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Arts and Artists

Inaugurated on March 21, 1998, The Courtyard emerged as a hub for creative collaboration, providing the city with a glimpse of the avant-garde it yearned for and a promise of what lay ahead. The launch saw renowned British designer Bruce Oldfield OBE present a fashion collection followed by a fundraising dinner for a children's cancer hospital in Dubai, and The Courtyard’s gallery unveiled its inaugural exhibition. A curation of works by European artists including Picasso, Miró, and Magritte offered a rare opportunity for the public to encounter Masters in the UAE.


Over the ensuing two decades, The Courtyard played a pivotal role in inspiring regional artists. Total Arts gallery provided the community with an authentic space to engage with and honour artistic vision. Consequently, The Courtyard has evolved as an artist-led space. "With its playhouse, gallery and unconventional aesthetic and ethos, The Courtyard became a platform for creatives to capture the textures of life in the city, an impromptu stage for filmmakers, writers, and in recent years digital storytellers," says Shaqayeq.

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