Sikka Art Fair

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Nasir Nasrallah: The Useless Machines. Produced in the context of A.i.R. Dubai, 2012. Installation during Sikka Art Fair. Photo courtesy of


Sikka Art Fair (2011+) was the successor to the Bastakiya Art Fair (2009-10) which itself followed upon the Creek Art Fair (2007-08). It is now simply called ‘Sikka’ because its erstwhile commercial nature (“fair”) has entirely disappeared. It takes place every year in Bastakiya during the Dubai Art Week.

The Creek Art Fair was set up by Mona Hauser, director of XVA Gallery, to accommodate the younger and more ‘exciting’ art initiatives during Art Dubai. At that time Bastakiya was almost like a party place for the young and innovative galleries like XVA, B21 (the forerunner of Isabelle van den Eynde) and The Third Line.

Nowadays Sikka, strongly supported by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, has become a breeding ground for Emirati artistic talent. The 2013 edition is based on an open call for proposals among all artists living in the Emirates. The Artist in Residency Program (A.i.R. Dubai) is also based in Bastakiya, and the results of the residency (three foreign and three Emirati artists, and one foreign junior curator) are shown during Sikka.

Art Dubai is involved in the selection of artists, thus maintaining a strong link between the art fair and Sikka.


Written by: RobertK Last modified: 16th Nov 2012
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