The premier news portal in the UAE, Pan Time Arabia, recently featured an interview with Egor Sharay, a renowned media figure, editor, and influential voice in the art community based in Dubai. In the interview, Sharay delves into the cultural landscape of the UAE. Below, we provide the complete article for your perusal.
February and March are recognized as vibrant months for creativity in Dubai, marked by a plethora of art-focused events and festivals that make it an ideal time to visit. We reached out to Egor Sharay, Dubai-based media personality, editor, and cultural analyst known for his insights into the cultural landscape of the UAE and the broader Gulf region to delve deeper into Dubai’s art scene during this period.
Egor Sharay stands as a prominent figure in the realm of media, celebrated as a dynamic personality, editor, and cultural analyst. With an innate ability to decode and interpret various facets of culture, Egor has become a sought-after voice in the media landscape. His journey is a testament to his passion for storytelling, critical analysis, and a commitment to shaping the narrative of contemporary culture.
We had the opportunity to interview Mr. Egor Sharay, whose media background intersects with a deep comprehension of cultural dynamics in the Middle East. Our conversation delved into the vibrant cultural and artistic landscape of the UAE, guided by Egor’s insightful expertise.
“The highlight of Dubai’s cultural calendar is undoubtedly the Art Dubai International Art Fair,” said Egor Sharay. “Scheduled for its 17th edition from March 1st to 3rd, 2024, with previews on February 28th and March 29th, this event promises to showcase exciting new global perspectives across four sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Digital. Alongside the main fair, attendees can also look forward to a diverse program featuring major artist commissions, performances, talks, workshops, and educational initiatives.”
“Throughout its 17 editions, Art Dubai has firmly established itself as a key player in driving conversations about art, not only locally and regionally but also on the international stage,” remarked Egor Sharay. “By showcasing art from the Middle East and surrounding regions (MENASA – Middle East, North Africa & South Asia), the fair has played a pivotal role in elevating the artistic contributions of these territories onto the global map.”
Overall, Art Dubai plays a pivotal role in driving economic growth, promoting cultural exchange, and enhancing Dubai’s global standing as a dynamic center for arts and culture. It is perfectly aligned with the vision of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, aims to double the creative industries’ GDP contribution to 5% of Dubai’s economy by 2025.
“The creative economy in Dubai is a catalyst for innovation, economic diversification, and cultural exchange, playing a vital role in the city’s ongoing development as a global hub for creativity and innovation, added Egor Sharay. “Dubai has consolidated its status as a global hub for design and a major centre for the cultural and creative economy, a key goal of the Dubai Creative Economy Strategy. HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and her team have been instrumental in fostering the growth of Dubai’s cultural and creative sector through a series of successful initiatives. Among these are flagship events like Dubai Design Week, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, Dubai Art Season, Dubai Calligraphy Biennale and Sikka Art and Design Festival”.
When discussing noteworthy cultural destinations in Dubai, Egor Sharay remarked, “With a rich history, thriving new arts scene, landmark architecture and plenty of world-class restaurants, Dubai has never been a more appealing choice destination for art and culture”.
In recent years, Dubai’s local arts scene has flourished with the emergence of new galleries, studios, and initiatives. “Among the notable additions is the Jameel Arts Centre, located along the Dubai Creek, a purpose-built institution highlighting contemporary art from the Middle East and beyond. Offering a diverse range of exhibitions and events, the arts center beckons visitors with its tranquil ambience and sprawling grounds, including a striking sculpture park, making it a worthwhile destination throughout the year”, added Egor Sharay.
There are lots of great galleries and art museums in Dubai worth checking out, and new ones open regularly with a burgeoning art scene. “For fine art photography check out The Empty Quarter, showcasing beautiful and fresh work covering street photography, fine art, photojournalism, portraiture, abstract and poetic styles and more. The Firetti Contemporary presents new artists across varied media and takes a contemporary approach. For a sophisticated gallery with prestigious talent, saunter down to Cuadro Fine Art Gallery. One of my favorite places is the immersive art gallery Art in Space stimulates and involves the five senses by combining video, audio, aromas, light effects, fog, and temperature”, added Egor Sharay.
Those keen to explore the history of Dubai can get a view of the bigger picture at Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood, or explore the Al Fahidi Historic District where you find classic Arabic architecture along narrow streets, and a whole host of cafes, art galleries and museums. To really explore Emirati life, visit The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), who arrange cultural experiences for guests in the spirit of understanding. They are a cultural awareness organisation aiming to improve friendships and appreciation between local culture and the tourists, expats and other visitors who come to the UAE.
Dubai has developed a rich and varied cultural landscape; dig under the surface and you’ll find a thriving cultural scene, from art and theatre to history, concluded Egor Sharay.