and a shared artistic identity. 


Tuesday, 7th February, 7pm at DUCTAC's Art Forum  

The Validation System: Self-Sustainability Or Foreign Acknowledgement?  

As local artists forge internationally renowned careers, what balance can be struck between the local and the global? What defines success across different audiences and for the self? Can a career be made locally or is engagement with international narratives always necessary? What are the different tools of promotion and recognition available to local artists and how should they be combined? 

Cristiana de Marchi moderates a discussion between director of Art Dubai and former Editor of Canvas magazine Myrna Ayad, internationally published art expert, public speaker, and advisor to diverse arts initiatives Mahnaz Fancy, artist Alia Lootah and gallerist Isabelle van den Eynde as they consider the roles played by art fairs, institutional shows, biennials and artist residencies in the composition of a successful yet self-actuated career.  


Tuesday, 14th February, 7pm at DUCTAC's Art Forum  

The Valley In Between: Generational Disconnections, Divergent Agendas Or A Possible Continuity?  

As the cultural and social context of the UAE shifts perpetually, what are the threads of continuity that could make up a shared generational connection? Are there any common agendas between these divergent generations? As the infrastructure shifts, is there any possible continuity between the UAE avant-garde and the youngest generation of contemporary practitioners? What is inherited, shared and propagated? What is lost? 

Cristiana di Marchi moderates with artist Shaikha Al Mazrou, curator and writer Muhanad Ali (DUCTAC), curator of NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery Maya Allison and writer Kevin Jones in a discussion on generational disconnection and possibly sustained continuities.    


Detailed information about the artists and the speakers can be found on the exhibition's website The talks and the exhibition will be at DUCTAC, located in Mall of the Emirtaes in Dubai. 



Film Screening: Art:Interrupted 

is a documentary by Hattie Bowering that was filmed before and during India's first contemporary art biennale, the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012. It's a behind the scenes look at how a new biennale is set up in a city that doesn't have the infrastructure for a biennale and the challenges faced by its founders and artists. 

The film was first screened in the UAE last November at the Sharjah Art Foundation and will be screened in Dubai on Thursday, 22nd September at A4 Space in Alserkal Avenue

Art:Interrupted gives you an insight into how the city handled its first biennale which was also the antithesis of biennales and art fairs around the world, the reaction of the people of Kochi and the challenges faced by everyone involved. Over a span of few months, many in Kochi who weren't familiar with what a biennale is had a sense of pride their city hosted India's first contemporary art biennale, welcoming visitors from India and abroad, but most importantly, enjoying and engaging with a contemporary art event that was made for them.

The film is endearing and funny, everyone in it believe in the biennale and the positive effect it can have on the city. (Disclosure, I was one of supporters of the crowdfunding campaign to raise money for this film). 

Here's the trailer, and if you are in Dubai, I strongly recommend you go watch this film. I do hope it gets to be screened in more cities.  

Shot in 2012, Art: Interrupted goes behind the scenes as India prepared to host its first contemporary art biennale in the historic port town of Fort Kochi, Kerala. From the frontline of art, the film followed Indian and international artists as they created new and ambitious works in beautiful but derelict colonial spaces. 

It is a very entertaining film set in a part of the world that is colourful, vibrant and loud and presents a picture of India and its cultural connections that everybody can respond to.

Overcoming limited resources, errant labour unions, equatorial heat and swarms of mosquitos, the artists, the organisers and the local community managed – against the odds – to pull off an event that drew over 400,000 visitors and found a new and appreciative audience for contemporary art.

Event details
Date and time: Thursday, 22nd September at 7.00pm (the film is 51 minutes long)
Venue: A4 Space, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai (location map)
Free entry  `


The Culturist presents... Cruel Summer


Dear readers, I am happy to announce I will be hosting my first film screening event this month.

Cruel Summer is an evening of short film screenings that looks at the dark side of summer - from loss to loneliness, heartbreak to horror. 

The screenings will take place at thejamjar in Alserkal Avenue on Saturday, 13th August at 7.30pm. If you're in town, please join us.

It's free entry and there will be ice cream, summer drinks, music and I will make a short introduction before the screening (also expect a small suprise before the screening, so be there on time). If you've never been, you can access the location map here and here's the event page on Facebook.

I am glad thejamjar was open to this film screening idea and I look forward to sharing the evening with you.

Line up of films:

Ice Cream
Directed by Becky Mountain, 2012
A boy and his unsuccessful attempts at eating ice cream.

I Love Summer
Directed by Kaiyu Chang, 2014
A story about a man and his girlfriend on a hot summer day. The only thing hotter than the weather is her temper.

Directed by Kirsten Lepore, 2011
Animated on location at a beach, in snow, and underwater, this stop-motion short details a transoceanic conversation between two characters via objects in a bottle.

Last Summer
Directed by Oliver Williams, 2012
The story of a boy and his estranged friend as they journey out into nature for one final day of summer.

The Beach House
Directed by Richard Standen and Tom Stanley, 2011
After the death of his parents, River, the only hearing child in an otherwise entirely deaf family, returns home. The three estranged siblings find themselves compelled to re-connect when they find themselves locked out from their inherited beach house.

The Tent
Directed by Robbie Fatt, 2014
While on a camping trip with friends, a teenager discovers that his tent has the ability to teleport. But soon he discovers that teleportation isn't the only thing the tent can do.

Directed by Richard Hickey, 2013
This is the story of a young boy growing up in the suburbs of Chicago. He spent his vacations in Quetico Provincial Park, up on the border of Minnesota and Canada. But he won't be going back any day soon, not after what happened to a girl called Francis Brandywine.

Dead Man's Lake
Directed by Ben Franklin, 2012
When three  campers visit a private lakeside hideaway for some summer fun, little do they know the horror that awaits them.

Night Swim
Directed by Rod Blackhurst & Bryce James McGuire, 2014
A woman swims in swimming pool at night. But something watches her.
Alone Time
Directed by Rod Blackhurst, 2013
A young woman, stressed by her busy and continually crowded New York City existence spontaneously retreats to a solitary lake deep in the Adirondacks, New York.


I leave you with this song that inspired the theme for this film screening event, Bananarama's Cruel Summer.


Cinema Akil - A Hard Day's Night film screenings in August/September

Here's the line up for the last session of Cinema Akil's A Hard Day's Night film screenings at the Cinema Room in A4 Space at Alserkal Avenue.


3rd, 4th, 5th August 2016 at 7.00pm 

Directed by Sara Blecher
2015 | 105 min | English | South Africa | PG-13 | Drama

In a vibrant and diverse Johannesburg community, 21-year-old Afro-hipster Ayanda has a knack for taking neglected pieces of furniture and “bringing them back to love”. Eight years after her father’s death, she is determined to revive his prized garage business, which is in deep debt and in danger of being sold.

The film crackles with infectious energy and style, capturing a vividly contemporary view of South Africa. Inspired by the possibilities of a modern African aesthetic, Ayanda explores the core theme of how we let go of the things and people we love.

The film has been nominated for 9 African Movie Academy Awards including best film, best director, best lead actor and actress and supporting actor and actress.



10th, 11th, 12th August 2016 at 7.00pm 

Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
Directed by Mel Stuart
1971 | 100’ | English | UK | G | Comedy, Fantasy, Family

The world is astounded when Willy Wonka, for years a recluse in his factory, announces that five lucky people will be given a tour of the factory, shown all the secrets of his amazing candy, and one will win a lifetime supply of Wonka chocolate.

Nobody wants the prize more than young Charlie, but as his family is so poor that buying even one bar of chocolate is a treat, buying enough bars to find one of the five golden tickets is unlikely in the extreme. Charlie, along with four somewhat odious other children, get the chance of a lifetime and a tour of the factory. Along the way, mild disasters befall each of the odious children, but can Charlie beat the odds and grab the brass ring?

17th, 18th, 19th August 2016 at 7.00pm

Factory Boss
Directed by Wei Zhang
2014 | 102 min | Mandarin | China | PG-13 | Drama

After successfully running a toy factory in Shenzhen for 20 years, Lin Dalin has to face the economic squeeze and competition from cheaper Southeast Asian countries. New orders are scarce, pay is slow, savings are done on safety rules, and workers threaten to revolt. In order to avoid bankruptcy, Lin reluctantly accepts a large but very low profit margin order from a big international client.

Meanwhile Ai Jing, a young journalist, is sent undercover to investigate the working conditions of the factory, one of the many ‘blood and sweat’ factories. When the government announces a minimum wage increase, the risk of a strike looms. Under intense pressure from all sides, Lin Dalin struggles to hold his business together and fulfill the big order.

The confrontation that results will bring the entire industry to the brink of collapse. The film is a riveting exploration of the challenges of the manufacturing industry in China. Winner of Best Actor at the Montreal World Film Festival.


24th, 25th, 26th August 2016 at 7.00pm

The Grapes of Wrath
Directed by John Ford
1940 | 129 min | English | USA | PG | Drama

Adapted from John Steinbeck’s novel, this classic drama shows how the Great Depression affects one American family. Evicted from their Oklahoma farm homes, the Joads head West to seek work, but two die during the journey.

In California, the family’s deterioration continues as they live in poverty in migrant camps. The film won an Academy Award for Best Director and was nominated for Best Picture.


31st August and 1st, 2nd September 2016 at 7.00pm

The Solitary Life of Cranes
Directed by Eva Weber
2008 | 28 min | English | UK | G | Documentary, Short

Part city symphony part visual poem, ‘The Solitary Life of Cranes’ explores the invisible life of a city, its patterns and hidden secrets, seen through the eyes of crane drivers working high above its streets. Within the loose structure of a day, starting with the drivers climbing up at dawn and ending with them coming down after a nightshift, the film observes the city as it awakens with a bustle of activity, through the lull of midday and the manic rush in the evening, until it calms down again deep into the night.

Throughout the film, the drivers share their thoughts and reflections on London and life in general. What emerges is a lyrical mediation about how our existence is shaped through the environment we inhabit, both for the drivers high up in the sky and the people on the ground they are watching.

The Match Factory Girl
Directed by Aki Kaurismäki
1990 | 68 min | Finnish | Finland | PG–13 | Drama

Iris has a dead-end job in a match-factory, lives with her dour and forbidding parents, and her social life is a disaster. But when she is made pregnant after a one-night stand by a man who thought she was a prostitute, she decides that enough is enough and plans her revenge.


- Schedules are subject to change, please check our website for updates.
- Screenings are free, open to the public and are on a first-come-first-seated basis.
- Please note the ratings before bringing children or underage adults to the screenings.


Cinema Akil - A Hard Day's Night film screenings in July

Last month saw the launch of Cinema Akil's A Hard Day's Night summer film screenings. Here's the line up for this month, the screenings take place at the Cinema Room in A4 Space at Alserkal Avenue


13th, 14th, 15th July 2016 at 7.00pm

Directed by Jamshid Bahmani
2004 | 26 min | Farsi | Iran | G | Documentary, Short

 ‘Handmade’ is a documentary shot in a glass blower’s not far from Tehran. The film not only shows the craftsmen’s difficult working conditions but also the delicate fruit of their labour.


Directed by Vahid Vakilifar

2010 | 84 min | Azeri, Farsi, Kurdish | Iran | General | Drama

Ghobad, Jahan and Nezam, three men in pursuit of a better life, leave home and head for Oslouyeh, one of the richest gas producing regions in the south of Iran.

However, the difficult living conditions together with the low salaries oblige them and others to find shelter along the disused sections of the pipeline. The group of workers manage to create an atmosphere of camaraderie despite the difficult conditions with which they are faced.



20th, 21st, 22nd July 2016 at 7.00pm

Two Days, One Night
Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne
2014 | 95 min | French | Belgium, Francy, Italy | PG | Drama

Sandra, a young Belgian mother, discovers that her workmates have opted for a significant pay bonus, in exchange for her dismissal. She has only one weekend to convince her colleagues to give up their bonuses so that she can keep her job.



27th, 28th, 29th July 2016 at 7.00pm 

Modern Times
Directed by: Charlie Chaplin
1936 | 87 min | English | USA | G | Comedy, Drama

Chaplins last ‘silent’ film, filled with sound effects, was made when everyone else was making talkies. Charlie turns against modern society, the machine age, and progress. Firstly we see him frantically trying to keep up with a production line, tightening bolts. He is selected for an experiment with an automatic feeding machine, but various mishaps leads his boss to believe he has gone mad, and Charlie is sent to a mental hospital.

When he gets out, he is mistaken for a communist while waving a red flag, sent to jail, foils a jailbreak, and is let out again. We follow Charlie through many more escapades before the film is out.



- Schedules are subject to change, please check our website for updates.
- Screenings are free, open to the public and are on a first-come-first-seated basis.
- Please note the ratings before bringing children or underage adults to the screenings.


Cinema Akil - A Hard Day's Night film screenings in June 

A Hard Day's Night is the theme for Cinema Akil's summer film screenings. The screenings will take place between 8th June and 2nd September 2016 in the Cinema Room in A4 Space at Alserkal Avenue

This selection of films is inspired by the overarching themes of art production, dissemination and discourse, which shape the global art world. The films in A Hard Day’s Night will interrogate notions of the workforce, manufacturing processes and industry.

After going through the complete list of films, I don't see how they inspire "overarching themes of art production, dissemination and discourse, which shape the global art world". Nevertheless, it's a good selection of films if you want to see something that doesn't fall under the genres of films normally shown at our cineplexes.

Here's the line up for this month and I will share the rest of the line up at the beginning of the following two months.


8th, 9th, 10th June 2016 at 9.00pm

The Digger
Directed by: Ali Cherri
2015 | 24 min | Arabic, Pashto | UAE, Lebanon, France | PG 

For 20 years, Sultan Zeib Khan has kept watch over a ruined Neolithic necropolis in the Sharjah desert in the United Arab Emirates. Although majestic, the wide-angle shots have no monumentalising intent: the beauty and extent of the site speak for themselves. What is playing out here is the possibility for one man to become part of a landscape that overwhelms him yet seems to need his help.

Seen under the silhouette of a rock about to devour him or as a dwarfed figure spade in hand walking from the back of the frame, Sultan curiously busies himself from day to day to prevent the ruins… from falling into ruin.

Factory Girl
Directed by: Mohamed Khan
2013 | 90 min | Arabic | Egypt | PG | Drama 

Hayam is a factory worker who is living in a low middle class area, along with other factory girls. She thought that her feelings for the new supervisor in the factory can grow bigger in spite of the class differences between them, and although he shared some feelings with her but the cruel reality calls when a pregnancy test is found in the factory and because she did not hide her feelings, everybody accused her of being a sinner even her close friends and family. The factory girl does not want to defend herself and that made her pay a big price dealing with a society that does not accept proud women.


15th, 16th, 17th June 2016 at 9.00pm

The Overnighters
Directed by: Jesse Moss (2014)
2014 | 102 min | English | USA | PG | Documentary 

Award-winning documentary The Overnighters is an intimate portrait of job-seekers desperately chasing the broken American Dream to the tiny oil boom town of Williston, North Dakota. With the town lacking the infrastructure to house the overflow of migrants, a local pastor starts the controversial “overnighters” program, allowing down-and-out workers a place to sleep at the church.

His well-meaning project immediately runs into resistance with his community, forcing the clergyman to make a decision which leads to profound consequences that he never imagined.


22nd, 23rd, 24th June 2016 at 9.00pm

Castle in the Sky
Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki
1896 | 125 min | Japanese | Japan | PG | Animation, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

A young boy stumbles into a mysterious girl who floats down from the sky. The girl, Sheeta, was chased by pirates, army and secret agents. In saving her life, they begin a high flying adventure that goes through all sorts of flying machines, eventually searching for Sheeta’s identity in a floating castle of a lost civilization.


29th, 30th June and 1st July 2016 at 9.00pm 

Directed by: Fritz Lang
1927 | 153’ | German | Germany | PG | Sci-Fi, Drama

One of the biggest film events of the century, a “holy grail” among film finds. Metropolis is ruled by the powerful industrialist Joh Fredersen. He looks out from his office in the Tower of Babel at a modern, highly technicized world.

Together with the children of the workers, a young woman named Maria reaches the Eternal Gardens where the sons of the city’s elite amuse themselves and where she meets Freder, Joh Fredersen’s son. When the young man later goes on a search for the girl, he witnesses an explosion in a machine hall, where numerous workers lose their lives. He then realizes that the luxury of the upper class is based on the exploitation of the proletariat.

In the Catacombs under the Workers’ City Freder finally finds Maria, who gives the workers hope with her prophecies for a better future. His father also knows about Maria’s influence on the proletariat and fears for his power. In the house of the inventor Rotwang, Joh Fredersen learns about his experiments to create a cyborg based on the likeness of Hel, their mutual love and Freder’s mother. Fredersen orders Rotwang to give Maria’s face to the robot in order to send it to the underground city to deceive and stir up its inhabitants.


- Schedules are subject to change, please check our website for updates.
- Screenings are free, open to the public and are on a first-come-first-seated basis.
- Please note the ratings before bringing children or underage adults to the screenings.


Flying Ipis - live at The Music Room on 20th May 


Flying Ips, an all-girl, garage punk rock band from Manila, Philippines will perform live at The Music Room this weekend, on Friday, 20th May 2016.

More about them via Gulf News

The band’s notoriously cheeky name (“ipis” means cockroach in English) has given them and their music to rising cult status.

Originally formed in the corridors of an all-girl, Catholic high school, the band paid their dues in their hometown, releasing an EP in 2009 and their first full-length album, Give Ipis a Chance in 2013. They are busy gearing up for their second album, The Roach Motel, to be released later this year.


They recently performed at SXSW in Austin, so it's exciting to find out Dubai will get to see them live too.

Tickets for the event is AED 100, doors open at 8.00pm. The opening acts include the following Dubai based bands, so overall, should be a packed night of punk rock and roll.



Watch and listen to a couple of tracks by Flying Ipis tracks below, you can hear more on their Soundcloud account.





Event details
Date: Friday, 20th May 2016. Doors open 8.00pm
Venue: The Music Room, Majestic Hotel, Mankool Road, Bur Dubai (location map)
Ticket: AED 100
Event page on Facebook



Black Honey live at Bad House Party on 12th May 2016

Black Honey - photo by Charlotte Patmore

Bad House Party will host their third live gig this month, featuring with Black Honey, on Thursday, 12th May at Casa Latina.

After bringing us Hermigervill and Bernsden from Iceland and Astronautalis from Minneapolis last year, Black Honey from Brighton, UK will be performing in Dubai for the first time.

Described by The Guardian as "one of the indie bands to watch for 2016", their music is energetic and moody.


DIY Magazine described "All My Pride" from their recently released Headspin EP as "starry-eyed, cinematic pop". They go on to say,

Each song could be a separate scene in the movie of their dreams, where Johnny Depp and Uma Thurman go on an American road trip slash killing spree.

There’s drama and there’s fire lining the seams of every song. ‘Headspin’ finds hope in a dead-end motel. ‘On Your Time’, an arm-raising anthem in the making, flips Hollywood heartbreak on its head. And closer ‘Mocking Swing’ finds Izzy B. Phillips mastering a woozy, strung out ballad.

You can stream all the tracks from Headspin here or listen to some of their songs below.



Event details
Date: Thursday, 12th May 2016, doors open at 9pm, band on stage at 11pm
Venue: Casa Latina, Ibis Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha Dubai
Ticket: 100 AED on the door
Event page on Facebook


[image via DIY Magazine]



Purple Rain Night with James Locksmith at Cocktail Kitchen


Calling all Prince fans in Dubai. Cocktail Kitchen and James Locksmith will host a tribute night to Prince, tonight at 8.00pm. This is the message posted on James Locksmith's Facebook page:


This Tuesday night April 26 I will be playing Prince all night at Cocktail Kitchen Dubai from 8PM. Expect to hear a journey through his catalogue, his inspirations, material from the women he embraced and the lives he touched.

This is a free event, join me and my box of tissues in the DJ booth. Next week we'll be doing it with a band with female vocalists covering the hits just the way Prince would want it. More details to come. X


Event details
Date: Tuesday, 26th April, 8.00pm till late
Venue: Cocktail Lounge, Armada BlueBay Hotel, Jumeirah Lake Towers (Cluster P), Dubai
Free entry.
Event page on Facebook.




Meet d3 2016 - Open Call


Following the success of the inaugural Meet d3 last year, Dubai Design District’s annual festival returns for a second year, from 8th-10th December 2016. 

The festival aims to bring together a broad cross-section of design, art and culture in celebration of the city’s rich array of creative talent.

Meet d3 will continue the immersive and experiential format introduced last year, and showcases new and more creative expression from various design and multimedia disciplines.


For the second edition, Meet d3 has announced an open call inviting designers, artists, architects, practitioners and creatives based in the UAE to submit proposals for the "Installations" section of the festival. The applications will be reviewed by the Meet d3 curatorial committee, their selection will be based on the strength of the proposal and how it resonates with the spirit of the festival as an immersive and interactive event.

The application deadline is 31st May 2016. Apply here.

Whether large-scale or ethereal, a nod to the contemporary or historical, the Installations section will encompass a dynamic range of design and artistic medium including painting, sculpture, video, photography, architecture, fashion, digital and other design experiences.

Any subject or theme is welcome, and can be conceived for either indoor or outdoor spaces, as long as the proposed installation is experiential in nature, original and suitable for all ages. (Note: as a community event–across cultures and ages, Meet d3’s programming and content does need to reflect this.)


I'm glad Meet d3 announced this open call. There are not many opportunities for independent creatives to take part in big events like this, and I'm glad to see Dubai Design District and Meet d3 engage with the local creative community this way.

Even though this year's edition will take place during Dubai International Film Festival (7th - 14th December), I hope I get a chance to attend some part Meet d3. I attended all three days last year and had a great time. Look at my photo review here, read about the Andy Wahloo tent (my highlight from Meet d3 2015), and read about my thoughts on Dubai Design District in general