Abu Dhabi Art, organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, hosted its Beyond Emerging Artists exhibition at Cromwell Place in London from 7 to 11 June as part of its year-long programme created to give a platform to emerging artists from the United Arab Emirates.


For its second London iteration, the exhibition showcases artworks by Abu Dhabi Art artists Sarah Almehairi, Majd Alloush, and Khalid, who were commissioned to create new works by Abu Dhabi Art as part of the annual programme. The London show this month marks the third year that Abu Dhabi Art has organised international exhibitions for Beyond Emerging Artists, with the first iteration taking place at Cromwell Place in 2021 and the second in Venice in 2022.

The Beyond Emerging Artists initiative invites local and international curators to work with UAE-based emerging artists in a year-round programme and develop their professional practice. Participating artists are provided with a budget and curatorial support to create ambitious new works that are exhibited through Abu Dhabi Art.

Undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), HE Saood Abdulaziz Al Hosani, said: 

“We are delighted to host Abu Dhabi Art’s Beyond exhibition in London this year, showcasing the exceptional talent of three emerging artists from the UAE. As an integral part of the year-long Abu Dhabi Art programme, we remain committed to promoting artists and nurturing UAE talent on an international scale. Rooted in a destination that deeply values its Emirati hospitality, heritage, and culture, Abu Dhabi Art provides an unparalleled platform to celebrate the region, its boundless creativity, and its profound appreciation for the arts. The London exhibition serves as a remarkable testament to Abu Dhabi Art’s significance as a vital platform for cultural exchange, empowering UAE talent to thrive in the vibrant art scene at the heart of the UK.”


His Excellency Mansoor Abulhoul, UAE Ambassador to the UK, said: “The event is a great opportunity to showcase the UAE’s ingenuity and creative flair cultivated by our world-renowned art institutions, enabling emerging artists to gain valuable international exposure. This builds on the UAE’s recent commitment to invest almost £4.8 billion (Dh22 billion) in arts and culture, including new and unique event spaces to showcase talent locally and from around the world.”

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art, said: “Sarah Almehairi, Majd Alloush and Khalid are distinct, important voices in the UAE’s cultural landscape today; their thoughts and preoccupations resonate

for many residents in a country made up of over 200 nationalities. The last 50 years have seen incredible fast- paced change and population growth, from the buildup of ambitious new urban projects to the trade of goods and materials across the world. These sea changes have left artists facing a variety of questions, from notions of origin, particularly in relation to changing notions of self, to hopes for a possible tomorrow. The works presented probe these notions and we are thrilled to be able to show these works in London to new audiences.

Khalid, Beyond Emerging Artist, said:

It is an honour to have a platform to showcase works coming from the UAE to a new environment. I am excited to have a completely different perspective of how one can view our works without having stepped foot in our landscape.”

Sarah Almehairi, Beyond Emerging Artist, said:

It's very exciting to see this work travel internationally and be able to spark worldwide conversations. Placing it within a new environment allows for a new perspective to emerge.”


In conjunction with Beyond Emerging Artists, Cromwell Place also hosted exhibitions by long time fair participant Galerie Isa, Janet Rady Fine Art and the Alfred Basbous Foundation, creating a special focus on the region through the diverse exhibitors in place. Abu Dhabi Art also partnered with the UAE Embassy in London Society to bring new audiences to discover the works by the three artists.


About Beyond Emerging Artists


An annual initiative since 2017 that aims to provide three emerging artists in the UAE with a platform from which to develop their practice and realise ambitious art projects. The selected artists are chosen by a guest curator each year. They undertake a year-long programme of workshops and studio visits under the mentoring and the supervision of the curator which leads toward the realisation of a project for the Abu Dhabi Art fair in November. The works remain on exhibition to the public for several months beyond the fair dates. Supported by Friends of  Abu Dhabi Art since 2020.


Majd Alloush

Majd Alloush is a Syrian artist whose work spans multiple disciplines including printmaking, sculpture, photography, moving image, installation and performance. His creative practice challenges the notion of borders in concept, content and medium by exploring psychology, geopolitics and social and environmental issues, such as the ramifications of war and displacement. Alloush strategically creates work wherein multiple interpretations are possible, requiring the viewer’s own worldview to inform the meaning. His work is situated within contemporary hybrid practice, at the intersection of traditional processes and innovative methodology. Alloush graduated from the University of Sharjah in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree in Art and Media at New York University Abu Dhabi.


Mohamed Khalid

Mohamed Khalid examines the materiality of everyday objects and coaxes out their metaphorical potential. Through fabricating receipts, playing with street cats, composing fictional tours and stealing corporate pens, he dissects ironies embedded in his everyday surroundings. What begins as an arbitrary flânerie, develops into a methodical formula that addresses philosophical and phenomenological, revealing the spatial, poetic relationships between his subjects and their correlation to human beings.

Khalid is an alumnus of the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship and Campus Art Dubai 7.0, with previous group shows at Art Dubai, Warehouse421 and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.


Sarah Al Mehairi

Sarah Al Mehairi was born in Abu Dhabi in 1998, where she currently lives and works. She received her BA in Art and Art History from New York University Abu Dhabi.

Al Mehairi's overarching body of work unfolds a discourse on themes of materiality, systems and interrelations, memory, and language through the intuitive and poetic examination of narrative and abstraction. By engaging with geometric forms, she extracts and defines a structural language read time and time again to suggest a form other than its own, such as a map, sentence or puzzle piece. Through the process, they are broken down, built and reassembled as continuous iterations of themselves. Working primarily within an investigative range of media, she explores the push and pull of material to evoke a story that both conceals and reveals itself.

Al Mehairi was part of the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship’s 7th Cohort (2019-2020). She is the creator of the Artist Talks series and co-founder of the JARA Collective.