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Dubai, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Art Week brings together Dubai’s thriving creative industries into a week-long celebration of arts and culture.

Sikka Fair 2017


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Sikka Fair 2017

The first annual initiative of its kind created to support and showcase Emirati and UAE and GCC based artists, SIKKA Art Fair also works to raise happiness and positive energy across all communities within Dubai. The fair is an initiative developed by Dubai Culture, and is considered to be of the key highlights of Dubai Art Season. The SIKKA Art Fair is built around artist-led practices, initiatives and discourse and includes live music, research initiatives, interactive gatherings and educational activities - all of which feature works by emerging Emirati and UAE-based artists. All SIKKA Art Fair events are hosted at the Al Fahidi Historical neighbourhood of Dubai.


The much-anticipated 2017 edition of the SIKKA Art Fair – its seventh edition - follows a hugely successful line-up of events for 2016, which garnered a remarkable turnout for its stimulating music, dance, plays, poetry recitals, improvisational performances and open-air cinema screenings featuring local and international talent.


With over 150 submissions, a wide variety of artists and institutions will be taking part in this year’s edition including: Hind Bin Demaithan Al Qemzi, Al Amal Hospital, Rashid Al Mulla, Yousef Bin Shakar Al Zaabi, Zayed University Students, Malak Quota, D04 studio, Swapna Kurup, Perryhan El Ashmawi, Evgenia Silvina

TooFarCo / The Bahrain House

Too Far Co. is an arts consultancy that recruits talent from the MENA region and the Global South in the form of artists, photographers and Makers. They have participated in London, Qatar and Bahrain. For Sikka 2017, they are showcasing the work of 5 Bahraini artists alongside a talk about the local Bahraini community and the inspiration that comes from the natural springs. The Artwork will be allocated in a special house in Al Fahidi called The Bahrain House: a space that will indulge the visitors in the islands’ atmosphere. 

The Happiness Courtyard

This year, Sikka Art fair is working towards an initiative highlighting The Happiness Space. A drive inspired by Dubai’s Ministry of Happiness, in their pursuit to create an environment where people are most productive and creative, leading them to flourish and be better members of society. The space in one of Al Fahidi’s courtyards become a platform for gathering a community of individuals to discover the many ways it is possible to achieve or maintain one’s happiness and de-stress amidst city life. In The Happiness Space, people are invited to join in activities that provide an introspective approach to one’s well being: mindfulness, practice of positive thinking and happiness. Through different genres of art – music, painting, writing and relaxing gong meditation sessions, stepping into The Happiness Space is like stepping into a fun haven of discovery and learning.

Sugarliscous3000 by Satwa 3000

Sugarliscous3000 is an enchanting world of sugarcoated sensations and discoveries through a five senses experience for kids and adults.

LOCO’MOTION Dubai and Animation Chamber Cinema Courtyard

Under the starry night, Courtyard C at Sikka will be the home to a rich international film programme. LOCO’MOTION Community Cinema and The Animation Chamber join forces, selecting an array of cultural films. The programme includes documentaries, shorts, features and animations from across the globe to enlighten the mind and whirl the imagination.

Rashid Al Mulla + Connexus, UAE & Brazil

In an exclusive collaboration, the Emirati artist Rashid Al Mulla invites the Brazilian duo Connexus to come to the Middle East to paint a wall.  The three artists will be together for the week and explore the city and its surroundings, Rashid acting as a guide through his mother country and culture, sharing ideas of heritage, life in the present and expectations about the future. Rimon and Zéh will bring their personal ideas about Brazil and try to identify connections between the two countries. Based on these conversations, they will investigate their own human condition and reflect about how close we can be to each other, beyond borders. The final challenge will be to try to answer the universal question: what makes us all happy? In Brazil? In the U.A.E.? Is it that different after all? By sharing their personal and diverse perspectives and backgrounds, the 3 artists will develop a site-specific artwork during SIKKA Art Fair. With the use of elements, symbols and colours from both countries, they will translate the results of this research into a mixed collective graffiti, projecting their ideas of happiness from Dubai to the world.

Street Art House

The main focus is to showcase various talents from the fields of art, design and illustration to fashion, music and lifestyle. Bringing the Street Culture to life, the fair gathered 20-25 talents including groups/collectives across the UAE – building on a community platform and expanding the reach of the genre of “street art”.  Each room will be filled with art exhibitions, music performances such as DJs and acoustic setups, urban street wear and installations.

The connection maze by Street Artist Tarsila Schubert

The main concept of this installation is to illustrate the rich history of the UAE through its biggest assets: Culture and People. Tarsila believes the best way to engage visitors to SIKKA is through Experiential Art by drawing the audience physically into the artwork. Visitors will not only perceive the art as an exogenous installation, but they will live it. The installation will engage the public in an apparently simple game that has a far more complex meaning. The artworks consist of a series of figures painted on the walls of one of the main Fahidi alleys. These paintings will tell the story of ordinary moments in life such as drinking tea, bargaining for goods, smoking shisha, which share an emphasis on identity. At the end of the exhibition there is a wall where the audience can display their own Polaroids. When all the Polaroid’s fill-up the wall, the artist will paint over it with the same technique of the figures, proving that yesterday like today, human relationships are the focal point of the UAE culture.


An initiative of custom-designed wood art by Miaser Al-habori that focuses on creating new stories for every reclaimed piece of wood, working on their uniqueness and history.

Crossfit Utmost and Barbell Café

Ali Bin Zayed a 23-year-old Emirati civil engineer with a passion for a healthy lifestyle and good coffee, his project highlights high-end fitness and promotes a healthy lifestyle to counter today’s stereotypes. Barbel Café will showcase the art of coffee by serving exquisite coffee from around the world in various and different ways!

Vinny and the Snail

A space where doll making and embroidery come together. The space will have decorative dolls and embroideries on display, taking inspiration from the theme of ‘happiness', the space will run free embroidery workshops open to the public of all ages.

The Confused Arab

Experience the future of nostalgia through The Confused Arab. From a digital platform to interactive installations, let's think about how rich and diverse our identities are. Discover or give a different look to our hometowns, life partners. Historical symbols, dialects or music will be used and revisited to write together the future of nostalgia.

The closing feast

The favourite annual SIKKA tradition: everyone gathers for an intimate but lively dinner, the perfect space to be up-close and personal with artists, discuss ideas and bring the community of creatives together.

Animation Chamber

The folktale of Al Rawi will be told through interactive automatons created from metal, wood and motors. The audience is invited to watch, crank, and become part of the installation that tells the story through projections, puppets and sound.

College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, Zayed University

Here, There, and Everywhere: A Contemporary Art Experiment about Communities in Al Fahidi

This presentation digs through the multilayered history of Dubai and the people that live there. The exhibition has an inventive layout that includes the display of artworks and designs based on oral histories recorded during the project’s development and an area where visitors can add their stories about what brought them or their families to the geographic region of the United Arab Emirates.


Zayed University College of Arts and Creative Enterprises intensive and rigorous art, design, new media and exhibition programmes are practice-based and industry-engaged. Faculty utilise the latest teaching methodologies, underpinned by cutting-edge technology and an innovative learning environment, to inspire a new generation of creative thinkers. Graduates are the new up and coming artists, designers, gallery curators, educators, art policy makers and arts administrators and it is through our graduates that we aspire to foster and build a vibrant art and design community in the UAE and abroad. Art and design are major contributors to a nation’s creative economy and in the establishment of a global identity they are a country’s greatest export.

Artists: Zayed University students, Hasnat Mehmood, Colleen Quigley, and Naz Shahrokh

Event Information:

11-21 March 2017

Location: SIKKA Art Fair, Al Fahidi Historical District, Bur Dubai

+9714 384 2008


Later Event: March 14
Design Days Dubai 2017