Educating the Culture, in an Educational Culture

Start a journey of creative learning highlighting the innovative education offered in Dubai

Michael Rice, Raku forms PotsDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Education – especially in culture and the arts, is a lifelong journey. There are a growing number of formal further education options in Dubai for those wanting to pursue a career in the creative industry, and they are increasingly making connections from the world of academia to the professional art world. 

Bidoun Library, Art Dubai 2011 (2011) by Photographed by Katrin GreilingDubai Culture & Arts Authority

The American University in Dubai’s Visual Communication department offers a four-year undergraduate degree covering studio art, graphic design, digital media and advertising. The current Chair of the Department is acclaimed ceramicist Michael Rice who has presented his work in venues across Dubai and internationally.

School Student Touring Art Dubai by Photographed by ELMER MAGALLANESDubai Culture & Arts Authority

Zayed University’s College of Arts and Creative Enterprises offers majors in Interior Design, Graphic Design, Visual Art and Animation Design and a minor in curatorial studies, with a large faculty including artists and researchers such as Janet Bellotto.

MENA Grad Show Exhibition, DDW 2020 (2020)Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

It supports its students via exhibitions outside the college gates – from the annual ‘Showcace’  in Dubai Design District (d3) and the Zayed University Urban Satellite Space (ZUUSS) which has had pop-ups in Alserkal Avenue and Foundry in downtown Dubai, to exhibitions abroad alongside the Venice Biennale.

Visitors exploring Global Grad ShowDubai Culture & Arts Authority

The dynamic, forward-thinking curriculum lead by Dean Hani Asfour at the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI) is arguably the most exciting development in arts education in recent years. Opening its doors in d3 in September 2018, DIDI is the first multi-disciplinary design school in the region

Providing budding designers with a fresh perspective on entering the industry, embedded in design thinking, creative problem-solving and strategic design management.

The Shape of Things to Come (2020)Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Crafted in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons School of Design, it offers a four-year BDes as well as workshops and short courses. Its first full year students presented their designs as part of Dubai Design Week.

Global Grad Show 2017Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

The Global or MENA Grad Show, an important component of Dubai Design Week each year, provides a platform for innovative design solutions from design students, developing further the connection between student projects and professional practice. 

Michael Rice Lotus - Parian Porcelian Wall SculptureDubai Culture & Arts Authority

International universities such as the University of the Arts, London have run short courses in Dubai on curating and interior design, but where Dubai is really leading the way is in the variety of informal learning opportunities. 

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program (2015)Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Since The Third Line opened its space in Al Quoz in 2005, contemporary galleries across the city have been aware of their collective responsibility to educate their public, running a variety of programmes such as film screenings, artist talks, book clubs and Pecha Kucha evenings. 

The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program (2015)Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Art Dubai has several home-grown educational initiatives, such as the Global Art Forum which gathers together leading experts on a related theme each year, Campus Art Dubai and the Art Dubai Fellowship which offer a sustained programme to selected applicants. 

A workshop space at TashkeelDubai Culture & Arts Authority

When non-profit spaces such as Tashkeel and more recently Jameel Arts Centre and Alserkal Foundation took shape, programming of informal education possibilities in Dubai grew thick and fast. Everyone is welcome to participate and be inspired.  

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