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Curators Announced for Art Dubai 2025

Each edition of Art Dubai forges a relationship between our exhibitors and the selected independent curators, for the four gallery sections: Art Dubai Contemporary, Bawwaba, Art Dubai Modern, and Art Dubai Digital. 

Founded in 2007, Art Dubai remains the most significant global art gathering in the region and continues to be a catalyst for the growth of the Middle Eastern art scene. Working closely with other cultural organisations and, with a sizable following of collectors, Art Dubai is a gateway of discovery of work from geographies worldwide, placing them in dialogue with some of the best regional and international art.

Art Dubai’s 2025 sections and selected curators intend to foreground the perspective of our geography and the communities we represent.

Our 2025 curated gallery sections are:

Art Dubai Modern focuses on modern masters from South West Asia and North Africa (SWANA), featuring presentations by artists who have been influential throughout the 20th century, and whose works play a key role in forming an understanding of the current cultural landscape. For the first time, Art Dubai Modern will include Latin America in this section, as it addresses migration around the mid nineteenth century that influenced a growing relationship between Latin America and SWANA. The selected curators are Magalí Arriola art critic, and Director at Museo Tamayo, Mexico, whose independent pursuits have seen her work on international projects, such as the Mexican Pavilion for the 58th Biennial, and Nada Shabout, Art History Professor at the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S, whose research and teaching works to confront, address, and respond to the art historical neglect of modern and contemporary art from the Arab world.

Bawwaba |  بوابة  (meaning gateway in Arabic) serves as a portal to the discovery of works created in the past year or specifically for the fair itself, offering visitors a curated reading of current artistic developments across wide geographical scopes. The selected curator is Mirjam Varadinis, a writer and Kunsthaus Zürich Curator-at-large with an extensive curatorial career, with many of her projects addressing evolving formats of contemporary curating. For its sixth edition, Mirjam asks the question ‘How can we imagine new forms of coexistence, both amongst people and with our planet?’. With this, the section will show artists who reflect on their own displacement in our current climate, and imagine new models of living together.

Art Dubai Digital, the premier section dedicated to digital in an art fair, explores the intersection of new media art and technology to expand our understanding of contemporary culture. The fourth edition will be curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado, London-based curator currently working for Serpentine galleries and as Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art. For 2025, the section will adopt a cross-disciplinary approach to examine how artists and creative practitioners are using artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and other technological advances to interrogate some of the key environmental, social and political challenges of our time.

Art Dubai has always been a global meeting point for the world’s creatives. These curated gallery sections, along with Art Dubai Contemporary this year will each build on the conversations around art and culture in today’s climate, and together will be a rich picture of our world and the communities that intersect.


Mirjam Varadinis, Curator-at-large Kunsthaus Zurich and Director/Founder of Mirjam Varadinis Art Agency, has an extensive curatorial career with many of her projects addressing expanding formats of contemporary curating, often working beyond the border of the institution. 

Mirjam regularly contributes to artists’ publications, catalogues and art magazines and has led on a number of large-scale contemporary exhibitions. Group exhibitions have included Manifesta 12, Palermo, a special project for the 5th Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, and an annual festival of contemporary arts in Toulouse, France, using the city as material. Prominent contemporary artists featured in her curatorial projects include Yoko Ono, Olafur Eliasson, Cindy Sherman, Urs Fischer, and she is currently working on an upcoming exhibition with Marina Abramović in October 2024.

Dr. Nada Shabout is an academic, curator and writer whose research and teaching works to confront, address, and respond to the art historical neglect of modern and contemporary art from the Arab world, and its absence from the art history canon. 

She is currently a Regents Professor of Art History and the Coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas. Nada served as the Project Advisory for the Saudi National Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019, and is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey, a non-profit organisation that aims to advance the study of this field through the creation of a network of interested scholars and organisations. 

Through her extensive research, publications, and curatorial projects, Nada has aimed to protect the visual cultural memory of modern Iraqi art. Nada has received major awards as a result of such research, notably the Writers Grants, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018, and a Getty Foundation Grant in 2019 to support the project ‘Mapping Art Histories from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey’.

Magalí Arriola is the Director of Museo Tamayo in Mexico City, whose work often highlights the potential of the art institution as a platform for debate, and an essential portal to the artists’ perspectives on the world.  

She has previously held curatorial positions across Mexico City, including Museo Jumex Chief Curator organizing shows of artists such as James Lee Byars, Guy de Cointet and Danh Vo. Her independent pursuits have also seen her work on international projects, including curating the Mexican Pavilion for the 58th Venice Biennial. Arriola has written extensively for books, and catalogues and has contributed to publications such as Art Forum, Curare, Frieze, Mousse, Manifesta Journal, and The Exhibitionist, among others.

Gonzalo Herrero Delicado is currently working as Project Curator for Serpentine and is an Associate Lecturer at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art.

His curatorial work explores the impact of the climate crisis and digital technologies on the world around us through design, architecture, and art practices. He has held various curatorial positions at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Design Museum.

His curatorial portfolio includes projects for HEK House of Electronic Arts, Design Council, Barbican, Tate, and the Museum of the Future in Dubai, where he curated the exhibition ‘Tomorrow Today.’

Editions – Dubai: the Middle East’s first limited edition art and design fair

SOUTHBOUND: City as space; Mumbai.

Nature’s Embrace: Asma Belhamar on Capturing the City and Nature in Motion

Encounters: Curator Alia Zaal Lootah on Emirati artist connections across the ages

Worlds in a Box: Artist Sahil Naik on his plans for the A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme

Prescribing digital art: can creative technologies improve—and extend—our lives?