Finding 50 to Follow

The magpie team is once again putting together its annual list of the 50 most exciting, innovative and stimulating people in the UAE who are making a difference to the cultural and creative life of the Emirates. And we want your suggestions.

You can check out the 2019 edition of magpie’s 50 to Follow here. Some of those names may well reappear in 2020 with updated information. But to give an idea of the reach, the 2020 candidates currently include …

  • Dramatists (well, one) and directors
  • Artists in various mediums
  • Curators, gallery owners/gallerists, placemakers and event organisers
  • Interior designers, architects, and lighting designers
  • Product designers and designer-makers
  • Musicians (jazz, classical, singer-songwriters, conductors)
  • Teachers (of art and music) and lecturers (in art and design)
  • Writers, authors and poets
  • Journalists, commentators, critics

But we are casting a wide net, and we’re open to suggestion. The only criteria are …

  1. the individual listed is based here or works primarily in the Emirates
  2. they have demonstrated their potential during 2019
  3. they are likely to add significantly to the creative scene in 2020

We’d really appreciate your help to make this list the best it can be. If you have a suggestion, feel free to email your idea to You can propose as many names as you want, but include a note saying why you think they should be included. (Your own name won’t be mentioned unless you happen to be one of the 50 selected, so feel free to be as expansive as you want.)

Excitingly, we’re aiming to publish the 50 to Follow in a variety of formats if we can sort out some sponsorship:

  • A 50 to Follow book — a high-class paperback in a characteristic format that will become one of the must-have must-keep references of the year
  • A 50 to Follow website of its own, live for the whole year and updated regularly as we find new actions, activities and references to include against the 50 entries
  • The 50 to Follow feature on the website, as before

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