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DUBAI: 24 hrs of Arty Wanderlust

Contributed with love and just for you, by Noura Al-Maashouq – who is an Artist Liaison at Blain|Southern in London, and serves on the committee of Unicef’s NEXTGeneration. She loves art, travel, and food, but not nearly as much as she loves Beyoncé.

When I wake up and I desperately need food in my belly – 

Whenever I’m in Dubai I love to go to Zaroob to pig out – it’s super caj, cheap and easy and they serve Levantine street food. Everything from the décor, waiters’ outfits, to the menu is Middle Eastern themed, which is a bit cheesy but also, why not… My favorite is the Manoushe, or baked bread, mmm, carbs and fresh lemonade with mint.

A walk to digest my breakfast –

I love walking around the DIFC art galleries, they are all so close to one another and the whole complex is beautifully designed. There are great restaurants in the area, so art is like the amuse-bouche.

My latest museum obsession –

I love the Salsali Private Museum, and also Ayyam Gallery where I’m constantly discovering new Middle Eastern artists. I love Ayyam’s space at AlSerkal, they  have an incredible huge warehouse where they store their works.

When I get hungry again and need more food in my belly…

I love Firebird Diner for lunch or dinner – it’s basically elevated diner food which is the dream. And they have a jukebox playing 60s tunes. Nice vibes. Nice chicken wings. Nice Moscow Mules.

My afternoon fix…

I once went to a bar on the 72nd floor of a building, and you had the best view over Dubai. I can’t remember the name, so that’s not helpful. The Jetty Lounge is great for a beachfront afternoon sesh.

My art ‘must’ in Dubai…

A quintessentially Dubai art experience would be visiting Al Serkal Avenue – an adapted and constantly evolving community of art galleries, pop up exhibition, artist residencies, furniture and design stores, and home-grown cafes in former shipping warehouses! A few years ago, taxis wouldn’t even drive you there, and now it’s a full blown creative hub with a village feel with a true collaborative spirit among the galleries. The warehouse structures allow for huge spaces, which coming from London is a luxury!  There are always events and talks taking place there, and you can feel the energy of the exhibitors and visitors alike. It was poppin’ during Art Dubai’s opening days this year.

My favorite thing about Dubai is…

Its constant evolution, there is always something new and there’s a really energetic local entrepreneurial spirit… and the air condition everywhere, simply cannot live without it.

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