Sikka Art Fair is an annual showcase of Emirati and Dubai-based artistic talent designed to feature UAE contemporary art practices and initiatives, through a diversity of artistic talent and stance, providing opportunity to experience home-grown creativity at its liveliest and best, in the heart of Dubai. Sikka draws its name from the alleyways between the historic houses of Dubai, and serves as a metaphor that befits the young and upcoming artists who seek to establish their creative and professional paths through their participation in the fair.Originally focused on visual arts, Sikka Art Fair has now widened its scope to cover performing arts, film, and music.
With sessions open to the public and led by key players in Dubai’s culture and arts sector, Sikka also underlines the rich heritage of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.

Held concurrently with Art Week, Dubai’s premier umbrella arts initiative, comprisingArt Dubai and Design Days Dubai, both of which are strategically supported by Dubai Culture, SIKKA will feature a plethora of activities ranging from workshops, talks and discussions, guided tours and walks, film and animation screenings and children’s programmes. The Sikka’s program is entirely dedicated programme of visual art projects, music, live performances, and video art, as well as multidisciplinary collectives engaged in community practices and participation.
Sikka offers a unique moment in Dubai’s cultural calendar, introducing an alternative element to Art Week’s flow of artistic thought and endeavour.

The fair will also host the Open Studios Exhibition, featuring works by the artists selected for the annual Artists-in-Residence (A.i.R) Dubai programme, with the participants creating site-specific work.

This year, the annual residency (from January 7 to March 31) includes the selected Emirati artists Maitha Demithan, Maryam Al Qassimi, and Sara Al Haddad, who are currently participating in Campus Art Dubai, the alternative art school by Art Dubai, held in collaboration with Dubai Culture. Their international contemporaries include Nadia Ayari and Sunoj Damodaran with Curator-in-Residence, Ipek Ulsoy.

Khalil Abdulwahid, Manager of Visual Arts, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “We are confident that the artists will lend momentum to the region’s burgeoning arts scene, while establishing Dubai as an incubator that nurtures aspiring artists.”

A.i.R Dubai, infact, aims to support artists by providing a platform to develop their practice and create new work, while facilitating exchange between the artists, the local communities, and the broader cultural landscape.

March 15, 6pm – 7pm | Artists-in-residence (A.i.R) Dubai Open Studio Tour | A.i.R Dubai hosts a tour of open studios with artists-in-residence Maryam Al Qassimi, Sara Al Haddad, Maitha Demithan, Nadia Ayari and Sunoj D. along with curator-in-residence L. İpek Ulusoy Akgül.

Special Events | Talks

– March 15, 6.30pm – 8pm | Local and Locality | A Round Table Discussion invites several local professionals / organizations to discuss Local and Locality, as a prelude to ISEA2014 (the 20th International Symposium on Electronic Art).

– March 18, 7pm – 8.30pm | Omar Sharif & Marwan Al Khaja | Talk on the importance of original collectable products in both comics and action figures.

– March 18, 7pm – 10pm | Material Vs. Story | This talk highlights the link between the two, exploring how different use of material can affect the story being told. This is complimented with a scope of film screenings and physical puppets to be passed around the crowd.

– March 19, 7pm – 8.30pm | Ayman Itani and Dina Faour for the American University in Dubai | Talk about ‘Improving the Learning Experience: Academic, Professional and Digital’.

– March 20, 7pm – 8.30pm | Omar Sharif & Marwan Al Khaja | Talk on the importance of original collectable products in both comics and action figures.

– March 21, 4.30pm – 6.30pm | Kayoko Iemura | Talk about local artist to international artist – finding, nurturing and supporting the artist.

– March 21, 7pm – 10pm | Realizing The Dream | Boubaker Boukhari will walk participants through the journey of realizing short animated films in the UAE. He will tackle the different sides of a short animated film, beginning with idea and script, developing character design and animation, and ending with post-production and distribution.

– March 22, 4.30pm – 6.30pm | Yusaku Imamura | Towards a creative city – the importance of platform, encouraging creative activity, as engine of the city.

– March 22, 7pm – 10pm | History of Animation | The Animation Chamber brings you this talk in collaboration with Dubai Museum of Moving Images. It will focus on how animation came to shape chronologically through moving paper toys and later manifested in cinema through the magic lantern and projection.

– March 23, 6.30pm – 7.30pm | Architectural Heritage Society & Dubai Municipality | Talk with Mr. Rashad Mohammed Bukhash, director of Dubai Municipality, about the Dubai Creek bid for Unesco World Heritage Site status.

– March 23, 8pm – 9pm | The Outpost | Narrative Journalism Talk and Q&A.

– March 24, 7pm – 8pm | Tasmena | A public round-table discussion inviting people to share personal experiences in and about the neighbourhood. Contributions will become part of an active installation onsite. The installation will allow the conversation to start before and continue after the tasmenaTALKS event.

– March, 7pm – 8.30pm | What Else Can The Book Do? | This talk will present The State as a practice: what they do, how they do it, and the thought behind each of their volumes. The talk will trace the editorial and design evolution of the project, followed by a discussion about the book as object, experimental publishing today and ‘what else can the book do?’

– March 25, 6pm – 8pm | Talks by 4 different speakers | Speakers include William Sarnecky, Hussein Al Azaat, Ali Al Masri, Marwan Shakarchi and Najla Al Bassam.

Opening times

Thu 14 | 6pm – 12midnight
Fri 15 | 4pm – 12midnight
Sat 16 | 12noon – 12midnight
Sun 17 | 2pm – 10pm
Mon 18 | 2pm – 10pm
Tue 19 | 2pm – 10pm
Wed 20 | 2pm – 10pm
Thu 21 | 2pm – 12midnight
Fri 22 | 4pm – 12midnight
Sat 23 | 12noon – 12midnight
Sun 24 | 6pm – 12midnight

  • Open:
    Saturday, 15 March 2014
  • Close:
    Tuesday, 25 March 2014
  • Address:
    Dar Al Nadwa, House 20, Al Bastakiya, Dubai
  • Mail:
  • Web:
  • Photo credits:
    photo by Analog Production
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