Arts & Culture

New Khaleeji Art Museum Exhibition Opens in Dubai’s Historic Al Fahidi District

"Before Take Off" is part of this year’s Sikka Art and Design Festival.

By Sekka

The annual Sikka Art and Design Festival takes place in the Al Fahidi Historic Neigbhourhood. Image by Maryna Fasteyeva for the Khaleeji Art Museum.

On Tuesday, 15 March, the Khaleeji Art Museum opened its door to visitors to its latest exhibition Before Take Off.  Taking place at House 11 (also known as the ‘Khaleeji House’) in Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historic District, the exhibition is a pop up art event held on the ground by the Khaleeji Art Museum, the first digital museum dedicated to art and photography of the Arab Gulf States, as part of the UAE’s annual Sikka Art and Design Festival. 

Emirati curator Sumayyah Alsuwaidi. Image by Maryna Fasteyeva for the Khaleeji Art Museum.

Curated by Emirati artist and curator Sumayyah Alsuwaidi, the exhibition, which is located in one o the largest standing traditional Emirati houses in Al Fahidi, brings together five Khaleeji artists – Ahmed Al Mahri from the UAE, Leena Al Ayoobi from Bahrain, Ahmed Al-Refaie from Kuwait, Shahad Nazer from Saudi Arabia and Humoud Al-Muqbali from Oman– as well as one Gulf art initiative: Wild Arab West.  ‘Before Take Off is an exhibition that depicts the experiences and reflections of Khaleeji artists during the global pandemic, and highlights the personal positive attributes they would like us to take with us on our next chapter: Life after the pandemic,’ describes Alsuwaidi in her curatorial statement. ‘Multiple themes emerge in their works, including hope, resilience, love, connection and strength, with a number of artists reflecting on one or more simultaneously.’

Art by Ahmed Al-Refaie, Ahmed Al Mahri, Leena Ayoobi and Shahad Nazer, which can be seen at Before Take Off.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see each of the works in a designated room in the house, and will also be able to enjoy coffee and yummy treats by Not A Space, an Emirati community, in the  house’s courtyard. 

Inside the Khaleeji House at the Sikka Art and Design Festival. Image by Maryna Fasteyeva for the Khaleeji Art Museum.
Emirati community Not A Space is present in House 11 (the Khaleeji House). Image by Maryna Fasteyeva for the Khaleeji Art Museum.

‘Before Take Off’ is open daily from 6 pm to 10 pm until 24 March 2022.

To find out more about the Khaleeji Art Museum visit

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