From Art Dubai to the Dubai World Cup, Vision charts the development of some of the events that have put Dubai on the international sports and culture map
Art Dubai has been the leading art fair in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia since it began in 2007. In addition to contributions from 90 galleries from across the globe, the extensive not-for-profit programme takes in film and radio projects, along with educational initiatives. Meanwhile, elements like the critically acclaimed Global Art Forum have established Dubai as a cornerstone in the international arts community.
Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
This celebration of the written and spoken word brings together people of all backgrounds, offering a chance to meet celebrated international authors and revered academics, and attend unique workshops, master-classes and poetry readings. Welcoming more than 140 speakers from 25 countries and over 37,000 visitors to its 2015 edition, the festival has grown considerably since its creation in 2009.
Dubai International Film Festival
This festival aims to build cultural understanding and dialogue between nations via the celebration of cinematic achievement. Conceived in 2004, the festival has helped develop the region’s cultural engagement with film and even holds public screenings for budding UAE cineastes to sample global cinema free of charge. Recognising and rewarding exceptional Arab talent within the film industry, the DIFF has become the lynchpin of Arabic cinema.
Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
Originating in the early 1970s, and sponsored by Emirates since 1987, the Dubai Rugby Sevens is a highlight of the UAE sporting calendar and has helped build popularity for the game among Emirati youth. Encompassing 255 matches over three days, the 2015 tournament in Dubai is expected to play host to more than 100,000 spectators.
Dubai World Cup
The pinnacle of the international horseracing season, and a driving force behind Dubai’s growth story, the Dubai World Cup Carnival, which includes the world’s richest race day, Dubai World Cup, celebrated two decades of racing excellence this year. With entries from almost 20 countries, racing in front of 70,000 spectators from all corners of the world, Dubai World Cup is today a truly international affair.
Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships
Originally titled the Dubai Men’s Open in 1993, this championship welcomes the biggest names in tennis to its hard-court surfaces every February. Staged at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium, previously voted the ‘Best Venue’ by players on the ATP World Tour, the Dubai Tennis Championships has secured its place as a staple of the World Tour.
Dubai Design Week
A new must-attend in the making, the most recent addition to Dubai’s cultural roster, the inaugural Dubai Design Week, took place in October. With 12 ‘design-experience’ installations located across Dubai, anyone could sample the work of regional designers for free. Contributions from a mix of local and international designers, meanwhile, reiterated the emirate’s growing status as a hub for global creativity.