A page of more or less local competitions, open calls, residencies and other opportunities open to the Gulf’s creative community

Open Call: Open Air Art Project



Proposals sought for outdoor sculpture or installations to be exhibited at The Workshop Dubai

  • New initiative aimed at providing artists a free space to showcase large-scale sculptures and installations
  • Display space is the outdoor patio area of the first floor of The Workshop Dubai – approx 2m square (actually 2.02 x 2.14m)
  • This is an ongoing project with no no deadlines for submission
  • Proposed work must be
    – original
    – durable (“able to withstand extreme year-round weather conditions”)
    – safe for viewing by the public
    – available for sale (no details of gallery’s contract terms or commission)
  • Artist is responsible for the transportation, installation, and (if it doesn’t sell) removal
  • Submit proposals to info@theworkshopdubai.com with
    1. Contact information and artist’s photo
    2. Artist statement/bio
    3. CV
    4. Artwork statement (include title, year, medium, and size)
    5. Hi res Images (min 300dpi, 1500px wide) and sketches
    6. Description of the project and installation plan (NB artist is irresponsible for transporting work to The Workshop Dubai)
    7. Estimated retail price
  • Work will be displayed for 4-8 weeks (the gallery may ask for extension)
  • The gallery will provide
    – The space
    – Electrical power
    – Lighting
    – Marketing
    – “Sale and Operational support”
  • No application fee
  • Queries to info@theworkshopdubai.com
  • None specified

  • Exhibition plus possible sale

Open Call: Alserkal Arts Foundation Research Grants 2022-2024


DEADLINE 1 September 2022
Apply for the Foundation’s Research Grants 2022-2024 cycle – up to three will be awarded, up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for collectives and publishers

  • Apply as
    … individual
    … duo or collective
    … independent publiser
  • Priority will be given to “interdisciplinary proposals, comparative studies, and critical discourses that bridge the arts, humanities, and social sciences in the context of South and West Asia and Africa … Applicants who demonstrate a strong interest in pursuing broad, intersectional, and experimental approaches to research in their respective fields are encouraged to apply”
  • Applicants must …
    – have five years of experience
    – be able to demonstrate “an imaginative and evolving practice which creates space for accessible discourse and pedagogy”
  • No restriction on geography or discipline – applicants can include multidisciplinary visual and sonic artists, architects, writers of fiction and non-fiction, independent publishers, documentary filmmakers and educators, geographers, historians, economists and social scientists
  • Selection will be based on “applicants’ potential to become influential researchers, writers, practitioners, and thought-leaders in their respective fields”. Application should demonstrate how the applicant will expand their expertise through a grant award
  • “Up to” three grants will be awarded in autumn 2022, as follows:
    – individuals: up to $5,000
    – duos/collectives: up to $10,000
    – independent publishers: up to $10,000
  • Grants are distributed in phases
  • Funds may be used for:
    – Rental of equipment required for field work (eg cameras, audio records, dictaphone)
    – Rental of space for video and/or audio recording (eg film studio, sound booth, editing suite)
    – Transcription and translation services
    – Video/sound editing services
    – Website design and development
    – Editorial design
    – Fees for project support assistants, research collaborators, contributors, editors, copy editors, proofreaders
    – Printing and binding of publications
    – Library and digital learning resources memberships
    – Acquisition of primary archival resources and out of print books or publications
  • Funds may not be used for:
    – Purchase of electronic hardware and media (eg film cameras, speakers, laptops)
    – Purchase of personal items, health insurance, visa fees
    – Purchase of books currently in circulation or monthly publication subscriptions – Fees for personal one-on-one mentorship and/or courses, university classes, vocational studies, professional training programmes
    – Postgraduate education (eg fees for diplomas, certificates)
    – Participation in fairs or trade market (eg application and participation fees, booth rentals at film markets, art fairs, design fairs)
    – Shipping fees for personal items including books
  • Disqualified:
    – Projects with a commercial interest or outcome
    – Projects for a political or religious entity or group
    – Projects for a registered charity, healthcare, or educational organisations
    – Projects that cannot be realised within 24 months //
  • Online application to include uploads of:
    – CV (max 3 pages)
    – Portfolio (PDF, max 10 pages and 10MB)
    – Summary of research proposal (max 300 words)
    – Detailed research proposal including budget (PDF, max 10MB)
    – Two letters of recommendation
  • Projects must be realised within two years of receipt of the grant
  • Large number of applications is expected – only shortlisted applicants will be contacted
  • No entry fee
  • Queries to info@alserkalartsfoundation.ae
  • Over 21
  • Min five years’ experience

  • Grant to fund selected project in part or completely

Open Call: Art Here 2022 / Richard Mille Art Prize


DEADLINE EXTENDED 3 September 2022
Submit work for the second Art Here show at Louvre Abu Dhabi, with one exhibitor winning the $60,000 Richard Mille Art Prize

  • Theme: engage with the notions of ‘Icon’ and ‘Iconic’ – “submissions should look at how the concept of the icon resonates within contemporary art practices and informs new artistic perspectives”
  • Applicants are invited to engage with the Forum of Louvre Abu Dhabi – 315m2 on ground floor, 263m2 on upper floor, 25m2 of wall space on staircase, to be shared by the selected artists
  • Apply with existing projects or new proposals o
  • No indication how many artists will be selected (seems to be the jury’s decision) but for the inaugural Are Here there were seven
  • Apply via online form with a single PDF upload (max 20 pages and 10MB) containing:
    – CV
    – ID or passport copy
    – Portfolio
    – Text explaining the concept of the proposed artwork (500 words)
    – Technical specifications of the proposed artwork (images/ files and their descriptions, exhibition requirements, etc)
    – Provisional budget for the travel expenses, production and exhibition of the proposed artwork (up to AED 30,000 for each artist)
  • The jury:
    – Reem Fadda, Director of the Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi (the exhibition’s curator)
    – Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, chairman of UAE Unlimited
    – Christine Macel, Chief Curator of the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou
    – Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director
    – Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture, lead on the Louvre Abu Dhabi project
  • No entry fee
  • Queries to artprize@louvreabudhabi.ae
  • GCC nationals and residents

  • Exhibit an artwork in the Forum of the museum from November 2022 until February 2023
  • One of the artists will be awarded the Richard Mille Art Prize ($60,000) during the exhibition

Open Call: SFP5 Industry Hub Pitching Forum 2022


DEADLINE 5 September 2022
Apply for the fourth edition of the annual Sharjah Film Platform Pitching Forum: ten shortlisted applicants pitch for a AED 200,000 prize to realise their film

  • The annual SFP Pitching Forum gives UAE-based scriptwriters assistance in turning their Arabic-languages scripts into feature films
  • 10 finalists will receive professional script development training and pitching coaching before an onsite pitching event at SFP where they present their script to a panel of industry judges. After the live event, one winning scriptwriter will be selected to receive a AED 200,000 prize to turn their script into a feature film
  • The pitching forum will be held at Sharjah Art Foundation on 29 October 2022 during the closing weekend of Sharjah Film Platform
  • Applicants must either
    – have at least one director’s credit, demonstrated via a web link or movie file (can be a short, cannot be a trailer)
    – (for scriptwriters who do not direct) must have a director with at least one film on their resume who is attached to your project and is committed to directing your film, if awarded
  • Scripts must be
    – original
    – in Arabic
    – feature-length
  • Apply online to pitchingforum@sharjahart.org with
    – completed draft (min 75 pages – presumably A4? – and incomplete drafts will not be accepted)
    – one-page detailed film synopsis
    – one-page bio (for applicant and director, if separate)
    – budget summary or financial plan
    – evidence of director’s credit (web link or movie file)
  • Winning film must be shot mainly (80%) on location in Sharjah
  • Winner must be available to go into production in 2023 and complete their film within 24 months of receiving the award
  • The winner will retain creative control and distribution rights; Sharjah Art Foundation retains the rights to the film’s world premiere
  • UAE-based
  • No restriction on nationality, but scripts must be Arabic and original

  • Ten shortlisted applicants receive instruction and mentoring in advance of a pitch to the jury
  • One winner receives AED 200,000 to realise their film

Al Marmoom Short Film Competition


DEADLINE 25 September 2022
Submit short films to be shown as part of Dubai Culture’s Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert festival in December 2022. WInner gets AED 50,000, second AED 25,000, third AED 15,000

  • Al Marmoom Short Film Competition forms part of the Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert festival to be held December 2022 (no specific dates yet) in Al Marmoom conservation area (organiser Dubai Culture says one goal of the festival is to enhance Al Marmoom as a cultural and tourist destination)
  • Shortlist (no indication of how man y films) will be selected during October and November, with three winners announced during the festival
  • Open to films shot using all types of media and cameras, including smartphones
  • Individuals or teams can apply
  • The submitted film must not have been screened previously
  • No indication of what constitutes a short film, but you have to enter in one of three categories – live-action, animation, documentary. And “the short film should be of high quality”
  • Applicant must own all rights relating to submitted films and retain them, but (subject to filmmakers’ approval) agree to assign to the festival permissions to use the film for future screenings etc
  • Apply via online form with
    – Passport, ID, and visa copies (if applicable)
    – Brief description of film (no word limit indicated)
    – Optional upload of image or PDF file, max 4MB (looks as though movie formats are not permitted, so by implication the film need not have actually been completed at the time of application)
  • Nationals and residents of the UAE or the wider MENA region (exact geographical boundaries undefined)
  • Aged 15 and over

  • Shortlisted applicants have their films shown in competition during the Al Marmoom: Film in the Desert 2022 to be held in December 2022
  • First place: commemorative plaque and AED 50,000
    Second place: commemorative shield and AED 25,000
    Third place: commemorative shield and AED 15,000

ELF Story Writing Competition


DEADLINE 24 October 2022
Competition for original fiction written by a school / university student (age categories from under 11 to 25)

  • Competition in several age categories held annually by the Emirates Literature Foundation for school and university students
  • Theme: Old Friends
  • Fiction only (any genre)
  • Entries can be in Arabic or in English
  • Enter by completing online entry form and attaching the story as a Word document “in a legible font”, 12pt print and 1.5 line spacing
  • Categories (age on 24 Oct 202):
    – 11 and under (max 550 words inc 10% excess allowed)
    – 12-14 (max 1100 words)
    – 15-17 (maxi 1650 words)
    – 18-25 (max 1650 words)
  • Multiple entries permitted
  • Criteria – “an interesting and well-organised plot; fully developed characters; an evocative setting; a vivid and imaginative use of language; and accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation” plus fit for the theme
  • Stories should be unpublished and not previously submitted to any other competition
  • Winners notified in advance by email in December, attend an award ceremony in February 2023 during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
  • Winning stories will be available as a PDF book on the ELF website to download and share
  • No entry fee
  • Full-time students in UAE schools, colleges and universities

  • Winners in each age category attend an award ceremony in February 2023 during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and receive …
    – A plaque
    – Three print copies of the anthology of published stories
    – The opportunity to attend a Festival session at no charge
  • All published stories will be available as a PDF on the ELF website to download and share