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Dubai Collection is the city’s first institutional collection of modern and contemporary art, dedicated to inspiring and educating those who live in & visit Dubai. All artworks in the Dubai Collection reflect the values of openness, diversity, and interconnectedness as embodied in the spirit of Dubai and the UAE.

The collection is built in partnership with patrons who support the initiative through an innovative loan system, and all artworks are accessible through the Dubai Collection digital museum, a repository of information and research about all artworks, artists and patrons in the collection. A series of events and temporary exhibitions ensures the public can see the collection in person on a regular basis. Recent exhibitions have included group exhibition When Images Speak at Etihad Museum in 2022, and Encounters, a celebration of prominent Emirati artists presented during Art Dubai 2024.

The Dubai Collection’s Steering Committee is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. An independent Curatorial Committee including leading experts is responsible for the selection of artworks and the overall curatorial direction of the collection. The collection currently comprises 875 artworks on loan from 76 patrons and is growing steadily.


Encounters derives its name from the notion that each of the showcased artworks will undergo a slightly different experience as they are placed in a new context in this exhibition. Previously confined to the private domains of individual collectors and institutions, be it their residences or workplaces, these artworks now find themselves in the public sphere, engaging in a dialogue with other pieces within the exhibition. The show was replete with unexpected encounters, exemplified by the juxtaposition of works by Sarah Almehairi and Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, creating an echo of artistic interplay. By allowing the essence of each artwork to emerge without imposing unnecessary interpretations, the exhibition encapsulated a simple yet profound concept centered around observation and appreciation.

Featuring a diverse lineup of artists from the United Arab Emirates spanning multiple generations, Encounters provided the opportunity to experience the sensation of collecting and curating a personal collection, encompassing various genres, artistic schools, and artists from different generations. The placement of these works together not only mirrors their presentation in private spaces but also reflects the exposure of UAE artists to a multitude of mediums and innovative modes of thought. Whether it be the avant-garde approach of Hassan Sharif, characterised by his practice of folding, or the experimentation of Shaikha Al Mazrou and Afra Al Dhaheri with traditional and industrial materials, the exhibition encapsulated these influences, forging new connections among the artworks on display.


Alia Zaal Lootah has been active in the UAE’s art and cultural landscape as both an artist and curator. Her dedication and contributions led to her being honored with the ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ distinction from the French government in 2023. Lootah’s artistic journey began in 2008 with the exhibition ‘State-of-the-Art,’ endorsed by the UAE Ministry of Culture. In 2010, she ventured into curation at the Women’s Museum in Dubai. Lootah then transitioned to the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi in 2013, where she eventually became an Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Louvre Abu Dhabi. In this role, she handled acquisitions, loans, and commissions, curating significant exhibitions such as ‘Immortal Figures’ and ‘Co-Lab: Contemporary Art & Savoire-Faire.’ In 2018, she co-curated ‘Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years’ and later became a consultant, advising the UAE embassy in Riyadh and working as a private art collection advisor.


In 2021, Lootah curated ‘Pulse’, a solo exhibition by Hashel Al Lamki in Dubai’s Al Serkal Avenue. Subsequently she secured an exclusive residency at Claude Monet’s house in Vetheuil, France. She is  currently a curator for Public Art with the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi, where she is co-curated the inaugural edition of Manar Abu Dhabi. Lootah earned a Master’s degree in Art History and Museum Studies from Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with Ecole du Louvre, in 2012.