Dubai Culture Concludes Successful 8th Edition of SIKKA Art Fair

The eighth edition was inspired by the Year of Zayedand attended by a record number of 45,000 visitors over 10 days

Under SIKKA Art Fair umbrella Dubai Culture will host year-long ongoing activities and partnerships extended beyond Dubai Art Season


Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 01 April 2018: Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirates dedicated entity for culture, arts and heritage, has successfully concluded SIKKA Art Fair 2018, which was attended by a record number of over 45,000 visitors, and saw more than 1,500 people participating in over 50 workshops. The eighth edition of the fair was inspired by the Year of Zayedand held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of Dubai Culture, from 17th to 26th March at Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.

Following the success of this edition, Dubai Culture has also announced that SIKKA will be hosting year-long activities through Sikka Around The City initiative, extending the fairs programme beyond its official home of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General at Dubai Culture, commented: "The eighth edition of SIKKA Art Fair was particularly momentous as it coincided with the Year of Zayed, taking inspiration from the late Founding Fathers belief in cultural diversity, human development and advocacy through the arts. During this important year, the fair united the community under his values, fulfilled our mandate to provide platforms where local talent can flourish and grow, and brought happiness to all segments of society in line with our governments vision of making Dubai the happiest city in the world. It was the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan who planted the seed for this vision and we are proud to be continuing his legacy."

He added: "Year on year, we have also been proud to see that SIKKA Art Fair not only generates a high level of regional interest, but goes beyond to attract international art enthusiasts and talents. This is the result of our ongoing efforts to grow SIKKA Art Fair on a regional and global level each year in line with our vision of establishing Dubai as a global, creative, and sustainable city for culture, heritage, arts and literature, and strengthening these sectors to bring happiness to our society."

SIKKA Art Fair is the flagship event of Dubai Art Season and the largest contemporary artist-led fair in the region to commission new works from Emirati, UAE and GCC talents. This year, the fair further strengthened the culture, heritage, arts and literature sectors with a rich series of new partnerships and initiatives, and also welcomed more than 20 Champions of Happiness from Smart Dubai in line with its mission to spread joy throughout the community, as well as a number of VIP guests.

To enrich the ten-day SIKKA Art Fair programme, Dubai Culture established a number of new partnerships with leading organisations including the Emirates Youth Council, Dubai Police, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Meraas, as well as with regional and international influencers.

In partnership with the Emirates Youth Council, SIKKA Art Fair hosted a Creative Economy Youth Circle for the first time ever, which was attended by several leading figures from the arts sector including Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The initiative invited over 30 young Emiratis to share their opinions on shaping new policies for the arts and culture sectors. Meanwhile, Dubai Police staged a Through our Lens: From the private archive of Dubai Police exhibition, the KHDA showcased the creative works of finalists from The Saturday Club, and Meraas hosted a day of live painting celebrating the Year Of Zayed. The fair was also supported by Social @SIKKA, which enlisted the help of macro and micro influencers to create a buzz and raise public awareness of the ten-day programme.

Among hundreds of new initiatives, SIKKA Art Fair 2018 showcased the importance of Islamic Art and Culture at the House of Islamic Arts and the Saudi House by Culture-Focused Tamashee. The fair also encompassed all mediums, featuring poetry from The Poetryhood by Dubai Poetics, cinema from LOCOMOTION Dubai, and digital art at Creatopia & The Frame Art Galleryin partnership with Samsung. Visitors were encouraged to participate at the Icon Booth by Marta Lamovsek, where they became part of a fun DIY experience, and Sandscapes, where they were invited to help create an all-inclusive environment for artists with special needs.

An ongoing series of workshops ran throughout SIKKA Art Fair 2018, inviting members of the public of all ages to learn from experts in the arts and culture sectors. The workshops were attended by more than 1200 people and covered all artistic mediums, including calligraphy, photography, painting, crafts, illustration, poetry, literature, music and much more, as well as a broad series of topics ranging from Islamic art and architectural history to art therapy and cultural diversity.

SIKKA Art Fair complements the city-wide activation of cultural events that took place during the fifth edition of Dubai Art Season, which runs throughout March and April 2018 and feature events such as the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Art Dubai, DIFC Art Nights and the Middle East Film & Comic Con, among hundreds of other initiatives.

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