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Destinations · Asia · united arab emirates · Dubai · Insider's view ·

Insider: Damien Carlier

Author: Anothertravelguide.com0 COMMENTS

Insider: Damien Carlier

Alserkal Avenue – Dubai’s epicentre of creativity

If anything in Dubai can be labelled underground, then it’s Alserkal Avenue. This feels like an absolutely unique place compared to the Dubai we’ve known up until now. The project began in 2007 as a private initiative by Abdelmonem bin Eisa Alserkal, the patron and developer of the area. Alserkal Avenue is located in the former Al Quoz industrial district and was created with the aim of promoting cultural initiatives in the region and becoming a place where artists and other members of the creative industries can meet and work together.

Alserkal Avenue consists of several refurbished warehouses that are now home to at least 60 different institutions: art galleries, design offices, cafés, shops, and even a theatre and independent cinema house. This is also where you’ll find the popular vegan restaurant Wild & The Moon and the Mirzam chocolate makers. By the way, the latter is located in a transparent space so that visitors can follow the whole chocolate-making process, from the arrival and roasting of the cocoa beans to the packaging of finished products.

Each corner here has its own character and personality. For example, Chi-Ka is a gallery that focusses on the Japanese aesthetic and everything linked with it. The gallery even includes an atelier that sells kimono-inspired abayas ( (the long garment worn by women in parts of the Muslim world – ed.). Only after living here for a longer time did I realise that there are many different types of abaya, and they follow fashion trends as well.

The first project in the United Arab Emirates by Rem Koolhaas and his OMA office opened this spring at Alserkal Avenue. The art space, named Concrete, consists of a collection of warehouses that are, like much else in this district, very flexible and can be adapted for a variety of events, be they art exhibitions, performances, or conferences. Thus they embody the general aura of this seething creative epicentre of Dubai.

As recommended by Damien Carlier, creative strategist, managing partner at Thrown&Associates, lives in Dubai

 

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