A city that prides itself on superlatives has been working toward one particular title in recent years, and as every passing art exhibition draws to a close, Dubai edges closer to achieving its goal of becoming the arts hub of the Middle East. And so it should come as no surprise that the city’s flagship art event, Art Dubai, which took place between March 18 - 22, is a regional favorite.

This year more than 500 artists and 92 galleries from 40 countries showcased their work, which is quite amazing for a fair that is just in its ninth year.. Art Dubai is home to some of the Arab world’s most celebrated artists, as well as those desperately trying to break through in a region that is perhaps more well-known for instability and cultural barriers than its arts scene.

Walking around the event, visitors were introduced to paintings by the Lebanese artist Marwan Sahmarani, who won the Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2013, as well as works by the Iraqi modernist Dia Azzawi.

While Dubai itself has a long way to becoming a nurturing ground for Arab artists, it’s doing pretty well in satisfying the creative desires of its Arab diaspora.

That’s enough talking about it I guess, let’s actually look at what was showcased:

"Intersections" by Anila Quayyum Agham

"Balancing Stacks" by Cheryl Pope

An Art Dubai project by A.i.R. Dubai Resident Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim

"Of a Radical Hospitality: Episodes of Conditions, Transgressions and Impossibility," by Sharmeen Syed