Dubai’s art scene has been on the up and up lately. From performance arts and architecture, to sculpture, all the way to digital arts, Dubai has drawn some of the region’s most talented budding artists. They all came to the cosmopolitan metropolis to experiment with new mediums and themes. But Dubai remains the biggest experiment of all, and an incredibly promising one at that. But for Dubai’s resident artists, there’s always room for improvement.Mirroring Dubai’s founding ethos, Kuwaiti real estate developer and investor Faisal Al Saleh is ambitiously carving a little space for an oasis in the desert: 701. The soon-to-be-launched art space, located in the heart of Dubai’s Business Bay, is a multifaceted working studio; 701 is primarily a self-sustained community-oriented project, as well as an events venue for hire dedicated to promoting art in Dubai. Founded in collaboration with 6 artists-in-residence – British pan artist Dozi Dreams, Lebanon’s Batoul Yaghi Absi, Egyptian multi-disciplinary artist Mennah Hafez, Swiss street artist Just One, French duo Waxfeller, and Filipino visual artist Cholo Juan, 701 is intended to foster a sense of community within Dubai’s art scene and encourage artistic collaboration. "It all stemmed from solving an artist’s problem. She needed a studio so I offered the space. Then, I realised that this is how I can support the creative community – by providing them with space where they can hone their skills and explore their artistry," Saleh tells Scene Arabia. "This is the first venture I have been involved with in the arts sector. I am not motivated by money with this project. I am focused on supporting the creative community."In addition to serving as a platform to promote local art and facilitate networking between collectors and exhibitors, 701 is also an open hub for entrepreneurs, creatives, and others to enjoy live art. "701 is a patron of all forms of art. Our goal is to empower talents by providing a platform to hone one’s skill and present it to a wider audience - this underlines our commitment to supporting the creative community and the thriving art scene in the UAE," Saleh syas. The space is also equipped with an espresso bar and café, serving a colourful array of Acai bowls, gourmet healthy snacks, light breakfast options and loaded affogatos. "We will also be adding an F&B element to the mix through our café, supporting the ‘third wave coffee movement,’" Saleh adds. Laying on an expansive 8650 square feet, including an outdoor terrace equipped with a pool, 701 aims to bring art to life, using Dubai as its artists' canvas. With a innovative concept and a sustainable business model to boot, 701 is set to become one of the few spaces in the concrete jungle that is Dubai where art is democratised for the public to experience and partake in. "Through this initiative, we have built an amazing space and venue for events to continue that support. We aim to be a hub for the art community, connecting our artists-in-residence with potential clients for commissions, live activations, workshops, etc," Saleh concludes. "Our vision is to make 701 a destination for creatives, foodies, and entrepreneurs. Hence our tagline, ‘Art. Meets. Coffee.’"
Photos courtesy of 701.
701 will fling its doors open on April 18th, show them some love on Facebook and Instagram @701Dubai and let the art revolution begin!