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IAF Founder Mariam Al Suwaidi

Join us for the unveiling of the capitals first Islamic Art Forum, at Emirates Palace by Gadeemadis. 30/03/2015


Islamic Art Forum artist, Khalid Al Saai

Abu Dhabi’s first Islamic Art Forum will open in the capital on March 30th, at Emirates Palace – following a month of art events such as Art Dubai – to celebrate the region’s rich heritage of Islamic art and culture.

Developed and launched by Emirati brand, Gadeemadis, the Forum will focus on Islamic works and themes never seen before in the Middle East or beyond. Emirati Curator and Art Aficionado, Mariam Al Suwaidi explains. “The inaugural Islamic Art Forum will focus on the power of calligraphy and will seek to explore the relationship between heritage and modernity through the eyes of several calligraphy artists from various backgrounds. The Forum will also offer a platform for contemporary artists as well as legends to share their inspirational messages conveyed through the Arabic language.”


Abu Dhabi’s first Islamic Art Forum

To be held at Emirates Palace, the Forum seeks to establish a platform for wellknown and emerging artists both in the region and globally. Uniting collectors, industry professionals and art enthusiasts, visitors will be able to share their thoughts and opinions on all aspects of the art business. The initial program includes a preview as well as a more comprehensive exhibition in November, which is part of a long-term strategy that aims to explore dynamic opportunities in the expanding world of contemporary Islamic art.


Image by Artist: Hassan Massoudy

As the first ever Islamic Art Forum in the UAE, the preview in March will focus on the Power of Calligraphy in various forms and will include artists such as Khaled Al-Saa’i, Mohamed Boustane, and Sedaghat Jabbari among others.

The Forum will also feature homegrown artists such as Emirati artist, Jamal Al Suwaidi, who recently exhibited earlier this year in Dubai. “My artwork is inspired by my love of the environment, our culture and heritage. When I look around me, the sea, mountains and the desert speak to me and present words of love, inspiration, history and the melody of our existence.” Al Suwaidi explains.

Apart from building relationships and supporting mutual contacts inside the Arab world and beyond, the Forum also aims to create strong cultural relationships with international galleries and art houses that are currently taking a keen interest in Islamic Art and the Arab world.

“Our vision is to share the beauty of Arab culture and art fro the Emirates with the world – a vision established by the UAE’s Founding Father The late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. It’s a vision that is being carried forward by our beloved leaders as part of Abu Dhabi’s futuristic cultural vision of becoming the first Islamic Art touristic destination in the world,” explains the Founder, Mariam Al Suwaidi.

Abu Dhabi’s First Islamic Art Forum will begin with a preview in March, followed by a full schedule of exhibitions and events in November 2016 which will include distinguished art works that are well known in the Arab world, a general art exhibition and lectures and art seminars for adults and students alike.  Find out more at:



Saman is quintessential Dubai -- of Pakistani heritage, brought up in the US and settled in cosmopolitan downtown Dubai. She attended fashion school in NY after which she pursued successful careers in fashion merchandising and marketing. Saman is now telling stories about trend setters and innovators in the fashion, art and design world. These stories talk about, the source of their creativity – what lies beneath, what is the source of their creativity, drive, passion, inspiration and secrets. She wants to search for creative people and tell the story of their creative journey, whether in fashion, art or design. She hopes readers of Social Magazine Dubai will be inspired and feel a connection with Dubai lifestyle, fashion, art, design and culture.


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