Jameel Arts Centre is the first of its kind in the United Arab Emirates that is not financed or run by the state. Non-profit Jameel Arts Centre is funded by the private Saudi Arabian organisation Art Jameel and led by Antonia Carver, the former director of the Emirate’s Art Dubai fair. The centre is showing mainly Middle Eastern and African art, but also international contemporary art. Jameel Art Collection serves as a foundation for the Art centre’s exhibiting space. It includes artists such as Kader Attia, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmian, Ahmed Mater and Conrad Shawcross.
Art Jameel is the cultural philanthropic part of the Saudi business conglomerate Abdul Latif Jameel. “Abdul Latif Jameel is a family-owned diversified business founded in Saudi Arabia in 1945 by the late Sheikh Abdul Latif Jameel (1909–1993). Operating across 7 core business sectors, Abdul Latif Jameel has a presence in over 30 countries across 6 continents,” Wikipedia states. The company has other art projects, which include the Jameel House of Traditional Arts and Jeddah Sculpture Museum in Saudi Arabia. They also work in several international partnerships, such as with London’s Delfina Foundation, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The Jameel Arts Centre is the first dedicated space for Art Jameel. The centre was designed by the UK-based firm Serie Architects and has 1,000 sq.m of a gallery space, a research centre, library and an events space. It has an outdoor sculpture area and a beautiful landscape garden.
The Saudi-based foundation opens a space in Dubai. Antonia Carver explains why: “The decision reflects the strong role the UAE art scene has been playing across the larger region—and the country’s unique position as a global meeting place, allowing us to draw on and continue to build upon the extensive network of artists and partner organisations that Art Jameel has built across the region and globally.”
Jameel Arts Centre allows you to get close insights into some of the best contemporary art in the region. The museum is also home to several short films with historical footage about the development of Dubai. The centre is well curated, with all information in English and is totally free.
To learn more about the centre, please visit its official website.
You might also interested in looking at contemporary Arab art at Sharjah Art Museum.