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

Dubai Public Art


DEADLINE 15 February 2023
Apply for a commission to install a major public art work in Al Hudaiba gardens

  • Dubai Public Art is a new multi-year government-led initiative promoting commissions and installations for the public realm, funded and supported by Dubai Culture
  • Selection process and production for the first commission will be managed by Art Dubai (other bodies will handle future commissions – specifically Art Jameel , Tashkeel, Alserkal, Akaas Visual Arts)
  • The installation will be placed within the grounds of the public garden in the Al Hudaiba area, overlooking the Etihad Museum and Union House. Proposals should relate to this situation, especially reflecting on the significance of this location in the UAE’s history
  • Deadline for queries is 31 January
  • Applicants can be individuals or collectives/groups
  • Proposal must be for original work, never exhibited before and newly produced for this commission
  • Applications should not be part of an ongoing project or series (a series is defined as a work deriving from an existing idea)
  • Applicants must be able to show experience in producing “significant” bodies of work in the past two to five years and ideally experience in delivering installations in the public realm
  • Applicants should be able to demonstrate experience working with fabrication and installation contractors for complex projects
  • Shortlisted artists will be announced at Art Dubai (1-5 March). They will each receive $5,000 to prepare a detailed proposal and maquette
  • Shortlisted proposals should be complete by and submitted not later than 27 March
  • Apply online here with …
    – Emirates ID copy
    – passport copy
    – personal photo
    – professional résumé (max 4Mb – can be text, PDF or image)
    – summary of artist portfolio (max 500 chars)
    – description of proposed artwork concept (text, PDF or image)
    – summary of concept (max 500 chars)
  • No fee to apply
  • Must be based in UAE
  • Must be able to demonstrate relevant experience, ideally in delivering installations in the public realm and working with fabrication and installation contractors for complex projects

  • One artist receives a fully funded commission to design and build the specified artwork
  • Artwork remains on public show for an unspecified period (but probably permanently)

GRIT 2023

DEADLINE EXTENDED 19 February 2023
Three-month residency for aspiring playwrights

  • A playwriting programme “for new and emerging writers wanting to share untold stories”
  • Writers (no numbers specified) will develop either a new script or a work-in-progress
  • Three month programme (starting first week of March) includes masterclasses with experienced writers, dramaturgs, and directors; peer support; and workshop rehearsals with a director and actors. Sessions will be held twice a week on weekdays from 1 pm to 5 pm
  • Aimed particularly at “traditionally marginalised voices … GRIT seeks to discover stories that explore courage and resolve, how larger sociopolitical forces seep into the fleeting moments of everyday life, and the choices we make to resist them”
  • Programme culminates in an online play reading festival in June 2023 showcasing the participant’s work as finished scenes, full plays, or works-in-progress
  • Submissions should be …
    – at an early- to mid-stage of development
    – unpublished and unperformed
  • Submissions should also showcase GRIT (“GRIT as in the rough bits of gravel that we crunch underneath our feet. GRIT as in the dirty work, the sweat, and physical labor. GRIT as in friction, heat, fury, the sharp-cut sizzling when you light a match. GRIT as in how we move and that which we trample as a result. GRIT as in character, tenacious guts that persevere despite the odds. GRIT as in bodily dirt and raised scars. GRIT as in a gripping voice”)
  • Organised by Exit II, “a cross border performing arts company interrogating political and economic asymmetries through the rigorous engagement of artistic practice”
  • Apply online here
  • No fee to apply, no fee to take part
  • None

  • Writer(s) develop a playscript, take part in a professionally organised end-of-residency online playreading

Cultural Foundation Mentorship Programme 2023


DEADLINE 28 February 2023
Apply for a six-month mentorship aimed at emergent creatives

  • Six month mentorship programme running April to September 2023
  • Aimed at “nurturing emerging creatives” (we assume artists and/or would-be curators)
  • Programme is based on Fahrelnissa Zeid’s principles of education (we’re not sure what these are, though Fahrelnissa famously emphasised the spiritual over physical and technical aspects of art making)
  • Selected applicants (no number specified) will be paired with one of …
    Nujoom Al Ghanem (artist)
    Munira Al Sayegh (curator)
    Najat Makki (artist)
    … applicant chooses a preferred mentor as part of the application process
  • Successful applicants will get one-on-one time with their mentor (no indication of how much) plus “curatorial support” and “access to Cultural Foundation facilities” (again unspecified)
  • Apply with …
    – Letter of intent (max 500 words)
    – Commentary and answers to specific questions (eg ‘why are you looking for a mentorship program? What are you looking for in a mentor? What projects or past are you interested in developing further’?)
    – Portfolio
    – Five high resolution images of previous artworks
    – CV
    – Bio (max 100 words)
  • None specified, but we assume …
    – must be a UAE resident
    – must be over 18

  • Mentoring by well-known artist or curator (great networking opp)

421 Internship & Mentorship Program 2023


DEADLINE 28 February 2023
Apply for one of six paid six-month internships at 421 arts centre (formerly Warehouse421)

  • Career development support and professional preparation opportunities for emerging creative professionals, delivered through hands-on experience and training at 421
  • Runs for six months from January to June 2023 and from July to December 2023 – three applicants will be accepted every six months (we assume the closing date cited applies to the second tranche of applicants)
  • Offers selected participants the opportunity to be immersed in a cultural centre’s operations across various departments:
    – Administration and Project Management
    – Communications
    – Educational Programs
    – Exhibition Design
    – Exhibitions & Public Programmes
    – Events & Operations
  • This is a paid opportunity (remuneration not specified)
  • Internships can be structured to follow college requirements, or be tailored for a longer-term engagement for young graduates and art professionals
  • None specified, but we assume …
    must be a UAE resident
    must be over 18

  • Hands-on experience of different elements of running an arts centre

Use of NYUAD Project Space


DEADLINE 31 May 2023
Apply to hold an exhibition (with technical and PR support) in NYUAD’s Project Space

  • The Project Space is a non-profit exhibition space within the The Arts Center at NYUAD that is dedicated to Abu Dhabi community projects and supported by the museum-trained staff of The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
  • In principle any application may be considered, but priority is given to exhibitions from within the academic and regional community, including the work of regional emerging artists
  • Exhibitions in the Project Space are considered by application to a review committee with two submission deadlines each year
  • No maximum time specified for exhibitions, but 2-4 weeks is normal
  • No fees required from exhibitor
  • NYUAD Project Space will provide …
    – Oversight by technical and curatorial staff to realise a professional exhibition, inc guidance on installation
    – Tools and general materials for installation/deinstallation of artwork
    – Lighting using existing facilities
    – All expenses related to operating the space
    – Basic printing inc simple wall text and exhibition labels
    – PR/marketing support inc press release, press invites, e-blast
    – Opening reception inc simple catering
    – Provision of intern for social media (or rather, “to the best of its ability, The NYUAD Art Gallery will attempt to secure a Social Media intern to dedicate to the marketing of the exhibition”)
    – Security for the duration of the exhibition (but all insurance for artworks before, after and during the exhibition is the responsibility of the artists or the exhibitor)
  • Queries to exhibition-projects@nyu.edu
  • None specified

  • Professionally created and managed exhibition