Art inspiration in Dubai

Last weekend, I visited Alserkal Avenue, which is alternatively called a hub of creativity and art. I wanted to check it out for myself, see what exactly the place was all about. Even though it's October it is still hot and humid here in Dubai (I would have loved to declare that Autumn is here, but alas, not yet).

There's a lot of walking around to be done, the Avenue is a maze of warehouses, dotted neatly alongside a criss-cross of tiny lanes. Unsure of where to begin, I walked over to the A4 Space, it seemed like a popular meeting spot. The day I went, there were dozens of NYU students who had come to check out the place, like I had.

The A4 Space is a minimally designed, artsy warehouse space, with benches and chairs, plants and eclectic lighting fixtures all over. A small stairway led me to the top - where there were more couches and hundreds of books to browse through. This was only my first stop at the Avenue, and I couldn't wait to walk around (in spite of the heat).

Some photos from my visit.

 I wore a pair of comfortable cotton trousers and a blush tee from H&M.

The map around Al Serkal so you don't get lost - like I did. 
Or go without the map and figure out for yourself - like I did.

Some of my favorites are :

The Chocolate Makers
These guys manufacture the chocolate right there - and sell the amazing chocolate bars in their store. Most bars sell for around 35 AED, and are absolutely delicious. I got a couple - with the mango and the sea salt ones becoming my favorites. The chocolates also make perfect gifts as their packaging is brilliant.

The Odd Piece
This is essentially a rug shop - with some amazing designer rugs on sale. But these guys also sell decor house elements, with vases, lighting, chairs, small accessories, mirrors etc. I spent quite some time here, as I love interiors and decor.

Nadi Al Qouz
This is a cafe, so to speak, with a small counter selling health drinks, muffins, salads etc. This place has hammocks and other comfortable seating so you can sit here for hours and read a book or work on your laptop. During weekends, Nadi Al Qouz hosts events like a book reading or a gathering and they can be the perfect opportunity to meet new friends.

A4 Space
Another cafe, with benches and chairs to sit and work / read / talk or just draw something to inspire your creativity. Occasionally, this cafe also hosts artists and gives space for them to sell their work. When I visited, there was hand crafted jewelry on sale, made by a Turkish artist.

The Jam Jar
I had no idea what to expect when I walked in here. I saw a small kid doing an oil painting while her parents excitedly encouraged her. (What a nice space for kids I thought). I then walked a little more inside, to see an elderly man painting. (So this place was not only for kids). I loved the concept of this space, you can spend a few hours here, just pay for your canvas (depends on the size - starts at 125 AED) and all the other equipment like brushes, an apron, paint etc would be provided.

There are a tonne of amazing art galleries and I quite liked many of them - but since the artists keep changing I think these you should check out for yourself.

I had a great time at the Alserkal Avenue and I hope you do too. You can check the website here. They have so many activities and events happening here that you could visit every weekend and still find something new here.

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