Five regional competitions giving creatives chance to showcase their talents

They include opportunities for artists, architects and designers of all backgrounds

Creatives in the region are invited to showcase their work in a number of competitions. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National
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As the art community in the UAE and the region has grown over the years, so too has the number of artists working across diverse mediums. With growing demand for development opportunities, one of the best ways to hone skills and gain exposure is by entering competitions.

Here are five upcoming art and design competitions open to creatives at all stages of their career.

Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024

Applications for the Tuwaiq Sculpture 2024 competition are now open.

Part of the Riyadh Art Festival, the first national public art initiative in Saudi Arabia, which takes place from January to February every year, the international competition invites artists to send proposals under the theme of Dimensions of Movement.

Applicants must have at least five years of experience in sculpting and exhibiting in outdoor spaces and galleries. After a review process of the proposals, 30 local and international sculptors will be invited to create their large-scale sculptures on location.

Deadline for registration is August 31; for more information visit

NBF Art Prize

The National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) Art Prize wants artists to think about sustainability.

Titled Time is Now, the competition invites creatives to submit work in the mediums of painting, sculpture, drawing or digital art. The theme is a call to action for artists, encouraging them to think of creative ways to highlight the unsustainable ways in which we consume natural resources and how we can make a change.

Judged by five experts from the UAE art scene, 10 finalists will be shortlisted from all the submissions. Of those, three winning artists will be selected and given the opportunity to engage in individual mentorship from one of the five judges.

Deadline for registration is September 15; for more information visit

Sikka Art and Design Festival

The 12th Sikka Art and Design Festival will be held from February 23 to March 3.

The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority has launched an open call for emerging and established Emirati artists living across the GCC to participate in the annual festival.

It welcomes ideas from artists working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, photography, design, murals and mixed media. There are also opportunities for those seeking to hold interactive workshops, musical and cinematic performances, talks and panels – as well as a new culinary arts category.

A committee of experts will decide which works are eligible to participate in the festival, which draws more than 120,000 visitors every year.

Deadline for registration is September 15; for more information visit

House of the Future

Open to architecture and design enthusiasts of all levels from across the world, the House of the Future competition asks participants to design a new-age home for Emirati citizens in Dubai.

Launched by Dubai Government, the competition seeks innovative designs for a home that reflects the UAE's contemporary architectural aesthetics and the needs of its people.

Winning entries will be considered for construction by the Dubai Government and will also receive a share of the Dh1 million prize fund.

Deadline for registration is September 30; for more information visit

Kinokuniya UAE Portrait Art Prize

Kinokuniya bookstore is accepting submissions from residents for its annual art competition, the UAE Portrait Art Prize.

“Kinokuniya strives to showcase the diverse and vibrant creativity of the UAE,” the brand's Dubai and Abu Dhabi store manager Steve Jones tells The National. “This art prize is our way of celebrating and supporting the amazing talent that this region has to offer.”

Now in its third year, the art competition welcomes works of any medium that can be printed on paper. No works created or assisted by AI will be accepted.

The winning entry will be displayed in the main window of the Dubai Mall bookstore in November during the shop's annual month-long Art Lives Here event. The winner will also receive Dh1,000 worth of Kinokuniya vouchers.

Deadline for registration is September 30; for more information visit

Updated: August 05, 2023, 3:02 AM