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Afra Al Dhaheri, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Khalid Albanna, Asma Belhamar  

Dubai Public Art, a multi-year government-led strategy that will develop and deliver major public art commissions across the city, announced a shortlist of talented artists for its first-ever commission in partnership with Art Dubai. The inaugural landmark commission will bring contemporary public art to Al Hudaiba area, overlooking Etihad Museum and Union House in Dubai. It is aimed to elevate the city’s profile as a global cultural capital, inspiring and captivating viewers from around the globe.

Announced at the 16th edition of Art Dubai, the shortlisted artists were chosen from over 250 applications and include: Afra Al Dhaheri, Asma Belhamar Shaikha Al Mazrou, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Khalid Albanna.

Each artist will receive USD 5,000 to cover the costs of preparing a detailed technical proposal and maquette – leading up to the winner announcement in Spring and the unveiling of the finished work at the end of 2023.

DPA talks image

Photo by Cedric Ribeiro/Getty Images for Art Dubai

Dubai Public Art Talks Launch

Coinciding the announcement of the shortlisted artists is the introduction of Dubai Public Art Talks. To further its mission in promoting public art, a series of discussions were created to offer audiences an in-depth exploration of cultural and creative topics surrounding art in public spaces.  Delivered by cultural partners and commissioners, the first of the series was officially launched during the 16th edition of Art Dubai and will be carried forward by other commissioners.

Held on 5 March 2023 at Art Dubai, the Dubai Public Art Talks highlighted important conversations about the impact of public artwork on urban culture. One of the specially curated talks on “Presenting Dubai Public Art” explored ways in which it can contribute to a city’s identity while introducing shortlisted artists for the inaugural commission. Another talk titled “Re-Defining Public Art: Navigating the Commissioning Landscape” looked at cutting-edge advancements related to commissions and how they affect the industry as a whole.