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Free road trip and an arty party anyone?

No kidding, just book yourself a place on the Saturday bus leaving from Nadi Al Quoz in Dubai and you will find yourself being treated to a cultural extravaganza in Sharjah

  • Go for it. A typical tour by Alserkal Programming comprises 80-120 peopleImage Credit: Supplied
  • The Sharjah Art FoundationImage Credit: GN Archives

Dubai: Did you just say weekends in Dubai are all about movies, malls and the occasional brunch? Well, we can only say you’ve been missing out on something special.

Off the beaten track, an art hub in Dubai has been organising select road trips to some of the UAE’s cultural hot spots, which are open to the public at no cost.

The little-known initiative under Alserkal Programming of Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz has organised 20 such road trips so far, the next coming up on May 20.

So if you are up to it, all you have to do is register a place for yourself and get on the bus from Nadi Al Quoz on Saturday. And voila, you will be on your way to attend the 13th edition of the Sharjah Biennial Tamawuj which encompasses exhibitions, projects and educational programmes across five locations. Curated by Christine Tohme, the high-profile event features over 50 international artists.

The trip will also cover the recently opened Al Hamriyah Studios and The Flying Saucer.

Located on the Sharjah coast at Al Hamriyah, the Al Hamiriyah Studios extends the Sharjah Art Foundation’s outreach activities to different local communities in the northern emirates. Its inputs by Emirati architect Khaled Al Najjar of the award-winning local firm dxb.lab will make your visit worth its while as will the foundation’s intriguing Flying Saucer complex.

We don’t intend to spoil your party, so suffice it to say that the road trip will be both fun and educational.

All Alserkal Programming trips are meant to introduce you to the rich arts and culture scene in the UAE, whether it is a monument, an exhibition, a performance or a screening. The reason they are free and open to all is to encourage maximum participation.

The trips, which started with Seeing Through Light at Manarat Al Saadiyat, the first exhibition organised by Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, has so far covered the Sharjah Art Foundation, Abu Dhabi Art, Barjeel Art Foundation, NYUAD Art Gallery, NYUAD Art Center, Maraya Art Center and 1971 Design Space, among other places.

Organised once a month and over the weekend, the trips take 80-120 people at a time, so the earlier you register, the better.


3pm: Bus departs from Nadi Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue

4-7pm: Tour of Sharjah Biennial 13 across various locations

7.15pm: Bus departs from Sharjah to return to Alserkal Avenue

8.15: Arrival at Alserkal Avenue

To register a place, write to


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