A Weekend of Art and Reflection at Quoz Arts Fest 2024

Feel the pulse of Dubai's art scene with this immersive experience.

A Weekend of Art and Reflection at Quoz Arts Fest 2024
Menna Shanab

A wave of creative energy is sweeping across Dubai, marking the commencement of the much-anticipated Quoz Arts Fest 2024 (Instagram). Scheduled for the last weekend of January at Al Quoz Creative Zone, this 11th edition, supported by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, transforms an industrial backdrop into an immersive cultural experience with over 200 live music acts, compelling cultural activations, and an array of gastronomic delights, from the early hours of the morning until the stroke of midnight.

Art takes centre stage, with public installations dotting the festival grounds that are both visually stunning and intellectually titillating. Promising to be a mixture of calligraphic intricacies and bold colour sprawled across his studio façade, the latest work ‘Collection of Moments’ by French-Tunisian graffiti artist eL Seed is set to be one of the main focal points of the event. A fusion of traditional artistry and contemporary flair, this masterpiece embodies eL Seed’s signature style, where Arabic calligraphy intertwines with modern graffiti aesthetics, creating a visual dialogue between heritage and innovation.

Equally compelling is the ‘Red Flags’ by Anahita Razmi, presented by CARBON 12, it adorns the festival with banners and flags in a riot of colours, creating a visual dialogue across multiple locations. ‘Every Color is a Shade of Black’, a thought-provoking piece by Hamra Abbas and curated by Lawrie Shabibi, invites attendees to ponder over the intersections of faith, identity, race, and beauty. Beyond just displays, these larger-than-life installations are conversations in colour, texture, and form, engaging the minds and hearts of all who wander through this artistic realm.

A key attraction this year is ‘Echoes of Nature’ by London-based Japanese artist Yuri Suzuki, displayed at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue’s multifaceted exhibition space. Known for his work on the convergence of sound and setting, Suzuki will create a sonic landscape reflecting the quiet and sporadic sounds of nature across an array of pipes and horns. This interactive sound installation, mimicking natural environments, invites visitors to engage with and even take home elements of the artwork.

One of the foundation backbones that supports the festival is music, and standing tall this year is The Synaptik, the Palestinian-Jordanian rapper who made a name for himself in the region with his distinctive fusion of Arabic rap and trap, his heavy-hitting delivery and slippery flow.

The festival also showcases a diverse range of performances, from indie and alternative films focusing on Palestinian stories to live music acts that reflect the rich cultural fabric of the region.

This includes ‘Slingshot Hip Hop’ by Reel Palestine and Cinema Akil’s open-air cinematic experience, alongside traditional and contemporary Palestinian crafts displays.

For those drawn to the early hours, the festival offers a serene yoga session with Shimis in the Yard, creating an oasis of calm amidst the creative storm. Meanwhile, families can dive into the colourful, interactive world of Gardens of Gaia by The Confidence Lab, buzzing with educational activities, performances, and culinary adventures designed for young minds.

As the day progresses, the festival takes on a new form, accommodating late risers with post-lunch performances and drawing in the night owls with live shows and DJ sets. Moroccan-French songstress Amina enchants with her folk and pop melodies in an intimate afternoon performance, while Tanzanian-born artist Dipesh Pandya transforms a car into a sonic sculpture, weaving a tapestry of spoken word that vibrates through the air.

Quoz Arts Fest

As night falls, the festival amps up, the night air filling with the ecstatic beats of South Asian DJ sets by UAE-based Stick No Bills, Sudanese fusion rhythms from MarSimba, and Usha Jey’s enthralling dance performance, a fusion of hip-hop and Bharatanatyam.

Quoz Arts Fest

Big Hass, the charismatic Dubai-based hip-hop DJ, takes center stage, orchestrating the evening’s festivities with his infectious energy and in-the-know music selection.

Quoz Arts Fest

Beyond the realm of art and music, the festival is also a culinary delight. Food concepts from across the UAE tantalize, offering everything from handcrafted smoked meats to classic Filipino dishes and authentic Mexican cuisine. Retail therapy is also on the agenda, with unique jewelry pieces, wearable art, and trendy clothing on sale.

Quoz Arts Fest

In every corner of Quoz Arts Fest 2024, creativity breathes. It’s a platform that showcases not only the established names in the art world, but also provides a voice to emerging artists and talents. This festival is a vibrant reflection of Dubai’s commitment to fostering a thriving hub for creativity and cultural exchange, a destination where every visitor takes away a piece of this cultural mosaic.

To learn more about events like Quoz Arts Fest, head over to our dedicated Arts & Culture pages.